As the seconds ticked away on day two of the 2013 NFL Draft, two players from the University of Georgia had their dreams come true as 3rd-round selections. Nose tackle John Jenkins was picked at #82 overall by the New Orleans Saints, and safety Shawn Williams went off of the board at #84 overall to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Jenkins falling to the 3rd round was actually a semi-disappointment, as the massive (6-foot-5, 348-pound) tackle was once regarded as a late-1st/early-2nd round prospect. He is potentially the best pure runner stuffer in the entire draft, ideally suited to play nose tackle in a 3-4 scheme, but there are concerns about his conditioning and ability to play on passing downs. The Saints are in desperate need of defensive line help, however, and Jenkins should have the opportunity to compete for playing time immediately.
For Williams, a 3rd-round pick is a much more “positive” result. Most experts had the 3rd round as his absolute ceiling, and with a landing spot in Cincinnati, the Williams camp is likely thrilled. He was a three-year starter at Georgia, appearing in 54 games, and Georgia fans would remember Williams most for “calling out” his teammates midway through the 2012 season (non-coincidentally, it was immediately before their late-season run to the SEC Title Game), but he is a monster in run support and that is his calling at the next level. There are concerns (big-time concerns) about his pass coverage skills, but he is certainly talented enough to stick in Cincy.
With Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree coming off of the board in round one, the University of Georgia generated four defensive draft picks in the first 3 rounds. This is yet another indication of the absurd talent level on that side of the ball in Athens, and it’ll be interesting to follow this quartet as they enter the NFL. Stay tuned.