Day 3 of the NFL Draft (Rounds 4 through 7) is always known as the place where NFL teams build their rosters. For the better organizations (think Baltimore), it is a day for organizational depth, calculated risks, and a place where low-cost investments can turn enormous profits. For the bad organizations (think Jacksonville), it is a wasteland of failed experiments and swing-for-the-fences disasters. With all of that said, it doesn’t receive the pub/notoriety of the first two days, but day three makes dreams for many young men and wins championships for some organizations. Let’s take a look at the talent from the Atlanta area, and where they landed on the final day.
The University of Georgia had four players come off the board on Saturday, ranging from pick 134 (the #1 pick in the 5th round) to pick #191 (the 23rd pick in the 6th round). The first Bulldog player to be selected was CB Sanders Commings, who landed in Kansas City. Commings is a corner with great size (over 6-feet) but limited speed, and he was considered a “safe” pick at this juncture. The Chiefs are in desperate need of help basically anywhere, and he could compete for time right away. The other 5th round pick from Georgia was WR Tavarres King, who came off of the board at pick #161 to the Denver Broncos. Getting the chance to play with Peyton Manning is any wide receivers dream, but King will have a big-time competition to make the roster in Denver, as the Broncos are blessed with the Welker/Thomas/Decker trio already. If he sticks, it will be as a 5th-wideout type who can play special teams, but King could be a contributor in Denver.
In the sixth round, Cornelius Washington and Baccari Rambo were selected by the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins, respectively. Washington was the one Bulldog player who “slipped” in the draft, as most people (including me) thought that he would be picked in the 3rd/4th round range. The Bears are likely getting a rotation player from day one at the defensive end spot, and that’s a solid fit. Rambo’s evaluations were all over the board, with some experts having him as a 3rd-round pick, but in the end, he slipped to #191 overall. The safety is a “safe” pick in that round, and frankly, I think he can play right away for Washington if they need him.
On the other side of town, Georgia Tech was shut out of the NFL Draft this season. There will certainly be a number of “free agents” from Georgia Tech signed by respective NFL teams (CB Rod Sweeting chief among them), but the Jackets didn’t have anyone selected in the 250+ pick draft. This is a pretty big indictment of the Tech program in my opinion, and the lack of upper-tier talent is fairly alarming in Atlanta. Paul Johnson will have his work cut out for him in recruiting and development in an effort to change their talent level and, as a result, see their NFL hopefuls emerge.
As the draft comes to a close, it will be a fun ride to watch and evaluate the former collegiate athletes from the area. There are very few things that can make alumni/fans more proud than watching “their guys” on Sundays, and for UGA fans, they will have plenty of talent to choose from.