Georgia Football: Undrafted Bulldogs Pursue NFL Dreams

Georgia Football, Elijah Holyfield (13) (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Georgia Football, Elijah Holyfield (13) (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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Georgia Football
Georgia Football, Jonathan Ledbetter #13 (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

The 2019 NFL Draft is now in the books and seven players from the Georgia Football program, have found places to continue their football careers. Yet for the undrafted Bulldogs, there was still uncertainty on rather they would get the opportunity to continue playing the sport they love. The uncertainty has ended for six UGA players, as they all signed contracts to continue pursuing their NFL dreams.

Georgia Football continues to place players in the NFL at a tremendous pace. The Bulldogs 2019 Draft class led by cornerback Deandre Baker, had five offensive players and two defenders drafted by NFL teams. Read the story of Baker being selected in round one by clicking here. This includes wide receivers Mecole Hardman who was drafted on day two, as well as Riley Ridley and Terry Godwin who were drafted on day three. The trio set a record for number of UGA players drafted at one position. The information on Hardman being drafted can be viewed in this article. The scoop on Ridley and Godwin along with the other day three Dawgs can be read in this article. Five of the Bulldogs were drafted by NFC teams and two by AFC teams. However there were still several players that went undrafted unfortunately.

Jonathan Ledbetter and Elijah Holyfield are the two undrafted Bulldogs that were most expected to be selected. Ironically both players wear number 13. Mike Griffith of ESPN confirmed that they were the two top undrafted players at their positions, in the ESPN prospect rankings via the following tweet:

The biggest surprise among the undrafted Georgia Bulldogs was Jonathan Ledbetter. The 6’4 280 pound defensive lineman, was a Second Team All SEC selection last season. He overcame alcohol arrests earlier in his career and become a captain for the Bulldogs squad as a senior. Ledbetter had a solid stint during his time in Athens registering 122 tackles, 14.5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in his four-year career. He played just two of those seasons as a starter. The fact that Ledbetter is a tweener that isn’t quick enough to rush the passer from the edge, yet he is not quite large enough to play defensive tackle in the NFL, is likely what hurt his draft stock.

2018 Stats: Tackles:56  TFL:6.5  Sacks:1  FF:1

2018 Pro Football Focus Grades:

Overall:83.2 Run Defense:88.7 Pass Rush:67.2

Analyst Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network projected Ledbetter as a round six pick. He offered these thoughts on Jonathan Ledbetter:

"Jonathan Ledbetter is caught between positions and his pro team will need to help decide where he ought to play and dictate his weight from there. Ledbetter lacks burst and explosiveness at 280, to me he would be best served adding 10-15 pounds and playing as a B-gap defender in base odd fronts. Ledbetter has good, reliable hands and shouldn’t be asked to become something he isn’t as a penetration style player. Quality role player/depth player."

Jonathan Ledbetter has signed a free agent contract with the Miami Dolphins. The news was reported by NFL Insider Adam Caplan of ESPN via Twitter: