The NFL Draft kicks off this evening with live coverage on ESPN tonight at 8 p.m. While this site is primarily focused on college sports, whether football, baseball, gymnastics or equestrian, we make an exception to cover Bulldogs making their way into the professional ranks. So over the next few days we'll be covering the Draft on a daily basis, bringing you open threads in which you can marvel at the dumb selections made by alleged football professionals, or debate the picks as they cop me in. We'll also spotlight Georgia Bulldogs who hear their names called.
Speaking of which, it looks like a pretty safe bet that no former Bulldogs will be selected in this evening's first round. Aaron Murray is likely the be the first 'Dawg off the board, and the consensus that seems to be emerging is that he's a likely third or fourth round pick. 247Sports' Kipp Adams notes that while Aaron Murray isn't likely to be taken in the first two rounds, the third round isn't out of the question. SB Nation's own Michael Bird wonders whether, wherever he ends up, Murray might bethe best of the NFL quarterbacks emerging from the SEC this year.
I'd recommend keeping an eye on the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags were the only team which sent their head coach to UGA's Pro Day to watch Murray throw, and he had a really good day.Alfie Crow of SB Nation's Jags site Big Cat Country thinks Murray makes sense if he's there late and the Jaguars have already spent a pick on a quarterback (for example, Johnny Manziel with their first round selection, third overall). If you don't think they would in fact do this, you underestimate how badly the Jags need (and their fans want) a stable starting quarterback.
As TweenTheHedges noted after Murray's Pro Day, Murray would also make sense for the Saints as the heir apparent to Drew Brees, the NFL signal caller to whom he is most often compared. It's also worth noting that quarterback is probably the one position at which teams are most likely to reach up and select a guy above his commonly accepted draft grade. While teams for some reason tend to think of tight ends as fungible, personnel folks sometimes lock on quarterbacks. So seeing Murray go a little higher than the ESPN talking heads have predicted wouldn't be out of the question either.
We'll be back this afternoon with the Day One Draft Open Thread. Until then . . .