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Bulldogs looking for brand-building NFL draft

Arkansas State v Georgia Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The NFL Draft that will get underway this evening at 8:00 pm (eastern) is obviously a vastly different affair from the prior versions we’ve seen. There will be no screaming crowds of fans. No photo ops of draftees embracing family in a ball room and shaking hands with Roger Goodell.

The draft will be 100% virtual. But what’s also virtually certain is that several Georgia Bulldogs will hear their names called at some point in the proceedings.

Tackle Andrew Thomas has been talked about as a first rounder since before his junior season and has done nothing to change that consensus. Thomas could even sneak into the top ten as teams covet his combination of size, length, athleticism, and smarts.

D’Andre Swift likewise has been sneaking into some first round projections because he has the type of versatility few backs possess. And Isaiah Wilson could likewise hear his name on the first night of draft festivities.

And that’s before we get to Jake Fromm, J.R. Reed, Solomon Kindley, or a host of other UGA standouts likely to hear their names called before the draft ends on Saturday. All told fifteen Bulldogs are draft eligible. The record for most Red and Black players selected in the modern draft era is eight, a feat accomplished in 2002 and 2013.

Breaking that record would be a PR win for a staff that’s billed itself as able to turn top high school talent into top NFL talent. One could argue that it’s essential that this class has a great showing. It’s the second class of Kirby Smart recruits in the draft, but arguably the first class of recruits really fully recruited and developed by this staff.

If in fact all goes well, the Bulldog coaches will be releasing graphics and tweets over the course of the next few days ostensibly to congratulate the former ‘Dawgs. But those are really a message to the future ‘Dawgs watching.

NFL Draft television coverage kicks off with the first pick around 8:00 on ESPN, ABC, and NFL Network. We’ll also be following along here with a live thread and any breaking news. Until then...

Go ‘Dawgs!!!