The versatile hit man at the heart of the last couple of UGA defenses is heading for a big pay day.
After coming back for an enthusiastic performance in last night’s Orange Bowl victory Javon Bullard announced he’ll be entering the NFL Draft.
The 5’11, 195 pound junior came to Athens out of Baldwin County High School as a three star prospect in 2021 but outplayed his recruiting rankings from day one. Bullard played in 14 out of 15 games during the 2021 season, tallying 12 total tackles. Then as a sophomore Bullard really exploded, earning MVP honors in both the CFP Semi-final against Ohio State and the national title win over TCU.
As a junior Bullard was named preseason first team All-SEC, and despite missing 2 games still finished with 39 tackles, 5 pass breakups, and 2 interceptions.
Bullard moved from nickel to safety in 2023, and the versatility he displayed in doing so will work in his favor come draft day. Bullard doesn’t have prototypical NFL safety size, but I expect he will test well at the Combine, and his explosiveness and aggression will to some extent make up for the lack of measurables. I’d be a bit surprised if Bullard goes in the first round, but a 2nd or 3rd round grade would make sense to me. And with his well-known football IQ and work ethic Bullard strikes me as a player who could earn a consistent spot on an NFL roster.
Looking ahead for the Red and Black, Georgia is likely to return Bullard’s top backups from 2023, junior David Daniel-Sisevanh and freshman JaCory Thomas. Freshman Joenel Aguero played more at nickel in 2023 but could also slide over to a full-time safety slot. Aguero backed up Tykee Smith at nickel, and Smith actually has one more year of eligibility should he decide to use it, providing another option at safety. There’s also Dan Jackson, who could also return for one more season.
But those are concerns for this spring. For now, thanks for the memories, Javon.