Georgia Bulldogs Draft Preview
So who's in play?
Georgia had a great team last year, but just five of the graduating seniors or juniors leaving early are projected to be drafted this year. Of those, only 1 is projected to go in the first round.
You know who it is, right?
Of course, it's Todd Gurley.
Yes, I have a man-crush on this guy.
He'll be leaving school early after a season-ending knee injury and an up and down season. Four games in, he was looking to be voted the Heisman Trophy winner. Then, an NCAA suspension for taking money to sign autographs derailed both his season and his hopes for the Heisman.
Nonetheless, he stands poised to rake in a major pay day once he signs an NFL contract. Even with his recovery from his knee injury, there will be several teams looking to pick him up considering his absolute dominance on the field in the toughest conference in the nation.
The next Dawgs on the draft projection lists don't show up until the 4th round. Here, you find senior WR Chris Conley and ILB Ramik Wilson.
Next, cornerback Damian Swann is projected to go in the sixth round to Green Bay. And finally, in the seventh round, linebacker Amarlo Herrera is projected to get picked up by Washington.
Of course, it's all just speculation.
Here's a look at Conley in action. He really impressed at the NFL combine this year.
Rollin' in It
To give you an idea of how much money is at stake, the 4 year minimum base salaries (no bonuses yet) of rookies in last year's draft were:
- $420k in year one
- $510k in year two
- $600k in year three
- and $690k in year four
And that's just the minimum salary.
Plus, they increase by $15k each year. So, this years numbers would start at $435k and go up to $660,000 in year 3 of a contract. Wow!
Many teams will pad these numbers with bonuses dependent on the rookie's performance once he is onboard.
I'd take that kind of money!
But, it's not nearly as good as pre-2011 collective bargaining agreement when the contract length and salaries were set for each position. Before that, teams worked with a salary pool for rookies, with as much as 60% of the pool going to players in the first round.
And a lot of that money goes to guys that may not even end up playing. Consider Colt McCoy.
He was drafted in the 3rd round by Cleveland in 2010 after being lights out at Texas. He was paid $5 million in a four year contract. Five years later, he's bounced around from the Browns to the San Francisco 49ers, to the Washington Redskins. And, he's only ever started as a result to QBs ahead of him on the depth charts.
In other words, he's been paid a lot to do a little. I'm sure practices and workout are worth something, but not that kind of coin!
Others with a Shot
There are a few other honorable mentions that could pick up a spot in the draft when the time comes too.
- Center David Andrews - a reliable force at center
- Quarterback Hutson Mason - sat behind Murray for 4 years, but had a good senior season
- Defensive end Ray Drew - highly praised out of high school, but never dominant at the college level
Any of the above could slip into the bottom rounds, depending on what the needs of the teams that are picking might be.
And as usually, there will be another slew of players that don't get drafted and then sign onto practice squads trying to make the cut in the league. You never know who's going to catch someone's eye and get signed.