9 Georgia Bulldogs were drafted in the 2021 NFL Draft. From Eric Stokes in the 1st round to the Green Bay Packers to Mark Webb in the 7th round to the Los Angeles Chargers, it was an impressive showing for the Georgia program and its talent. Many folks, who can’t quite pinpoint exactly what they mean other than Kirby hasn’t beaten Alabama, say that Kirby Smart is not a great talent developer. The results of the number of Dawgs drafted so far that have solely been recruited to Georgia under the Kirby Smart regime say otherwise. With a huge amount slated to join the pro ranks via the draft next year as well, 12 members of Kirby Smart’s 2017 and 2018 signing classes have been drafted in the past 2 NFL Drafts.
8 members of Kirby Smarts and company’s first full class in 2017 have been drafted. Erick Stokes, Monty Rice, Mark Webb, Richard LeCounte III, Andrew Thomas, Jake Fromm, D’Andre Swift, and Isaiah Wilson all heard their names called either this weekend or the draft before. Also, so far, Tyson Campbell, Trey Hill, Azeez Ojulari, and yes, the ever-controversial Justin Fields have joined the pro ranks via the draft as well. We all know Fields transferred, doesn’t change the fact he was originally recruited by and committed to the ‘G’ folks. Of those 12, 5 were 1st rounders, and Tyson Campbell was the 1st pick in the 2nd round. Eric Stokes and Monty Rice had 247 Sports composite ratings of under 90, and Mark Webb was a wide receiver. There are many things to poke holes in at times and play Monday morning quarterback on when it comes to second-guessing what you believe is the call or the scheme error just by watching on TV, but said that Georgia does churn out and develop pros under Smart. The current staff is not correct.
On a recent episode of the RBU Podcast, which soon will be transitioning to a broader topic of being an SEC recruiting podcast, National Director of Video for 247 Sports Josh Pate and myself discussed this misconception on Georgia football. Check it out below.
Ok, so I predicted that the Dawgs would get 10 drafted. Pretty darn close, and a Georgia record at that. The next couple of drafts will be big for Dawg players as well. Now, it’s time to see these players being well developed perform at the best when the best is needed. Execution and mental toughness are different that development as a pro prospect. Kirby Smart and company have worked differently and harder on the “DNA” and mental aspect of this 2021 team than any other during his tenure. We will all get to see what I believe to be the most talented roster top to bottom that Kirby Smart has ever had a Georgia take the field in Charlotte on September 4th against the Clemson Tigers. Then, and only then will we gauge if the minute details that needed to change for UGA to get over the hump have been addressed. However, next time someone throws up “Kirby doesn’t develop players” casually in a conversation, please shut down that falsehood or ignore it for the ignorance that it is and move on to the next topic.