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Georgia proved it on the field and the Bulldogs’ success was rewarded Thursday night in Las Vegas. 

Their defense, one of the premier college football units in recent decades, which allowed just 10.2 points per game, now stands alone as the first defense to produce five first-round picks in the NFL draft. 

“Me, personally, I’d definitely have to say we’ll be remembered as the best defense in college football history,” edge rusher Travon Walker, the No. 1-overall pick by the Jaguars, told USA Today Sports prior to the big night. “From a college standpoint, they’ll probably compare us to the Chicago Bears defense back in the day.” 

It’s hard to argue with Walker. The national championship-winning Bulldogs made history less than four months after bringing the SEC school its first title in 42 years. 

Georgia had three first-round picks once, in 2018, when Roquan Smith (8), Isaiah Wynn (23) and Sony Michel (31) were picked. 

Jordan Davis reacts after being drafted by the Eagles.
Jordan Davis reacts after being drafted by the Eagles.
USA TODAY Sports

Walker, the first Georgia player to be picked first overall since quarterback Matthew Stafford in 2009, was followed by defensive tackle Jordan Davis. The Eagles moved up two spots, in a deal with the Texans, to pick the hulking lineman 13th. The Packers selected inside linebacker Quay Walker 22nd and took defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt 28th. Safety Lewis Cline was the last pick of the opening round, taken 32nd by the Vikings. 


Follow live coverage of the 2022 NFL Draft with pick-by-pick updates, analysis and more from the New York Post.


“You say we picked Devonte Wyatt? Noooo. Oh man, that’s crazy,” Quay Walker said to Packers reporters. “It’s a reunion. Dang, that’s crazy. I’m probably going to cry again.” 

Added Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst: “Where they’re coming from is about as close as you can get to the National Football League.” 

The fun in Athens, Ga., won’t end Thursday night, either. Wide receiver George Pickens and inside linebacker Najobe Dean, the Butkus Award winner as the nation’s top linebacker and arguably the most valuable player on the dynamite defense, are expected to go early in the second round on Friday night. 

Altogether, Georgia is projected to have 14 players taken. That would tie LSU and Ohio State, which had that many players selected in 2020 and 2004, respectively. 

“I think it’s very unique to have this kind of collection of talent,” Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart said ahead of the draft. “You don’t have that every year — it’s not every year you’re going to have 14 guys at the NFL combine. It’s tough to do, and I’m proud of this group.”

Source: NYPOST

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