By: Robert Craft
TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services
The 2021 Georgia Bulldogs already had a special spot in history, bringing home the program’s first National Championship in over four decades. Well, if there were any doubts about their all-time standing, the 2022 NFL Draft made their spot in the record books.
With 15 Bulldogs being selected, Georgia breaks the seven-round NFL Draft record for players picked in a single draft from the same school. The 2003 Ohio State Buckeyes and 2019 LSU Tigers previously held the record with 14 in the 2004 and 2020 NFL Drafts.
Things got started in a big way during the first round for the Dawgs with defensive lineman Travon Walker coming off the board to the Jacksonville Jaguars with the first overall pick.
Walker becomes the fifth Georgia player to be picked No. 1 overall, tying the NFL Draft record with Notre Dame, Oklahoma and USC. Previous No. 1 picks for the Bulldogs are Matthew Stafford (2009), Harry Babcock (1953), Charley Trippi (1945) and Frank Sinkwich (1943).
Jordan Davis (Eagles), Quay Walker (Packers), Devonte Wyatt (Packers) and Lewis Cine (Vikings) continued the run on Bulldogs in the first round, giving Georgia five players picked, all on the defensive side of the football.
In doing so, they set a new program record for first round picks in a single draft as well as a record for the most defensive players picked from the same team in the first round.
On day two of the draft (second and third rounds), Georgia added four more selections. Wide receiver George Pickens was the first offensive player from UGA off the board, going to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round followed soon after by running James Cook to the Buffalo Bills.
Then, in the third, it was a pair of inside linebackers getting picked with Nakobe Dean going to Philadelphia, and Channing Tindall being picked by the Miami Dolphins. That also gave Georgia the record for most defenders taken in the first three rounds in addition to their first-round record.
Zamir White was selected in the fourth round to the Las Vegas Raiders, followed by Jake Camarda to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After a quiet fifth round, the sixth round welcomed two big Bulldog offensive linemen– Justin Shaffer to the Atlanta Falcons and Jamaree Salyer to the Los Angeles Chargers.
Finally, with back-to-back picks at No. 212 and No. 213 overall, Derion Kendrick (Los Angeles Chargers) and John FitzPatrick (Atlanta Falcons) got the Dawgs to break the record.
In The 2022 NFL Draft, Georgia broke all the records, or at least it felt that way.
The Bulldogs had 15 players picked – the most in a seven-round draft in history – with eight on the defensive side of the ball, including a first-round record five and a top-three-round record seven.
UGA also became the only team to ever have tight ends taken in four straight drafts with the selection of John FitzPatrick, Georgia’s 15th and final player. Needless to say, it was an eventful draft for Georgia.