THE NFL DRAFT 2014 CLASS FROM the Peach state was diverse, but mainly came away from the metro Atlanta rea. Only six of the 17 players, North
Gwinnett’s Ju’Wuan James, Peachtree Ridge’s
Bradley Roby, Sprayberry’s Jerick McKinnon,
Centennial’s David Yankey, Loganville’s Storm
Johnson and Riverdale’s Lavelle Westbrooks,
grew up in Atlanta.
The other 11 came from around the rest of
the state. Four players came from counties that
bordered other states or the ocean. The other
seven came from the Atlanta TV market, but
not Atlanta. For the most part those 11 were
scattered around the state.
Of the 17 players most were either three-star
rated players or below – in other words not
overwhelmingly desirable college prospects. The
typical response to that sort of data is that those
players were “coached up” at their respective
schools. That’s certainly possible. It is also very
well possible that the higher-level prospects who
didn’t get drafted (Isaiah Crowell, Da’Rick Rogers
and the like) had character flaws or injury issues
in the state in that time frame.
Higher-rated players are still more likely to be
drafted than medium- and low-level prospects
– that has not changed. There are, as always, a
few reasons why more non-elite players make it
to the NFL… mainly that there are more of them
than 4-star and 5-star prospects coming out of
high school. That’s actually the biggest reason
there are more (number, not percentage) 3-star
and below prospects is that there are more of
them… it’s that simple.
The book is completely closed on every
recruiting class through the 2009 class, but
2010 and 2011 (as we have discussed) are still
moving through the system. With that said the
updated numbers are as follows:
■ Two-star prospects from the state
of Georgia have a 4.2% chance of
getting drafted into the NFL
■ Three-star prospects from the state
of Georgia have a 5.4% chance of
getting drafted into the NFL
■ Four-star prospects from the state
of Georgia have a 15.0% chance of
getting drafted into the NFL
■ Five-star prospects from the state
of Georgia have a 35.7% chance of
getting drafted into the NFL.
In other words – if you want to get to the NFL,
the higher you are ranked as a high school prospect the higher the odds are that you will have
your name called at the NFL Draft. Players can
get “coached up,” but it helps to start as a really
great football player first.
HOW ABOUT BY HIGH SCHOOL? MAYBE YOU
should go to a particular high school in order to
get drafted into the NFL – that can help, too.
Obviously, the more kids there are in a school
the more there are available to be drafted.
The schools with the most players drafted
in the NFL draft since 2000 (none are “small”
schools, but some are much larger than others):
Stephenson – 6
Westlake – 6
Dunwoody – 5
Tucker – 5
Douglass – 4
High school power Buford has signed 29
players to BCS-level scholarships including
5-star Omar Hunter (Florida), and a slew of
four-star players, but none of them have been
drafted into the NFL Draft yet (although Kolton
Houston, Vadal Alexander and Dillon Lee have
not yet gone through the draft process). Two
players were drafted from Buford (P.K. Sam and
Tim Wansley) before most recruiting services
started rating players from the Peach State.
THE HIGHEST PERCENTAGE OF PLAYERS TO
sign with a college and then play in the NFL?
Would you believe Augusta’s Richmond County?
But the data tells us that more than half, seven
of 13, of the players who sign to play college
football from that county play in the NFL. Obviously that number seems to suggest that great
players get out of Augusta and that no one
else does. The same could be said for Macon’s
Bibb County, which has sent 15 players to BCS
schools with six being drafted.
THE MOS T OVERALL BCS AND NFL PLAYERS?
DeKalb County - and that’s no surprise. DeKalb
has both Tucker ( 23 BCS; five NFL) and Stephenson ( 40 BCS; six NFL) in its borders. Those two
schools alone have produced more BCS players and NFL players than the city of Atlanta’s
schools combined ( 55 BCS; 7 NFL).
The University of Georgia appears to have a
significant pull of the best players in the state.
Of the 28 5-star players from the Peach State
in Scout.com’s history, 61% of them have gone
to Athens. No other program in the country has
signed more than two 5-star players from Georgia in that same time.
What is the explanation for the state having
17 players drafted this year, with none playing
for Georgia and only three for Georgia Tech?
The answer is simple – they lost or missed out
on the others. Why? Some they lost in recruiting
battles – some they, rightly, didn’t recruit at all:
4-star North Gwinnett OL Ju’Wuan James –
The Bulldogs and Jackets lost out to Tennessee;
neither seemed to have his attention… he committed to the Vols and held steady the entire way.
2-star Twiggs County ATH Darqueze Den-nard – Didn’t have a major offer outside of
2-star Hardaway QB Marcus Smith – Didn’t
have a major offer outside of Louisville.
3-star Peachtree Ridge DB Bradley Roby –
Committed to Vanderbilt; de-committed; committed to Ohio State. The Bulldogs offered with
only three weeks left in recruiting cycle. Took an
official to Georgia late; stuck with the Buckeyes.
5-star Monroe DL Stephon Tuitt – Committed to Georgia Tech; then de-committed;
committed to Notre Dame. Georgia offered, but
was never really in the running. Left after junior
season at Notre Dame. First Georgian from
class of 2011 drafted.
Not-rated Sprayberry QB Jerick McKinnon –
Signed with Georgia Southern; Didn’t have a
3-star Lowndes LB Telvin Smith – Georgia
tried to save themselves late, but the transition
to the new defensive staff in the winter of 2010
made no difference. Smith announced to Florida State on the Monday of the week of Signing
Day after major flirting with the Bulldogs late.
3-star Centennial OL David Yankey –
Signed with Stanford; Former Georgia OL coach
Stacy Searles offered him late in the process.
Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina and South
Carolina also offered.
2-star Ware County DL Jimmy Staten –
Signed with Middle Tennessee State; Did not
have a major offer.
4-star Oconee County QB Zach Mettenberger – Signed with Georgia out of high school,
but was dismissed from the program after an arrest in the spring of 2010; started two years for
LSU; tore his ACL at the end of the 2013 season.
4-star Gainesville WR T.J. Jones – Signed
with Notre Dame; neither in-state major school
had much traction.
2-star Coffee County OL Garrett Scott –
Signed with Marshall; Did not have a major offer.
3-star Fitzgerald DB Jemea Thomas –
Signed with Georgia Tech; Purdue and Vanderbilt were the only other BCS-level offers.
3-star Loganville RB Storm Johnson –
Signed with Miami out of high school; then
transferred to UCF. Also transferred from Buford to Loganville in high school.
3-star Washington County DB Brandon
Watts – Signed with Georgia Tech; Jackets offered first and took it from there. Clemson and
Florida offered – Georgia did not.
Not-rated Bradwell Institute OL Ulrick
John – Signed with Georgia State; Did not have
a major offer.
Not-rated Riverdale DB Lavelle Westbrooks – Signed with Georgia Southern; Did
not have a major offer.
Former Georgia and LSU quarterback Zach
Mettenberger, a North Oconee alum, was drafted in the
sixth round by the Tennessee Titans.