Georgia experts Mark Schlabach, David Ching and Josh Kendall agonized and analyzed the rosters of UGA greats to select their all-time Bulldogs teams. Here’s a look at the surprises, steals and moves that made up their teams.
Surprise pick: Matthew Stafford might be slightly overrated as a first-round pick. Yes, he was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft, but 10 other quarterbacks were available who have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, as were a couple dozen All-Americans. Stafford never won All-American recognition and it remains to be seen whether he will ever become a Hall of Famer.
Best sleeper pick: All three picks in the 22nd round actually jump out as solid late-round selections. Kendall took Charles Grant, who was an All-SEC defensive end in 2001 and who ranks among the most gifted athletes of the Mark Richt era. Then Team Ching took Randy Johnson, a 1975 All-American who won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy that year. Schlabach wrapped up the round by taking center Ben Jones, who was an ESPN.com All-American in 2011 and who now starts at guard for the Houston Texans. All outstanding picks, particularly where they came in the latter stages of the draft.
Biggest steal: Tommy Thurson in Round 20. Seven linebackers were drafted ahead of Thurson before Ching took him late. Thurson played on some of Georgia’s best defenses from 1980-83. He was a three-time All-SEC performer, won two SEC titles and a national championship. At ouside linebacker, he racked up 448 tackles in his career, which is third-best in UGA history. Ching added him to a linebacking corps that includes Ben Zambiasi and Jarvis Jones. The trio accounted for over 1,200 tackles as Bulldogs.
Best team: Team Schlabach. Herschel Walker trumps everything, right? Schlabach wasted little time to take the 1982 Heisman Winner No. 1 overall. The three-time All-American had to go first unless our expertise in Georgia football were to be questioned. It’s not all Walker, however. Team Schlabach’s offense has the all-time leading passer in David Greene. The Stinchcomb brothers and Ben Jones on the line and Lindsay Scott, whose legend proceeds him out wide. The defense features the versatile Champ Bailey. Georgia’s career sack leader in David Pollack. And, getting off the bus first, Bill Goldberg. Before he was a WCW and WWE World Heavyweight Champion, he racked up 348 career tackles between the hedges.