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Thursday, April 25, 2013
Ten UGA draft prospects to watch

By David Ching

ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia’s 2013 class of NFL draft picks could become the largest in program history if things go according to plan over the next few days.

The Bulldogs’ previous record is eight players picked in the 2002 draft, and there are exactly that many Georgia players ranked in ESPN Scouts Inc.’s list of the top 150 draft prospects for 2013.

Considering the seven-round draft includes 254 selections, and that several more former Georgia players harbor hopes of hearing their names called during the three-day event, this should be a record-setting draft for the UGA program.

Let’s take a look at the 10 top-rated Georgia draft prospects according to Scouts Inc.:

Alec Ogletree
How will Alec Ogletree's off-field issues, including a DUI arrest in early February, affect where he is drafted?
ILB Alec Ogletree
Height/Weight: 6-foot-3/242 pounds
Scouts Inc. Grade: 93
Overall Rank: 13
Position Rank: 1
Projection: Ogletree posted 111 tackles, 11.5 tackles for loss, three sacks and an interception in only 10 games. With sideline-to-sideline tackling skills and solid playing speed, the early entry can be as good as he wants to be as a pro. That’s the question with Ogletree, who has struggled with disciplinary issues since enrolling at Georgia. If he keeps his head on straight, he’ll be a solid pro, but his behavioral problems unquestionably hurt his draft stock even if he likely will remain in the first round.

OLB Jarvis Jones
Height/Weight: 6-2/245
Scouts Inc. Grade: 92
Overall Rank: 19
Position Rank: 2
Projection: He’s among the most heavily scrutinized prospects in this draft, but most analysts predict Jones will come off the board no later than 17th overall to Pittsburgh. Jones seems to have calmed at least some teams’ fears related to a spinal stenosis diagnosis following an injury he suffered at USC in 2009. He didn’t help his cause with a mediocre pro day after skipping workouts at the NFL combine, but Jones has two seasons of highlight-reel pass rushing that should keep him in the first round.

DT John Jenkins
Height/Weight: 6-4/346
Scouts Inc. Grade: 90
Overall Rank: 26
Position Rank: 5
Projection: Unfortunately for Jenkins, he plays one of the few top-heavy positions in this draft, with the four players ahead of him in Scouts Inc.’s position ratings all ranking among the top 17 overall prospects (No. 3 Star Lotulelei of Utah, No. 6 Sharrif Floyd of Florida, No. 11 Sheldon Richardson of Missouri and No. 17 Sylvester Williams of North Carolina). Some recent mock drafts included Jenkins late in the first round, although others project him going a round or two later. Jenkins’ ability to play nose guard or defensive end in a 3-4 scheme or defensive tackle in a 4-3 will help his cause.

S Bacarri Rambo
Height/Weight: 6-0/211
Scouts Inc. Grade: 71
Overall Rank: 104
Position Rank: 8
Projection: Like Ogletree, Rambo probably hurt his cause a bit while serving a four-game suspension to start the 2012 season. But the 2011 first-team All-American has flashed solid playmaking skills in the secondary and leaves Georgia with a share of the program’s career interceptions record. He looks like a third- or fourth-round pick according to several recent mock drafts.

DE Cornelius Washington
Height/Weight: 6-4/265
Scouts Inc. Grade: 70
Overall Rank: 110
Position Rank: 14
Projection: Perhaps no Georgia player has helped his case more than Washington this offseason. He only totaled 22 tackles and half a sack as a senior, but a superb performance at the combine on the heels of an attention-grabbing week at the Senior Bowl helped Washington leap up draft boards. We’ve seen him projected as high as the second round based on his pure pass-rushing ability off the edge and an impressive combination of size and speed.

CB Sanders Commings
Height/Weight: 6-0/216
Scouts Inc. Grade: 63
Overall Rank: 139
Position Rank: 19
Projection: If Washington isn’t the Bulldog who most helped himself this offseason, it’s probably Commings. He’s big, strong and fast for a cornerback over 6-0 (his 23 reps on bench press at Georgia’s pro day would have been the most for a cornerback at the combine, and he also clocked a 4.48 time in the 40-yard dash) and that intrigues teams that like him as a press-man cornerback. He can also play safety and special teams, which could help him come off the board in the first three or four rounds.

DT Kwame Geathers
Height/Weight: 6-5/342
Scouts Inc. Grade: 62
Overall Rank: 145
Position Rank: 15
Projection: Reviews are somewhat mixed on the mammoth interior lineman. Multiple mock drafts project him as a late-round pick, but Scouts Inc. rates him among the top 150 players in the draft. Geathers probably could have helped his stock by returning for his senior season and starting throughout -- instead of splitting time with Jenkins -- but his size is going to help him find a home on some pro roster.

WR Tavarres King
Height/Weight: 6-0/189
Scouts Inc. Grade: 62
Overall Rank: 146
Position Rank: 17
Projection: King is not a particularly imposing player, but he simply displayed a knack for getting open in college. After a 950-yard, nine-touchdown senior season, King etched his name near the top of Georgia’s receiving record book and pushed himself into draft consideration. He’s most likely a mid-rounder, with mock drafts typically projecting him to go in the fifth or sixth round.

S Shawn Williams
Height/Weight: 6-0/213
Scouts Inc. Grade: 54
Overall Rank: NA
Position Rank: 14
Projection: Another player who draws mixed reviews, Williams is listed as a top defensive sleeper by some analysts and a middle-round pick by others, but he slipped in the ESPN analysts’ opinions. Williams slipped to Scouts Inc.’s No. 14 spot at safety and is not listed among the top 150 prospects -- certainly his not recording an interception as a senior played a part -- but he’s sure to hear his name called at some point on Saturday.

DE Abry Jones
Height/Weight: 6-4/313
Scouts Inc. Grade: 36
Overall Rank: NA
Position Rank: 28
Projection: Ankle injuries spoiled Jones’ senior season and prevented him from improving his stock after a solid junior season had him on some preseason All-SEC lists. Jones was able to participate in the combine and Georgia’s pro day and could intrigue a team with his ability to play inside at defensive tackle in a 4-3 or outside at defensive end in a 3-4. If his phone rings, however, it will probably come extremely late in the draft or immediately afterward as an undrafted free agent.

Others to watch: CB Branden Smith, WR Marlon Brown, RB Richard Samuel, LB Christian Robinson, LB Michael Gilliard