Kirby Smart’s program has become an NFL factory, sending 34 players to the league via the draft since 2021, including eight first-round picks. The Georgia Bulldogs will once again send another crop to the next level in the 2024 cycle.
Mel Kiper recently put out his preseason big board for the 2023 NFL Draft, and it includes five Dawgs, two of which are in the top 25 — Brock Bowers (5) and Amarius Mims (25).
Here’s what Kiper said about Bowers and Mims:
Bowers was an instant difference-maker for the Bulldogs as a true freshman in 2021, catching 56 passes for 882 yards and 13 touchdowns. He followed up that season with 63 catches for 942 yards and seven scores as Stetson Bennett‘s No. 1 target, winning his second-straight national title. He’s an advanced pass-catcher and should make an instant impact when he gets to the NFL. Though he’s not huge — former teammate Darnell Washington made him look small at times — he’s a matchup nightmare for defenses. He has great hand-eye coordination and run-after-the-catch ability, and he can stretch the field down the seams. I also love the way he tracks the ball, high-pointing it above defenders. This will be his first season without Bennett, but Carson Beck just needs to get the ball in his hands.
Mims has started two games in his college career and played just 492 total snaps, and yet I feel great about putting him in my top 25. Why? Because of what I saw in those snaps and what I’ve heard from college coaches and NFL front office execs. They expect him to be one of the best linemen in college football this season. Both of Mims’ starts came in place of the injured Warren McClendon at right tackle in the College Football Playoff last season, and he showed his talent and upside. He’s raw, of course, but I like his footwork. He blew defenders off the ball in the run game, and I was surprised how solid he was in pass protection with such limited experience. Remember: Broderick Jones was a first-year starter last season, too, and he ended up as the No. 14 overall pick.
Bowers ranked as the first overall tight end; Mims was ranked as the fourth tackle.
Mel Kiper’s big board also featured Sedrick Van Pran as the top center, Smeael Mondon as the fourth-ranked off-ball linebacker, and Javon Bullard as the sixth-ranked safety.
Georgia will once again place around 10 players in the NFL via the draft, and when you continue to recruit and develop like Kirby Smart, they’ll be regarded as one of the best talent producers in the country.
Photographer: Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire