Some notes, quotes and thoughts on Georgia players after the NFL draft wrapped up over weekend:
–Seven of the eight Bulldogs drafted were defensive players. Think NFL teams like taking players from a defense coached by Todd Grantham, who spent 11 years coaching in the league?
Here’s what Bengals defensive backs coach Mark Carrier told reporters after Cincinnati took Shawn Williams in the third round: “One thing you like about this kid is he played in a NFL-style defense with Todd Grantham, the defensive coordinator down there at Georgia and he barked out a lot of signals, they give you a lot of different looks and obviously had a lot of guys in this draft and one I think I like and fits right in with our room is that he’s not afraid to stick his face in the fire. That’s a big deal for me and a big deal for our room. You come play for us, you better be ready to go hit somebody.”
Granted, the Bengals seem to have a love affair with Georgia players. Their roster includes A.J. Green, Geno Atkins, Orson Charles and Clint Boling.
“I think the coaching staff there under coach Mark Richt has done a great job teaching them to play aggressive, attacking football,” coach Marvin Lewis said. “Whether it be offense, defense, they’re all no-nonsense guys, so we really like their work ethic, how they handle and carry themselves as people and that say a lot about the program.”
–Underclassmen decisions can be hit or miss. Southern California quarterback Matt Barkley going in the fourth round is evidence of that.
Did nose guard Kwame Geathers make the right call to leave after his redshirt junior season? The answer appears to be no given he went undrafted. Geathers landed with San Diego as an undrafted free agent.
Did Bacarri Rambo make the right call to stay at Georgia after his redshirt junior season? The answer might be no. The safety wasn’t drafted until round six.
Rambo stayed last year despite being an All-American in 2011 after he said he got a draft grade back from the NFL advisory committee that said he could go as early as the third round. Then he was suspended four games with his second violation of Georgia’s drug policy.
Geathers can only hope he can end up with a couple of Super Bowl rings like Danny Ware, the former Georgia running back who also went undrafted in 2007.
–Good behind the scenes with the Rams from Peter King of SI.com. He was in St. Louis’ draft room when it took linebacker Alec Ogletree at No. 30 overall.
Here’s what he wrote:
You saw the Rams trade twice — from 16 up to eight, to take wideout/returner Tavon Austin, and from 22 down to 30, to take versatile linebacker Alec Ogletree — but what you didn’t see was the glee in the room when both picks were made. That was good. Twenty-five or so football people in the room, not in cliques or camps, but together, and pretty excited when the moves were made. Case in point: When Ogletree was picked, special teams coach John Fassel and linebackers coach Frank Bush high-fived and considered the impact of the first two picks.
“Can I have Ogletree for punt blocks?” Fassel asked.
“Yeah, he blocked six punts in college,” Bush said. “He’s great at it.”
“Wait,” Fassel said. “I don’t want him to block the punts — I want to see Tavon return ‘em!”
And they both laughed the kind of laugh you hear in a draft room when you’ve just had a good day.
Don’t think Ogletree came close to blocking six punts at Georgia. His bio does say he blocked six punts in 2007 at Newnan.
–What was nose guard John Jenkins doing not long after he was drafted by New Orleans on Friday night?
“It’s crazy that I’m in Wal-Mart right now talking to you,” Jenkins told New Orleans radio station WWL.
Former scout Daniel Jeremiah, now with the NFL Network, listed Jenkins as his boom-or-bust pick among defensive tackles before the draft. Jenkins was the eighth defensive tackle drafted.
Jenkins was academically ineligible for the bowl game, but Saints coach Sean Payton said Jenkins’ “work ethic and all the background stuff with his coaches, people at the school, and all of that was outstanding. We had a chance to interview him and visit with him at the workout and so this is a player that we felt pretty comfortable with and at least knew who he was.”
–Jarvis Jones, who struck a deal with Subway before the Steelers drafted in the first round Thursday, sounds pretty happy to be pushing the product.
“Subway for life, man,” Jones said. “I get to eat Subway forever.”
Yes, he says, he loves to down the six and 12 inch sandwiches.
“I love Subway, man,” Jones said. “We’ve actually got a Subway right up the street from the facility. I used to eat Subway a lot. Run and get me a sub before meetings and stuff. Try to stay healthy. Give me energy before practice.”
About the Jarvis likeness in the form of a sub sandwich, Jones said he loved it. And the hair, he said, was “like five pounds of raisins.”
–Getting drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs with the first pick of the fifth round was the second draft experience for cornerback Sanders Commings. He was a 37th round baseball draft pick by Arizona in 2008.
“It’s definitely a bigger stage,” Commings said. “I was very late in the draft. A Mid-round pick in football. It feels pretty good.”
Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Commings could help at both cornerback and safety.
“You know, he’s a great baseball player; he was a centerfielder in baseball, so you know he can track the ball. And I’m talking about a legitimate centerfielder, not just a guy that played Little League, he’s legit—he has good ball skills,” Reid said.
Said Chiefs general manager John Dorsey: “I was actually a little surprised that he lasted that long. He’s a very gifted athlete, a former baseball player. ..He’s a larger corner, 229 pounds. I can envision the coaching staff using him in match-ups with more athletic tight ends. Actually, playing some free safety, I can see a combination; you have safeties in today’s football that are now used in coverage situations.”
–Cornelius Washington’s statistics at Georgia isn’t the reason the Bears liked when they drafted him in the sixth round. It’s the potential.
“What did we see on tape?” Chicago general manager Phil Emery said. “An explosive athlete, we saw a guy that’s close a lot but hasn’t closed. We think that this is a player that’s still got a lot of ceiling.”
Washington played both defensive end and outside linebacker at Georgia.
Bears coach Marc Trestman was asked how difficult it will be to find the best place for Washington to thrive.
“That’s part of our job as coaches,” he said. “The first place to start is to get his hand down and let him rush the passer and see where it goes from there. He certainly has tremendous athletic upside.”
–Please follow me at Twitter.com/marc.weiszer