CLEVELAND — 2021 was yet another year the state of Georgia established itself as one of the country’s biggest NFL football factories.
A total of 21 players who went to high school in the state were picked over the past three days in Cleveland during the draft. Nine Georgia Bulldogs and two Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets got to hear their names called on the big stage in Cleveland.
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By now, if you follow football in the state, you know the first pick in the draft Trevor Lawrence honed his skills as a QB at Cartersville High before heading to Clemson.
Lawrence was on the first of some 21 players selected who honed their football skills at a Georgia high school.
Cornerback Jaycee Horn, who went to Alpharetta High before heading to South Carolina, was picked eighth by the Carolina Panthers.
Justin Fields of Ohio State was selected with No. 11 pick. He played at Harrison High in Cobb County before briefly attending the University of Georgia.
The 19th pick by Washington in the first round was linebacker Jamin Davis of Kentucky, who was a star at Long County High in Ludowici.
Rashod Bateman was picked 27th by the Ravens and he played at Tift County High School.
Those were just the first round picks. Sixteen others from state high schools got to hear their names called on the draft stage.
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The Georgia football love did not stop with the high school connections.
There was plenty of talent playing for the two biggest colleges in the state, many of whom will try continuing their career in the NFL.
The Georgia Bulldogs had nine players picked by various teams this year:
- CB Eric Stokes was snatched up by the Green Bay Packers with the 27th pick in the first round.
- CB Tyson Campbell, he was the 33rd pick and the first pick of the second round by the Jacksonville Jaguars
- LB Azeez Ojulari was picked 50th by the New York Giants
- LB Monty Rice was picked in the 3rd round (92 overall) by the Tennessee Titans
- OL Ben Cleveland was picked 94th by the Cleveland Browns
- TE Tre’ McKitty was taken 97th by the Los Angeles Chargers
- S Richard LeCounte was picked in the 5th round (169 overall) by Browns
- C Tre Hill was taken in the 6th round (190 overall) by Cincinnati
- S Mark Webb was taken in the last round (7th) by the Chargers
Georgia Tech also saw a couple of players get opportunities to pursue their NFL Dreams:
- WR Jalen Camp was picked in the 6th round (209 overall) by Jacksonville
- P Pressley Harvin Jr. got picked by Pittsburgh in the the 7th round (254 overall)
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While many teams will hold various off-season “team” activities through the spring and summer, training camps don’t kickoff until late July.
For most, getting picked does not guarantee them a job with an NFL team.
Teams being their training camps late in July with exhibition games in August.
That’s where all of these players and more will get their opportunity to see if they are able to make it into the NFL.