3 Georgia Bulldogs predicted to make NFL All-Rookie team

NFL.com predicts 3 Georgia Bulldogs to the NFL All-Rookie team…

Three Georgia Bulldogs have been predicted to the NFL’s All-Rookie team for the 2023 season by NFL.com: Pittsburgh Steelers receiver George Pickens, Buffalo Bills running back James Cook and Green Bay Packers linebacker Quay Walker.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – JANUARY 10: George Pickens #1 of the Georgia Bulldogs catches a 55 yard pass in the first quarter of the game against the Alabama Crimson Tide during the 2022 CFP National Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 10, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

One of Georgia’s most prolific receivers over the last three years, George Pickens was drafted No. 52 overall by the Steelers this spring. Pickens caught 90 passes for 1,347 yards and 14 touchdowns in his career for the Bulldogs.

“In his final draft before retiring as the Steelers’ general manager, Kevin Colbert once again landed a bargain receiver in the second round. Pickens is already impressing, showing off his skills during OTAs. Expect whoever lines up at quarterback for Pittsburgh to regularly lean on his speed and strong hands to make big plays downfield.”

Oct 17, 2020; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Georgia running back James Cook (4) taunts Alabama defensive back DeMarcco Hellams (29) after scoring a touchdown during the first quarter at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports

The Bills got one of the most versatile running backs UGA has seen when it took James Cook with the No. 63 overall pick. Whether it’s from the backfield or line up outside, Cook can find a way to impact the game. The  brother of Minnesota Vikings running back, Cook had his best season during the championship run. Cook gained over 2,200 yards from scrimmage and 20 total touchdowns in four years in Athens.

“Buffalo selected a running back in the third round of the draft in 2019 and 2020 (Devin Singletary, ‘19; Zack Moss, ‘20), but I thought they would have interest in Cook late in the second round this year because of his all-purpose value. Expect Cook to approach 1,500 total yards from scrimmage in 2022, taking handoffs when he isn’t catching the ball out of the backfield or from the slot. “

Auburn Tigers quarterback Bo Nix (10) is sacked by Georgia Bulldogs inside linebacker Quay Walker (7) at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala., on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021.

The Packers chose Quay Walker with their first pick of the draft at No. 22 overall in an unexpected move. While Walker may not have been the first linebacker tabbed to be taken, his talent and athletic ability is unquestioned. Walker was one of the top performers at the NFL combine. Walker recorded 137 total tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks and 3 pass breakups over four seasons in Athens.

Georgia football has three players on projected 2022 NFL All-Rookie team

Three Dawgs projected to make 2022 NFL All-Rookie team

On night-one of the 2022 NFL draft, the Georgia Bulldogs became the first school in history to have five defensive players selected in the first round of the draft.

But the Bulldogs were not done there. Georgia would go on to have ten more players selected throughout the remaining rounds to have 15 players taken in total, setting a modern-era record for most draft picks.

Looking ahead to the upcoming 2022 NFL season, three Georgia Bulldogs are projected to make the NFL All-Rookie team, per NFL.com. 

Those three Dawgs are running back James Cook (Buffalo Bills), wide receiver George Pickens (Pittsburgh Steelers) and linebacker Quay Walker (Green Bay Packers).

On Cook, NFL.com wrote:

Buffalo selected a running back in the third round of the draft in 2019 and 2020 (Devin Singletary, ‘19; Zack Moss, ‘20), but I thought they would have interest in Cook late in the second round this year because of his all-purpose value. Expect Cook to approach 1,500 total yards from scrimmage in 2022, taking handoffs when he isn’t catching the ball out of the backfield or from the slot.

Cook was a second round pick after finishing his UGA career with 230 carries for 1,503 yards and 14 touchdowns.

NFL.com on Pickens:

In his final draft before retiring as the Steelers’ general manager, Kevin Colbert once again landed a bargain receiver in the second round. Pickens is already impressing, showing off his skills during OTAs. Expect whoever lines up at quarterback for Pittsburgh to regularly lean on his speed and strong hands to make big plays downfield.

A second round pick, Pickens had 90 receptions for 1,347 yards and 14 touchdowns during his collegiate career. He missed a majority of last season recovering from an ACL injury.

Despite having five first rounders on defense, only Walker is projected to make the first team.

On Walker, NFL.com said:

The Packers needed a strong inside presence next to All-Pro De’Vondre Campbell. Walker’s ability to stand up to blockers in the run game as well as sprint to the sideline to cover running backs and tight ends, limiting big plays, will solidify the team’s second-level defense. Don’t be surprised if he works in tandem with Rashan Gary and Preston Smith to secure a handful of sacks, too.

At Georgia, Walker was a tackling machine, finishing fourth on the team with 63 total tackles.

Former Georgia P Jake Camarda now in position to start for Tampa Bay Bucs

Camarda in position to start for Tampa after this roster move.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are expected to release punter Bradley Pinion on Wednesday, per multiple reports.

This move opens the door for former Georgia punter Jake Camarda, a rookie, to start for the Bucs next season.

The Bucs made Camarda the second punter taken in the 2022 NFL draft when they selected him in the fourth round of April’s event, three spots after Penn State’s Jordan Stout went to the Ravens.

Camarda finished as UGA’s career leader in punting average with a mark of 45.78, surpassing 2009 Ray Guy Award winner Drew Butler (45.4). He punted 47 times in 2021 for an average of 46.7 yards, with a long of 68 yards vs. Alabama.

Camarda ran the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine faster than nine running backs and nine wide receivers, posting a time of 4.56.

Former Georgia LB Quay Walker admits to losing confidence with Packers

“That’s the main thing is trying to get my confidence back,” Walker said. “Just believing there’s a reason I’m here as well.”

“I don’t want to get above myself. I just want to keep a level head and stay neutral at all times,” former Georgia linebacker Quay Walker said after the first day of rookie minicamp with the Green Bay Packers in May.

Walker, who was picked at No. 22 overall by the Packers in April’s NFL draft, is staying humble despite his early draft selection and high expectations.

The Packers’ first off-ball linebacker taken in the first round since AJ Hawk in 2006, Walker got off to a hot start with his new team.

As the summer has progressed, Walker has made it a focus of his to closely study his new veteran teammates, linebackers De’Vondre Campbell and Krys Barnes.

“I pick up a whole lot, to be honest with you,” Walker said. “He doesn’t know it, but I watch him a whole lot. Just trying to learn a lot from him — how he goes about his day, how he gets treatment in between meetings, and the things he does. So, I just try to pick up off him, everything. Not only him, but Krys (Barnes) as well. Those two guys are very good guys that I just try to learn everything I can from.”

Walker admitted to losing some confidence since arriving in Green Bay, and said he is focused on regaining that as we approach the 2022 NFL season. Walker understands he was picked in the first round for a reason, but he said he had a difficult time adjusting to the next level.

“No doubt,” Walker said. “That’s one thing I really want to work on. I kind of lost some of my confidence when I got here because I was just unsure of what was going on and trying to get a good feeling. You know how it is when I’m in a new organization and a new defense. Things like that. It’s similar to what we did in college, but still new things. That’s the main thing is trying to get my confidence back. Just believing there’s a reason I’m here as well. This is the top level of football period. I just have to trust and believe in that, and my teammates as well, for them to count on me. Just go from there.”

At Georgia, Walker was a tackling machine, finishing fourth on the team with 63 total tackles.

“I’m learning a new defense and these are veteran guys I’m playing with, these are grown men, so it’s going to be a little different,” Walker said back in May.

Walker’s saying all the right things. Georgia’s defense was maybe the best in the history of college football last year, but the NFL is a whole new animal. Yet Walker has lived up to expectations in his very short time with the team so far.

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Former Georgia DE Travon Walker on relationship with Jags teammate Josh Allen

Travon Walker soaking up as much knowledge as he can from the vet

The Jacksonville Jaguars used their No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft to select former Georgia defensive end Travon Walker.

In 2019, Jacksonville used their No. 7 overall pick on Kentucky pass rusher Josh Allen.

With Allen and Walker paired up in Jacksonville, Jaguars fans are hoping for a lethal pass rush off the edge.

Two SEC guys now in Jacksonville, their relationship seems to be off to a hot start in the short time since Walker joined the Jaguars franchise.

Earlier in June, Allen said that Walker has the potential to be a player who records double-digit sacks:

“Travon is a double-digit sack guy but he is a rookie, you know what I’m saying, and he has to adjust to the environment of the NFL,” Allen said.

“ […] Once he gets comfortable into this defense and knows the calls in and out and can just play and not think, I Travon is going to be a freak. I can’t wait to see what he does in training camp.”

Last week, Walker returned the compliment during the first day of mandatory minicamp. He said he is learning a lot from Allen, regarding both on the field adjustments and those off the field.

“Josh, he’s been a great help to me. He’s one of those guys always hitting me up. He likes to get extra work, so we like to get extra work as well,” Walker said, according to News4Jax. “So, I come out here and work with him. Every time he texts me, ‘go get that extra work.’ He’s been a great source for me, somebody who’s been there ever since I walked in the door just to try and help me improve as a player and help me grow and be a great NFL player that he wants to be and this team needs.”

Walker had an incredible combine performance and a dominant 2021 season. The Thomaston, Georgia, native became the first Bulldog taken No. 1 since Matthew Stafford in 2008.

In 2021, Walker had 6 sacks, 7.5 tackles for loss and a team-high 36 quarterback hurries. He logged more playing time than any other UGA defensive lineman (56% of total defensive snaps).

Georgia had five first round NFL draft picks, becoming the first school to have five defensive players selected in the first round.

Watch: Former Georgia WR Isaiah McKenzie performs with NFL Players Choir on America’s Got Talent

Watch: Isaiah McKenzie performs with NFL Players Choir on America’s Got Talent

Former Georgia wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie, currently with the Buffalo Bills, is known as the “Human Joystick” because of his speed, elusiveness and shiftiness.

His versatility is what makes him such a weapon on the football field. He can catch the ball downfield or behind the line of scrimmage. He is a dangerous returner and a threat in the wildcat formation.

But he also showed his versatility off the field on Tuesday night when he performed on NBC’s America’s Got Talent with the NFL Players Choir, a singing group comprised of current and former NFL players.

McKenzie helped his team advance to the next round following a pair of renditions of Bill Withers’ classic “Lean on Me.”

“It was a great song. It went well for the type of sport we play,” McKenzie said, via Buffalo News. “It went well with what we do in life or we do in our careers – current and former players just helping one another out.”

The group performed for celebrity judges Simon Cowell, Heidi Klum, and Sofia Vergara.

Both Klum and Vergara said yes, but Cowell wanted to hear the group sing without a backing track so he could hear their voices together. After the NFL Players Choir granted Cowell’s request, they received that third yes and moved on to the next round.

How did McKenzie become a member of the group?

McKenzie, 27, told the Buffalo News that the NFLPA  “handpicked” him  to join the group. He said prior to that, he only ever really sang in the car or in the shower. He’s been a member for just a few months now.

“(They) told me I was handpicked, and (I) didn’t know how, I didn’t know what to think,” McKenzie said. “I’m not really handpicked for a lot of things – me, ‘cause I’m small, and everything like that. Who would have thought I’d be handpicked to sing in a choir? It was pretty cool.”

McKenzie, who is also a restaurant owner and a native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is ready for the feedback from his teammates in Buffalo.

“I feel like they’re a tough crowd,” said McKenzie, who sang in front of Simon Cowell. “I say I got bubble guts because of them more than (because of) seeing myself on TV.

“Because I know how they’re gonna get at me when they see it. It’s gonna be jokingly, but they’re gonna get at me. And I just got to sit there and laugh it off or whatever, but I’m cool with it.”

McKenzie, who has played four years with Buffalo, signed a two-year deal worth $8 million with the Bills this offseason. He is a key special teams player and receiver who averaged 24.3 yards per kick return and 7.7 yards per punt return in 2021.

McKenzie finished 2021 with 178 receiving yards, 20 receptions, and one receiving touchdown. He also rushed the ball 9 times for 47 yards and scored one rushing touchdown.

Detroit Lions RB D’Andre Swift turning heads in camp

Swift is looking JACKED at Lions camp…

Former Georgia running back D’Andre Swift looks in incredible shape headed into his third season as a Detroit Lion.

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Swift had his breakout year in 2021 for a Lions team that went 3-13-1. The Philadelphia native, who is UGA’s 7th all-time leading rusher (2,885 rushing yards) racked up 151 carries for 617 yards along with five touchdowns.
Swift added another 62 touches for 452 yards and two scores through the air to boot.
Swift looks in great shape headed into the 2022 season.
Detroit Lions running back D’Andre Swift goes through drills during OTAs on Thursday, May 26, 2022 at the team practice facility in Allen Park.
Here’s a comparison from last year.
Oct 10, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Detroit Lions running back D’Andre Swift (32) scores a rushing touchdown against the Minnesota Vikings during the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Vikings first-round pick Lewis Cine shares his mindset: ‘I just want to stack bodies’

There wasn’t a bigger hitter on Georgia’s ’21 defense than Lewis Cine…

Every once in awhile a defensive player comes along that is known as a ‘headhunter’. A player who takes pride in the physicality aspect of the game.

There is no question who that player has been for the last few season in Athens. Safety Lewis Cine, a Minnesota Viking first-round pick this spring, was that player for Georgia.

At just 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, Cine always seemed to hit like a guy twice his size.

The All-SEC First Team selection is keeping this same mindset in Minnesota.

‘My head is I just want to stack bodies.’

A semifinalist for the 2021 Jim Thorpe Award, Cine finished the 2021 season as the Bulldogs’ leading tackler with 73 total stops and also had a team-high nine pass breakups and was named Defensive MVP of the CFP Championship Game.

 

Former Georgia football LB Channing Tindall signs NFL contract with Miami Dolphins

Tindall has signed with Miami.

On Wednesday, former Georgia linebacker Channing Tindall signed his rookie contract with the Miami Dolphins.

Tindall was selected with the 102nd pick in the 2022 NFL draft in April. He was Miami’s first selection of the draft due to the Dolphins trading a slew of picks in a successful effort to trade for wide receiver Tyreek Hill.

Tindall is due to receive a $849,024 signing bonus as part of a four-year, $5.044 million deal, according to spotrac.com.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Cd_tZsyOR7i/

Tindall is a taller linebacker with excellent speed and range. He is built for the modern day NFL. Hailing from Columbia, South Carolina, Tindall participated in the 2022 Senior Bowl ahead of the NFL draft.

Tindall recorded 67 total tackles and 5.5 sacks on Georgia’s legendary defense last year.

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Eagles DC sees Jordan Davis as more than just a run-stopper

The Eagles have big plans for Davis

The Philadelphia Eagles drafted Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis with the No. 13 overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft.

At Georgia, Davis was a run-stopping force in the middle of a ferocious UGA defensive line.

In Philadelphia, defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon is hoping Davis will continue to do the same, but also wants to see the big-man excel at rushing the passer.

At a Tuesday press conference, Gannon spoke to the media about his plans for Davis.

“He’s a big, explosive, violent man that can win one-on-one, so yes, he will definitely have a role in the passing game, and he will affect the quarterback in a good way. Excited about his skill set and what he can do in the run and pass game.”

Gannon mentioned how Kirby Smart and Dan Lanning used him at Georgia, and noted that the Bulldogs got exactly what they needed out of Davis. But the Eagles are hoping for even more.

“A lot of the same things, and then there are going to be certain times where we let him cut his ears back and rush,” Gannon said. “At that place, obviously they play really good football there, they didn’t ask him to do that a lot. But he definitely has the skill set to do that when you start looking at how he moves and his body and his traits. He definitely will project to affect the game in the pass game, as well.”

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