Georgia Film Festival, Dean, Pickens and Walker announced
Six players who had a big hand in Georgia’s national title win over Alabama announced for the 2022 NFL Draft.
Safety Lewis Cine, LB Nakobe Dean, WR George Pickens, OL Jamaree Salyer and DL Travon Walker all said they will be turning pro on Friday afternoon alongside runners Zamir White and James Cook. None of the players’ decisions were surprising and they are all likely to be early picks in the 2022 draft.
Cine was the team’s leading striker with 73 stops and two tackles for a loss. He also intercepted the ball and defended nine passes. He had seven tackles, including one for a loss, in the Bulldogs’ 33-18 win over Alabama on Monday night to win the national title. He was second on the team in 2020 with 49, and became a regular starting player in the late 2019 season as a freshman.
Dean was one of the top players in Georgia’s fierce defense in 2021. He was the second-best forward on the team behind Cine with 72 stops and had 10.5 tackles to lose and six sacks. He also had two interceptions and was recorded in six break-ups and 28 hits according to the Georgia Department of Statistics. And these stats don’t lie, Dean is one of the best all-around full-backs in the draft.
Yahoo Sports NFL Project analyst Eric Edholm pitched Dean a 32nd spot to the Green Bay Packers in his December draft mock.
Dean played in all Georgia games in his three seasons with the Bulldogs. He made 25 tackles in 14 games as a rookie and had 71 tackles in 10 matches in 2020.
White pioneered the Bulldogs in 2021. He had 160 buggies for 856 yards and 11 TDs, while Cooke had 113 buggies for 740 yards and seven touchdowns. Cook, younger brother of Minnesota Vikings RB Dalvin, also had 27 catches for 284 yards and four touchdowns.
White led the team with 779 yards and 11 terres in 2020. Cook was also the team’s second rushing lead in 2020 with 303 yards on just 45 gigs.
Walker had 37 tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss and three sacks in 2021. He had 30 quarterbacks and the defensive line that saw the field the most was at the front of the heavily rotated Georgia. Walker played over 50% of Georgia’s shots. Like Cine and Dean, Walker was an immediate contributor as a freshman in 2019 and had 2.5 sacks that season.
Pickens didn’t play nearly as much as the other three in 2021 after he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during spring training. He was able to see the field at the end of the season and got a huge 52-yard diving catch in the first half of the game against Alabama. Pickens had five catches for 107 yards in limited playing time in four games last season.
But he has shown the potential to be one of the best wide receivers in his draft class while in good health. The Alabama native had 36 catches for 513 yards and six touchdowns in eight games when he was a sophomore in 2020. As a freshman in 2019, he had 49 catches for 727 yards and had eight touchdowns. If Pickens is able to pass all the drills and drills teams ask of him during the initial draft process, don’t be surprised if he’s off the board on day two of the draft before players with much better stats in 2021.