Bill Belichick, Patriots Scouting These Top Prospects At Georgia Pro Day

Georgia's 2022 draft class is loaded

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March 16, 2022

The New England Patriots got an up-close look Wednesday as several of this year’s top NFL draft prospects.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, newly promoted director of player personnel Matt Groh and senior football advisor Matt Patricia all made the trip to Athens for Georgia’s pre-draft pro day.

Georgia is one of college football’s premier programs and regularly pumps out quality pros, but this year’s class of Bulldogs is flat-out loaded, especially on the defensive side.

Several members of Georgia’s dominant, national championship-winning defense are projected as first-round picks next month, including edge rusher Travon Walker, defensive tackles Jordan Davis and Devonte Wyatt and linebacker Nakobe Dean. Linebackers Quay Walker and Channing Tindall, safety Lewis Cine and cornerback Derion Kendrick could come off the board on Day 2.

Multiple national draft analysts have pegged Dean as a potential first-round target for the Patriots, though his small stature (5-foot-11, 229 pounds) could deter them. Dean, a heat-seeking inside linebacker, reportedly declined to test Wednesday but did go through positional drills.

With needs at linebacker and cornerback, among other positions, it’s not surprising that New England would have a strong presence at Wednesday’s workout. And though the most highly touted UGA prospects are defenders, their class does feature a few notable offensive players, as well, namely wide receiver George Pickens, running back James Cook and offensive lineman Jamaree Salyer.

Three Patriots representatives, including assistant coach Ross Douglas, watched closely as Pickens, a projected Day 2 pick who missed most of the 2021 season with a torn ACL, ran through wideout drills.

Here is the full list of Georgia pro day participants, via SI.com’s Dawgs Daily:

George Pickens, WR
James Cook, RB
Zamir White, RB
Justin Shaffer, OL
Jamaree Salyer, OL
Jordan Davis, DL
Devonte Wyatt, DL
Travon Walker, DE
Channing Tindall, LB
John Fitzpatrick, TE
Nakobe Dean, LB
Quay Walker, LB
Julain Rochester, DL
Lewis Cine, S
Derion Kendrick, DB
Jake Camarda, P

The Patriots currently own one pick in the first (No. 21), second (No. 54) and third (No. 85) rounds, plus four more selections on Day 3. They’ve drafted seven Georgia players during the Belichick era, including their top two picks in the 2018 draft (Isaiah Wynn and Sony Michel) and a fourth-rounder in 2016 (Malcolm Mitchell).

The 2022 NFL Draft begins April 28.

Thumbnail photo via Dale Zanine/USA TODAY Sports Images
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