ATHENS - Seven Georgia players were drafted this year, one short of Alabama, which had the most of any school. But those seven aren't the only Bulldogs who will be in NFL training camps.
Punter Drew Butler hooked up with Pittsburgh shortly after the draft, and tight end-fullback Bruce Figgins got signed by Baltimore.
This site does a great job of culling together the list of undrafted free agent signings. Here is the list of Georgia players who were drafted or signed free agent deals, along with a comment on their outlook for the pros:
OT Cordy Glenn (second round, Buffalo)
The indications are that Glenn will be given a chance to earn the left tackle spot. So despite not going in the first round, it looks like Glenn has a chance to get off to a good start to his pro career.
C Ben Jones (fourth round, Houston)
Stands a good chance to start right away for the Texans, who don't have a clear returning starter. Jones could have a long career in the pros.
TE Orson Charles (fourth round, Cincinnati)
Charles slipped in the draft and will now have to play behind an All-Pro tight end, Jermaine Gresham. But you have to imagine the Bengals didn't pick Charles to sit him, so they will find ways to get Charles involved in the offense.
CB-KR Brandon Boykin (fourth round, Philadelphia)
The Eagles are loaded at cornerback, but Boykin could still play as a nickel or dime back, and will also get a shot at returning punts and kicks. Boykin's special-teams skills, and good character, should set him up to be a very useful player for many years, as long as he can stay healthy.
K Blair Walsh (sixth round, Minnesota)
Teams tend to draft kickers to use them, and the Vikings play in a dome, so Walsh seems to have ended up in a great spot. The Vikings do have veteran Ryan Longwell, so either Longwell will be released or Walsh will have a training camp fight on his hands. (Or feet, such as it is.)
OT Justin Anderson (seventh round, Indianapolis)
Anderson has good size, so he stands a chance to make the Colts as a backup or to stick on their practice squad.
DE DeAngelo Tyson (seventh round, Baltimore)
The Ravens are a 3-4 team, so they must have liked what they saw of Tyson at the end spot last year at Georgia. Like Anderson, Tyson will just be happy in his first year if he can stick on the roster as a backup, and then hope he can stick around and catch a break. Or Tyson could make some hay on special teams, like former Georgia end Demarcus Dobbs (an undrafted free agent last year) did for the San Francisco 49ers.
P Drew Butler (free agent, Pittsburgh)
It had to be disappointing to Butler not to get drafted, but he was quickly swooped up after the draft by the Steelers. (Curiously, the Steelers had four picks in the seventh-round, but chose not to pick Butler with any of those.) Butler is expected to compete in training camp with Jeremy Kapinos, a second-year player who finished last season as Pittsburgh's punter.
FB Bruce Figgins (free agent, Baltimore)
Figgins will have an uphill climb to make a roster spot, especially if the Ravens place him at tight end. But if he can show enough at fullback he stands a decent chance to latch on somewhere, even if it's just the practice squad.
Also of note:
- Former Georgia linebacker Marcus Dowtin signed with the New YOrk Jets. Dowtin played his final year at North Alabama, after transferring from Georgia (with a silent push.)
- Tight end Aron White remained unsigned as of Sunday afternoon. White may or may not have a future in the NFL, but he likely will be just fine anyway, given his academic accomplishments.
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