Georgia has four more players taken in NFL Draft’s day two
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Georgia has four more players taken in NFL Draft’s day two

George Pickens
Photo: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

LAS VEGAS – The Bulldogs had four more team members taken during the second and third rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft Friday at the Linq Promenade, giving Georgia a total of nine so far over two days of selections.

Receiver George Pickens was taken by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 20th pick of the second round (52nd pick overall). James Cook was then taken by the Buffalo Bills with the 31st pick of the second round (63rd pick overall). The next Georgia player taken was linebacker Nakobe Dean, who was taken by the Philadelphia Eagles with the 19th pick of the third round (83rd overall). The final Bulldog taken on Friday was fellow linebacker Channing Tindall, who was selected by the Miami Dolphins with the 38th pick of the third round (102nd overall).

Georgia has already had seven defenders selected, marking an NFL record for one team through the first three rounds. Through three rounds and with four more to go, the Bulldogs have tied their school record for players taken in a draft (2021). Georgia’s nine players taken during the first three rounds also tops the former school record of six from 2021.

On Thursday, defensive lineman Travon Walker highlighted a school record five players taken in the opening round. Walker was selected first overall by the Jacksonville Jaguars while defensive lineman Jordan Davis (13th – Eagles), linebacker Quay Walker (22nd – Green Bay Packers), defensive lineman Devonte Wyatt (29th – Packers) and safety Lewis Cine (32nd – Minnesota Vikings) made the Bulldogs the first squad in history to have five defensive players taken in the first round.

Pickens’ selection marked the 18th pick of a Bulldog by the Steelers since 1948. He is the first Georgia receiver taken by Pittsburgh since Fred Gibson in 2005.

Pickens bounced back from an ACL injury in March 2021 to play in the Bulldogs’ final four games during the team’s run to this past season’s national championship. Highlighted by 727 yards and eight touchdowns in 2019, Pickens finished his career with 1,347 yards and 14 scores, carrying an average of 15.0 yards/catch.

Cook is just the eighth Bulldog taken by the Buffalo Bills since they took running back Randy Wheeler off the board in 1967. Wheeler is the last Bulldog running back taken by Buffalo and the first Georgia player selected by the Bills since quarterback Jake Fromm in 2020.

Cook was Georgia’s second-leading rusher in 2021 with 728 yards (6.4 yards/carry) with seven touchdowns and added 27 catches for 284 yards and four scores. He wrapped up his four-year career with 1,503 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns to go with 67 receptions for 730 yards and six scores through the air.

Dean, who will join teammate Jordan Davis in Philadelphia, is the 23rd overall player chosen by the Eagles. He is the first Bulldog linebacker chosen by the Eagles since Whit Marshall in 1996.

Dean was a unanimous All-American and the Butkus Award winner last season. He totaled the team’s second-most tackles in 2021 with 72 stops, including 10.5 tackles for loss and six sacks, to go along with two interceptions, including a pick-six versus Florida. Dean finished with 168 stops in just three years while starting the last 25 consecutive games.

Tindall shared the middle of the defense with Dean and finished fourth on the team with 67 tackles, including 7.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks despite not starting a game. For his career, Tindall had 108 stops with 16 tackles for loss and a dozen sacks and a forced fumble.

Tindall is the 10th Bulldog selected by the Dolphins and he is the first since offensive lineman Solomon Kindley was taken in 2020. Tindall is the first Georgia defender selected by Miami since All-Pro safety Reshad Jones in 2010.

The NFL Draft continues Saturday with rounds 4-7 starting at 12 p.m.

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