Pro Football Focus (PFF) recently released their new top-50 big board for the 2024 NFL draft with four Georgia Bulldogs included on the list.
Reigning Mackey Award winning tight end Brock Bowers comes in at No. 3. The All-American may be the best player in all of college football. PFF’s Trevor Sikkema thinks that Bowers is a unique NFL draft prospect.
Not long after Kyle Pitts dominated his way through the NFL draft process to become the No. 4 overall pick in 2021, Bowers might be the highest-drafted tight end in history,
If Bowers could have declared after his true freshman season, he would’ve been a first-round pick. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound tight end gives shades of George Kittle with his ability to impact the offense as a receiver and blocker. He posted 92.2 and 90.5 receiving grades as an underclassman in 2021 and 2022, respectively. His 24 explosive plays (passing plays of 15 yards or more) in 2022 were the most in the FBS for any tight end.
And when it comes to catches through traffic (a necessity for tight ends), he recorded a 76.5% contested catch percentage last season, which was top-10 for all FBS pass-catchers.
Expect him to be one of the highest-ranked players in the class, regardless of position.
Junior offensive tackle Amarius Mims is up next at No. 32. The former five-star recruit is expected to take over the starting right tackle spot.
Georgia’s left tackle last season, Broderick Jones, ascended from a promising young player with great size and movement skills to a first-round selection of the Pittsburgh Steelers at No. 14 overall. Mims possesses a lot of the same promise Jones had before the season last year.
Mims is a 6-foot-7, 330-pound former five-star offensive lineman who played 368 snaps at right tackle as a true sophomore in 2022. His youthfulness and inexperience show up with a lack of anticipation on some reps, but he understands the importance of leverage, can move very well as a puller and pass-blocker and has good power in his game.
His hand placement needs more consistency and can be overaggressive at times, as he likes to set the tone. But if he can get more patience in his game, there is a lot to get excited about.
Junior wide receiver Ladd McConkey is the next Bulldog named coming in at No. 36. McConkey’s production is too hard to ignore for PFF.
As I began my deep dive into McConkey’s film, I wondered if I’d just see a player who was a product of the system and a high volume of targets. But, to quote the well-known Shaq meme, “I owe you an apology. I wasn’t really familiar with your game.”
McConkey is the ideal smaller slot receiver. His quickness and acceleration are elite, as is his footwork out of his release at the line of scrimmage. This makes for an already polished and deadly route runner. But it’s not like he’s just quick, either. His long speed and ability to threaten vertically might not be top-tier, but it’s nothing to sleep on. Almost 50% of his yards in 2022 came after the catch, which only adds to how dangerous he is as a slot receiver when you give him space. On top of all that, he’s as willing a blocker as you’ll find for a player who is 5-foot-11 and 185 pounds.
Last up is junior center Sedrick Van Pran, who’s decision to return to Athens is monumental for the Bulldogs’ offensive front.
Van Pran has been the man in the middle of the Bulldogs’ offensive line for both of their national championship runs over the past two seasons. What pops out on his tape is that he has the strength to succeed in the NFL. Georgia has been up against some of the best and strongest competition in the trenches over the past two seasons (not to mention facing Jalen Carter and Jordan Davis at practice over the years), and Van Pran has been up to the challenge.
He’s allowed just one sack on 933 pass-blocking snaps over the past two years, with pressure rates of 2.6% and 2.1% in 2021 and 2022, respectively. The 6-foot-4, 310-pound interior offensive lineman might not be the most fleet of foot, but he knows his markers and where he needs to get to in order to impact the play as a puller or when executing zone-blocking concepts.
He’s solid and experienced, and he brings the power profile you want for an interior lineman.