We decided to go to our resident NFL Draft experts, Mocking the Draft, to learn more about the Jackets' draft potential.
1. Jonathan Dwyer and Derrick Morgan were no surprises when they announced they were going pro. However, for some Tech fans, Demaryious Thomas and Morgan Burnett foregoing their senior seasons came as a surprise. Were any of these decisions surprising to you at all?
The Thomas decision was no surprise. To be a premier wide receiver in an option offense has to be a mighty difficult thing. Thomas is unbelievably ready for the NFL – he's big, strong, has great hands. Burnett, I was a little back and forth on whether he should go pro. There was never really a time this year where he blew me away. I figured if he came back and Tech installed the 3-4 that he'd be able to play a more traditional safety role and help himself there.
2. Can you briefly discuss the NFL potential for our juniors?
Immense potential. There was no team I was more interested to see what their juniors would do. Are there better underclassmen that entered? Yes. But are there as many quality players from one team? No. All four are starters in the NFL. Morgan and Thomas should start immediately. Dwyer, at worst, could split carries. Burnett has the talent to start, but may have to learn a bit at first.
None of the seniors really do much for me. Cord Howard is pretty solid and should be drafted. Athletic guards who can move are a good scheme fit in the NFL. Sellers is just ordinary. Griffin is really undersized, so it's hard to see him being more than a special teams player. No offense (and please don't send the fans after me), but Rennie Curran
he is not.
4. Rank the Yellow Jackets in order from first picked to undrafted free agent.
1) Derrick Morgan (1st round), 2) Jonathan Dwyer (mid-first to early second round), 3) Demaryius Thomas
(late first, early second), 4) Morgan Burnett (second round), Cord Howard (fifth or sixth round), Brad Sellers (UDFA), Sedric Griffin (UDFA).
5. Finally, what NFL teams seem to be in need of our players and who should we pay attention to as we wait for the Draft?
It's a little hard to say what exact teams may take those guys. Thus far, the information I have, is scouts visiting the team as a whole and not individual players. That stuff will come out more as the Combine comes ups and Tech holds its pro day.
As for where they should go, I'd say any 4-3 team would want Morgan. He's an outstanding pass rusher. If he gets taken in the top 10 picks I wouldn't be surprised. Buffalo could use another pass rusher if Aaron Schobel retires. Jacksonville has failed so many times at taking defensive ends that he could be a possibility there.
In October I projected Burnett to go to the Jaguars, so I'll stick with that.
Dwyer, I think, could go as early as San Francisco's second first round pick. I could also see teams like Houston and New England giving him a look.
Thomas is in a unique situation. So many teams need big receivers. The Jets and Ravens at the back-end of the first could take receivers. The Buccaneers, Rams and really any of the top five teams at the top of the second round could take receivers. Even with all the other junior wide out that came out, it was a wise move for Thomas to enter.
Thanks to Dan for working on this. For more draft information, be sure to check out