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Mailbag 4/29

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We talk childhood science activities and the NFL Draft!

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NCAA Football: Georgia at Georgia Tech Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Can you name your favorite childhood science activities you did at school and/or home?

Jake: Do paper airplanes count? Always got a kick out of those.

Chris: I had a ton of crystal growing kits growing up.

Akshay: I hope those were for the legal kind of crystals, Chris.

Jeff: Is seeing what fruit splatters best from a 12 gauge a science activity?

Jake P: Last year for my chemistry project my partner and I made an at home distillation device. It was for turning saltwater into freshwater, although I did get some ideas.

Levi: My parents let my friends and I have free-reign of the neighborhood, including the out-building. We typically played with fire and/or flammable objects. But I think the spirit of your question is for good child activities during lockdown? Playdoh, legos, puzzles, anything that sparks that side of the mind.

What do you think of Tyler Davis getting picked in the sixth round of the draft? Too low or about right? What’s the tight end situation in Jacksonville and how will he do?

Ben: It definitely caught me by surprise, but I’m super happy for the guy! I thought he would get picked up as a UDFA. As for the tight end situation down in Jacksonville, the Jaguars signed Tyler Eifert to a two-year deal like a month ago, but past that, I don’t have a clue what the situation looks like.

Carter: DUUUUUUUVAAAAAAAAAAAL

Chris: We heard for a while that TD was an NFL-level talent, so it’s nice to see that come to fruition. Overall it’s good for the program. As far as the TE situation in Jacksonville, I’ll echo Carter with a hearty DUUUUUUUVAAAAAALLLLLLLLL.

Jeff: I read earlier that behind Eifert was another TE who got some playing time and performed pretty well. So it seems Davis will compete for the third slot with an UDFA from last year and one from this year.

Jake P.: I’m really happy for him, he didn’t have the best season at Tech but his experience at UCONN and his leadership abilities looked good with NFL teams. I was expecting him to be picked up as an UDFA, but being drafted is nice.

Levi: I don’t have the inside track on draft advisory board stuff but I’m really excited for him and the program. Collins can point to his success with transfers, build on that, even the special teams hullabaloo worked for Nate Cottrell.

Did you expect any other Tech players to be drafted, and who got the shaft?

Ben: I mostly thought guys would get looked at as UDFAs or get camp invites. Tech’s draft class was small and not the most talented bunch. Joining Davis were Nathan Cottrell (who was a special teams ace for Tech this year), Christian Campbell (didn’t start for the majority of the season), and Jared Southers (who was not really good).

Chris: Same as Ben, I more expected UDFAs than drafted players.

Jeff: No, only four even participated in pro day and nothing stood out.

Levi: The two tops guys went, that is pretty good. Some power 5’s (Duke, Miami, Ok State, and Ole Miss) had ZERO.

Which Tech players get drafted next year?

Ben: I think next year could see a couple guys get drafted. Two that come to mind immediately are Devin Cochran and Tariq Carpenter. Cochran has already proven a lot during his time at Vandy and should get a look. Carpenter, on the other hand, is a physical freak who will work out really well and probably get drafted on just his physical capabilities and potential.

Akshay: LARGE. PUNTING. SON. But on a more serious note, I’ll echo Ben’s thoughts — Tariq has the raw attributes to ace those pre-draft workouts, but another year of solid performances could really boost his stock. Cochran, while he hasn’t played a down for Tech yet, comes highly touted from Vandy (granted, Vanderbilt is Vanderbilt — but still) and if he and Tennessee transfer Ryan Johnson can stabilize what was...not a great offensive line in 2019, then they both deserve looks at the next level.

Jeff: I’ll throw two names not already mentioned in Antonious Clayton and Tre Swilling. Clayton could get some recognition if he produces sacks in a defense that struggles with it. Swilling can come out early after next year and he did pretty well against receivers from Clemson. Even for the lopsided score he kept Trevor Lawrence’s numbers in check.

Levi: Depending on off-season program and our on-field success, our offensive line has talent. Don’t forget Jack DeFoor, Kenny Cooper, and already mentioned Ryan Johnson. Those are late to mid round guys with a solid year.

How did your NFL team do?

Ben: I typically claim the Falcons, and I’m pretty happy with their draft. I wasn’t a huge fan of the Terrell pick-up, but it sounds like they got their guy and he was about to get picked up by some other teams. The picks I really like are the next two: Marlon Davidson and Matt Hennessy. Davidson will be a great DE/DT if he keeps his weight in check, and Hennessy looks like a solid center for the future.

Jake: Watching Kmet get drafted to the Bears was pretty sweet. Other than that, I don’t really watch a lot of NFL so the draft is more of a curiosity to me.

Akshay: The Falcons’ draft was...fine. Not incredible, not terrible — just fine. As always with them, the proof’s in the pudding.

Jake P.: I’m a Panthers fan, so I was pretty happy with most of the picks. I was hoping for a TE or an offensive lineman to be picked though, so I guess the UDFAs will have to work out.

Levi: The draft is always a crapshoot, I’ve panned every draft class for the Falcons and some of them have turned out pretty good (2016, 2018), some downright awful (2015, 2017).

If football gets played with no fans in the stands in the fall (unlikely imho, but bear with me), what’s your take on noise? Let the home team play anything on their speakers, however loud they want? Or make all teams have a standard noise level? Or silent so the mikes can catch everything the players and coaches say?

Ben: I kinda would like to see the band play remotely and they pump in the music, but I would also love to see football in complete silence with the commentators pretending it’s a golf match, like those baseball games a few years ago.

Jake: If the band can pull off a remote Midnight Bud, then this would be a piece of cake. 425 kids tuned in last night and they nailed it. I’d hate to see that crucial aspect of college football get tossed for piped in sound/music.

Chris: This is a good question that I honestly haven't thought about. I feel like they’ll just keep going with the standard noise rules and allow stadiums to play music between plays? There’s no option here that isn’t super awkward.

Akshay: Lordy, for the sake of coaches’ job security and what we think of them, I really hope broadcasting companies don’t show these games with only the on-field audio. To more seriously answer the question though, I watched a couple of sporting events without fans early on during this (gestures wildly at everything) and even with broadcasters commentating over live action, it all still feels very weird to watch and experience. I’m not sure I really want to see more of that.

Jeff: First off I think it would be hilarious to only have on-field audio. Secondly, someone needs to hire Steve Spurrier and Paul Johnson immediately if that happens.

Jake P.: Most of the writers on staff are Falcons fans, so I’ll defer to their opinions on the matter.

Levi: Wow, roasted by Jake, anyway. Piped in noise would be hilariously bad, I like the idea of bands or even letting teams play music at a decent level on defense like you would do at practice. Definitely do not get on-field audio mics, you’ll catch some hot mic stuff too risque’ for HBO at midnight.

What are your thoughts on the Minor League Baseball contraction?

Jake: Hate it. Seems unnecessary. Just like college football is part of a holistic athletic program, major league baseball is part of a holistic baseball system. I don’t see this revision as being something that benefits the system as a whole, and the whole changing classifications thing bugs me almost as much as ditching teams. I dunno, it seems not-well-thought-through, like a money grab, and yet another instance of Rob Manfred and company taking the easy way out rather than work to a better solution (see: “speeding up game” rules and the whole “just play the season in Arizona” thing). I have more thoughts, but for brevity’s sake, I’ll leave it there.

Levi: I’ve always thought there are too many teams. Most guys don’t have a shot at all and it really shows in Single A ball. They are there to get the superstars ready and that’s all. You could easily just have Triple AAA & winter league. It’s always bothered me that I like the Rome Braves but that’s “low-A”. There’s also high-A in North Point, Florida and rookie league Danville. C’mon guys. That’s too many.