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Opinion Week: Which Tech players could be drafted?

Continued from last week!

NFL: AFC Championship Game-New England Patriots at Kansas City Chiefs Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

If you’ll remember to this time last week, I wrote about the lack of draft success Georgia Tech has had these last several years. To summarize, Tech has not done well in terms of getting players into the NFL lately, but now that Geoff Collins is the head coach, I think that should improve in these next few years.

This week, I’ll be taking a look at the most draftable prospects on this year’s team. With a scheme change on offense and defense, as well as proper player development, there’s a good chance that some players could take that jump. Please note that for the purposes of this article, I’m ranking them in terms of how likely I think they are to be drafted in the 2020 NFL Draft.

Honorable Mentions: OL Kenny Cooper and Jared Southers

I’m starting with a couple of honorable mentions along the offensive line. Whether or not these two get drafted depends almost entirely on how offensive line coach Brent Key is able to develop them. Southers doesn’t have any starting experience, and Cooper has only started in Paul Johnson’s offense and while I like the guy, he’s not quite Shaq Mason.

Brent Key is a [Foghat} good offensive line coach, so I think he’s more than capable of turning our offensive linemen into something serviceable. I picked these two in particular because they are the likeliest to get drafted, though that would involve Cooper leaving early, which is pretty unlikely in my opinion.

5. QB Lucas Johnson

As of right now, Lucas Johnson is slated to be the first starting quarterback of the Geoff Collins-era, and he will have no shortage of weapons to work with. I would have ranked Johnson higher on this list, but he’s very much an unknown commodity right now. We can go back and watch his high school film where he picks apart defenses with ease, but we have yet to see that translate to the college level, mostly due to injury and playing second fiddle to TaQuon Marshall.

I have high hopes for Johnson, though. He was very much a victim of the idea that the back-up quarterback is the most popular player on the team. Despite all of that, I’m a big believer in Johnson. From what I have seen of him, Johnson has the arm to get the ball where it needs to go or take it and run whenever he needs to.

4. CB Tre’ Swilling

Tre’ Swilling has just about everything going for him. He’s at the top of the depth chart and now has some great coaches between Geoff Collins and Jeff Popovich putting him into a system that won’t keep him 10 yards off the line. He’s got the NFL pedigree, thanks to his father, Georgia Tech alumnus Pat Swilling.

I think the likelihood of Swilling going pro after this year is incredibly slim. In fact, short of having an All-American season, I don’t think it happens. I also don’t think that kind of season is out of the question.

3. DE Antonneus Clayton

Adding Antonneous Clayton to Georgia Tech’s defensive line is a much-needed addition. Tech lost all four starting defensive linemen from last season, and nobody has the pure talent that Clayton has as a former 5-star recruit. He never was able to live up to that hype during his three seasons at Florida, but with a fresh start, he might be able to thrive on the Flats.

Clayton also has two years of eligibility left, so he’s another one that may not even go pro this season. He’ll also be working with a fairly unexperienced position coach in Marco Coleman, who only has three years of experience, and none as a lead coach at this level (he was an assistant position coach in the NFL).

2. WR Jalen Camp

Do y’all remember when I mentioned that Lucas Johnson would have no shortage of weapons? Well at the top of that are these next two players. Starting with Jalen Camp, he’s currently set up to be the No. 1 receiver, and he did a decent job in Paul Johnson’s offense. He is able to go up and get the ball and also serve as a solid blocker.

He’s another one who benefits from his new position coach, Kerry Dixon. Dixon previously served as the receivers coach at Florida and Toledo and did a pretty great job at both stops, including helping former Toledo receiver Diontae Johnson become a third-round draft pick.

1. TE Tyler Davis

Speaking of weapons, UConn transfer tight end Tyler Davis has a chance to be special for Georgia Tech this season. I think I’ve made it pretty clear that I love the tight end position. I think Tech also lucked out in getting a really good grad transfer in Davis. He brings just about everything you want in a tight end. He’s versatile to line up wherever you want, whether that be on the line, in the slot, or in the backfield. He’s athletic and can go up to get passes or throw in some decent blocks on running plays.

Out of all the players on Tech’s roster currently, Davis may not be the most talented, but I think he’s both close to the top and is at a position that is becoming far more prominent in the NFL. With guys like Rob Gronkowski out there, more and more NFL teams are looking for an athletic freak that can give their team a unique advantage. While Davis may not have that freaky size, I think he’s got the skill set to be successful at the next level.

Is there anyone on the roster currently that you think could be drafted in 2020?