Georgia Bulldogs NFL Draft First Round Legends


The drama that is the NFL Draft First Round is almost here. Dawn of the Dawg invites you to gather round and listen to the tales of some past Georgia Bulldogs drafted in round one.

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The Georgia record book boasts 30 first round draft picks. And while it took the first eight tries to have a Georgia player picked in the NFL draft first round, the Dawgs made up for lost time with Frank Sinkwich drafted overall number one in 1943 by the Lions and Charlie Trippi drafted overall number one in 1945 by the Cardinals.

The first Bulldog “1/1/1’ soon became the stuff of legends, as Sinkwich – who accepted his Heisman trophy in a US Marine uniform – passed on the NFL and battled the armed services over his flat feet to serve America in World War II. The decision no doubt cost him a brilliant NFL career as Sinkwich returned to the States after the war with his athleticism sapped.

Harry Babcock was drafted number one in 1953 to the 49ers, and the Lions made Mathew Stafford their second Bulldog number one pick from Georgia in 2009 by snagging the strong armed Dawg.

Johnny Rauch just missed the overall number one honor in in1949, drafted overall number two by the Lions. Rauch was recruited, the story goes, off a campus flag football game by Georgia Head Coach Wally Butts. Though the Rauch story does not rise to the dramatic levels of the Sinkwich Saga, the story is perhaps more compelling.

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Rauch led Georgia to four bowl games and played three years in the NFL. As a coach, he faced Vince Lombardi in the 1968 Super Bowl. Bringing Wally Butts intricate short and down field attack passing game to the Oakland Raiders as coach, he passed this early version of the West Coast offense to two young assistants: John Madden and Bill Walsh.

Like many, Rauch never saw eye to eye with Oakland owner Al Davis and left for Buffalo after the 1968 season. There, he frustrated Bills ownership as head coach by refusing to build his team around a former college running back sensation – O. J. Simpson.

Seven times, two Bulldogs have been drafted in the first round. And with the 2015 first round pair of David Pollack (Bengals) and Thomas Davis (Panthers), more legends are born. Fittingly, this most unlikely pair came to the Georgia campus at the turn of the Millennium.

Davis, again the story goes, was recruited out of a high school basketball game by then defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder who, after being recently hired, was scouring the state in search of talent to fill out his defensive roster.David Pollack, a misfit on offense as a fullback and just generally a misfit, had defensive assistant coach Jon Fabris whisper in his ear and, with his prospects of ever playing fullback slight, decided to give defense a shot.

The rest is history.

Next: Ranking the Best UGA Football/Basketball Coaching Duos