Georgia football is the talk of the football world, both in college and the NFL. The No. 1 ranked and reigning national champions have looked just as dominant in 2022 and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. The offense is averaging 43 points per game, while the defense has only given up just 10 all year.
Because of Georgia’s success, NFL teams have been lining up to draft former Bulldogs onto their rosters. As of now, there are 50 former Georgia players in the NFL. Fifteen of those players got taken in last year’s draft alone, which set a draft record.
Many former Dawgs in the NFL had big contributions to their teams this past weekend. Wide receiver AJ Green of the Arizona Cardinals caught a two-point conversion at the end of the fourth quarter against the Las Vegas Raiders to force the game into overtime, which led to a Cardinals victory. Running back D’Andre Swift had 87 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown to help the Detroit Lions win their first game of the 2022 season.
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford tossed three touchdown passes that helped the defending Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams defeat the Atlanta Falcons for their first win of the year. Although the Rams lost their week one matchup against the Buffalo Bills, Stafford surpassed 50,000 career passing yards, adding another milestone to his NFL career.
These three former Georgia football players showed out in week two of the NFL season.
Before Week 3 begins on Thursday, let’s look back at former Georgia players who dominated in Week 2.
Georgia football fans were blessed to see Nick Chubb run through opposing defenses for four legendary seasons in Athens. When the only person ahead of you in stats like all-time career rushing yards and touchdowns is Herschel Walker, you know you’re among the all-time greats.
Chubb was the 2014 SEC Freshman of the Year after rushing for over 1,500 yards and capping his year with 266 rushing yards against Louisville in the Belk Bowl. After suffering a knee injury in 2015, Chubb returned to his old self in 2016 and 2017. He and Sony Michel were the co-MVPs of the 2017 season that saw the Dawgs win the SEC Championship and Rose Bowl.
Since being taken in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns, Chubb has established himself as one of the best running backs in the league. He has had 5,044 rushing yards and 39 touchdowns in five years, made three Pro Bowls and played a role in helping the Browns win their first playoff game since 1994 back in 2020.
Chubb had a big day for Cleveland on Sunday when they faced the New York Jets. He carried the ball 17 times for 87 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. Chubb also served as a weapon in the passing game for Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett, adding three catches for 26 yards.
His third touchdown of the day has come under fire from media members. With less than two minutes left in the game, Chubb ran for a 12-yard touchdown to put the Browns up 30-17. After kicker Cade York missed the extra point, the Jets went on to score two touchdowns in the remaining time to win the game 31-30.
Many have criticized Chubb’s touchdown because had he not scored, the Browns could have run out the clock to win the game, as the Jets did not have any timeouts remaining. Regardless of your opinion on the matter, it doesn’t take away from the excellent game Chubb had.
Despite a contract dispute and trade request in the offseason, Roquan Smith appears to be in good standing once again with the Chicago Bears. He requested a trade back in August after the Bears offered him a contract that he said would lower the value of future linebacker contracts in the NFL. Nevertheless, he returned to team practices a couple of weeks later, appearing to have settled his issues with management.
Since being taken eighth overall in 2018, Smith has been the face of the Chicago defense. He has led the team in tackles for the past four seasons. His 163 total tackles last season were a career-high. Another former Bulldog, Alec Ogletree, finished second in tackles for Chicago in 2021.
The Montezuma, GA native spent three seasons at Georgia from 2015-2017. He had a monster junior season in which he recorded 137 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and 14.5 tackles for loss. Smith was rewarded for his performance by being named SEC Defensive Player of the Year and becoming the first Bulldog to ever win the Butkus Award, which is given to the nation’s best linebacker.
On Sunday night against the Green Bay Packers, Smith proved his value to the Bears when he led the team with 11 tackles. Chicago’s defense was solid against the Packers, as they sacked the quarterback and reigning NFL MVP, Aaron Rodgers, three times and recorded eight tackles for loss. Unfortunately, the Bears’ offense just could not get the ball to the endzone, and the Packers would win the game 27-10.
Roquan looks to be playing at an All-Pro level again this season, but it will be interesting to see if he decides to return to Chicago next season. He has stated that he loves the team and the city, but if they are not willing to meet his contract demands, you will likely see him suiting up for another team in 2023.
Quay Walker was one of five Georgia defensive players to be taken in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft. He and teammate Devonte Wyatt were both taken by the Green Bay Packers, who were looking to bolster their defense.
Walker was overlooked at times during the 2021 season while playing with guys like Wyatt, Jordan Davis, Nakobe Dean, and Travon Walker, but he proved to be one of the more athletic defenders on the team. He finished the season with 65 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and 5.5 tackles for loss.
The Packers surprised many when he was taken with the 22nd overall pick. Some predicted Green Bay to take Walker’s teammate George Pickens with one of their first-round picks since their leading receiver Davante Adams was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders. However, they decided to go with the Cordele, GA native and his Bulldog teammate Devonte Wyatt a few picks later.
Packers head coach Matt LaFleur praised Walker in his season debut last week against the Minnesota Vikings. LaFleur said he liked how physical he played and how he responded to rookie mistakes.
On Sunday, Walker flashed his potential against the Bears as he finished with five tackles and defended a pass. He had an impressive play in the red zone against the Bears when he ran down Chicago quarterback Justin Fields.
Walker is still very young and has made some rookie mistakes so far in his career, but he has the potential to develop into a solid NFL linebacker. His talent catapulted him to be a first-round pick, showing early on that he has been worthy of that pick so far.
What other former Georgia football players did we miss? Let us know in the comments who your favorite former Dawg in the NFL is.