BULLDOG LOVE: Jones, Richt get high marks from national media

With the 2013 NFL Draft only 50 weeks away, it’s never too early to take a look at the top NFL prospects for next season.

It was a great draft weekend for the Georgia Bulldogs, having seven players successfully making the jump. Next year should have just as many Bulldogs getting their names called, but there is one player that could be as high as the No. 2 overall pick in the draft.

According to ESPN Draft expert Mel Kiper Jr., Jarvis Jones is the No. 2 player on his 2013 Big Board, behind only USC quarterback Matt Barkley.

“Explosive, relentless edge rusher, profiles well as a 3-4 OLB,” Kiper said in his analysis of Jones on ESPN.com. “Great first step, violent hands, extremely good burst off the snap, tackles well, closes fast. Could improve against run, but coaches there also tell me people don’t realize how well he can cover.”

Jones, who went to Carver Columbus High School, actually started his college career at USC and was part of the draft class with Barkley. Jones played sparingly during his freshman year before spraining his neck. After his freshman season, Jones decided to transfer to Georgia and was forced to sit out the entire 2010 season. He was eligible to play in 2011 and helped the Bulldogs’ defense become one of the best in the country. Jones tallied 70 tackles, 13.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. He was a consensus All-American and winner of the CFPA Elite Linebacker Trophy.

But Jones isn’t the only Bulldog that Kiper is paying close attention to.

In his list of top senior players, he has Bacarri Rambo second among senior safeties and John Jenkins is ranked second among senior defensive tackles.

As for the juniors, Aaron Murray is ranked fifth among junior quarterbacks, Kwame Geathers is fifth among junior defensive tackles and Alec Ogletree is behind Jones for top junior linebackers. Rambo and Jones were All-SEC First Team selections while Murray was named to the Second Team.

While Kiper was giving some love to the Georgia players, Sporting News was showing love for the head man in charge. Head coach Mark Richt came in at No. 14 out of 124 FBS coaches in a list done by college football writers Steve Greenberg and Matt Hayes.

The two writers also ranked the coaches by conference and had Richt No. 4 behind Nick Saban, Les Miles and Steve Spurrier. Richt, who is now 52, has a record of 106 wins and 38 losses. He has won two SEC titles, five SEC East crowns and has been awarded SEC Coach of the Year twice.

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