Georgia settles for tie of draft record

semerson@macon.comApril 27, 2013 

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Georgia’s Kwame Geathers (99) and Abry Jones (93) failed to be selected in the NFL draft, although Jones landed a free-agent deal with Jacksonville right after the draft ended.

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ATHENS -- Georgia didn’t break its NFL draft record after all, thanks to one of its underclassmen getting a surprising jilt.

Four Bulldogs were drafted on Saturday’s final day of the draft, bringing the total to eight. But none of them were Kwame Geathers, the nose tackle who left school after his junior season. He wound up signing a free agent deal with San Diego.

Former Northside standout Abry Jones wasn’t drafted either. He tweeted Saturday night that he had signed a free agent contract with Jacksonville.

Also signing free agent deals: Marlon Brown with Houston and Branden Smith with Tampa Bay.

There were 18 defensive tackles taken in the draft. That included players from schools such as Samford, Bowling Green, Tennessee-Martin, Missouri Southern State and New Hampshire. Geathers was expected to be a mid-round pick when he declared, and it wasn’t clear why he fell completely out of the draft.

Still, the draft tied for the most players the Bulldogs have ever had drafted, equaling the total from 2002.

Two players -- cornerback Sanders Commings (Kansas City) and receiver Tavarres King (Denver) -- went in the fifth round.

It was a longer wait, and surprisingly so, for several others. Defensive end Cornelius Washington (Chicago) lasted until the sixth round, despite being projected as a second-rounder in some mock drafts, including by ESPN’s Mel Kiper.

“Me and my agent both still are shocked. I have no idea what was going on,” Washington said, according to The Washington Post. “But, you know, I’ve got an opportunity and that’s the most important thing. You turn something that’s mildly negative into a positive, and it’s still a blessing.”

Safety Bacarri Rambo, a first-team All-American as a junior in 2011, also lasted awhile. He was finally picked by the Washington Redskins with the 191st overall pick.

“I thought everybody had forgot about me, man,” Rambo said, according to The Washington Post. “I was sitting here, praying, asking God to give me one team that liked me, and the Redskins called. It’s just a blessed moment, and I just thank the organization for believing in me.”

The Chiefs selected Commings with the first pick of the fifth round, 134th overall. Commings was the fifth Georgia player to be picked and the first on Saturday. He was also the second member of the secondary to be picked, following safety Shawn Williams, by Cincinnati in the third round Friday.

Commings was the 17th cornerback selected in the draft, although he can also play safety. He was a three-year starter for Georgia and was the No. 1 cornerback this past season.

The Augusta native will re-join former Georgia teammate Justin Houston, whom the Chiefs selected in the third round of the 2011 draft. Those are the only two Georgia players the Chiefs organization have ever selected in the draft.

King was the only Georgia offensive player to be picked. He was the Bulldogs’ leading receiver the past two seasons and now has a chance to catch passes from Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.

Washington was a workout wonder, impressing scouts with his performance at the NFL scouting combine and other scouting opportunities. That caused him to leap up mock drafts, with NFL.com projecting him early in the second round as recently as a few days before the draft.

Rambo, a native of Donalsonville, shares Georgia’s school record for career interceptions with 16.

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