Georgia Tech’s NFL draft candidates will learn their fates Saturday. The second and third rounds of the draft concluded Friday night with no Yellow Jackets players selected.
It did not rate as a great surprise. The two players likely to be selected earliest, guard Shaquille Mason and wide receiver Darren Waller, are seen as mid-to-late round prospects.
Other candidates include wide receiver DeAndre Smelter, safety Isaiah Johnson, linebacker Quayshawn Nealy and running backs Synjyn Days and Zach Laskey.
There have been 13 wide receivers selected thus far out of 99 total picks, shallowing the pool of candidates and bringing Waller and Smelter closer to the top of the group of best available prospects. By the grades of NFL.com, there are two receivers with a 5.5 score who have not been drafted and four players (including Waller) at 5.4. (A player in the 5.2-5.49 range is judged to have the potential to be an NFL backup or special teams player.)
Waller is projected as a third- or fourth-rounder by NFL.com. Mason is pegged as a fourth- or fifth-round pick. Other projections: Smelter – sixth or seventh round; Nealy – seventh round or priority free agent; Johnson – priority free agent. Days and Laskey did not receive draft grades from the website.
There have been three centers (the position where Mason likely will end up) selected through the first three rounds. Just one undrafted center is ahead of Mason, who was given a 5.3 score.
The final four rounds will take place Saturday beginning at noon ET. Players who are not selected can be signed to rookie free agent contracts immediately following the draft.
Twenty players from the ACC have been selected thus far, third most behind the Pac-12 (25) and the SEC (22). The ACC’s nine first-round picks tied with the Pac-12 for the most.