NFL teams don’t usually have any specific preference to a college when it comes to the Draft. Sure, the college might have an influence on whether one player is chosen over another. For example, when comparing an SEC linebacker over an ACC linebacker, it’s a bit more likely that the team will take the SEC player. That doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the individuals being considered, it just means that the SEC player has faced a rougher schedule in his college career.
It’s not that the Cincinnati Bengals necessarily have a preference to a college. It might just be several coincidences in the last few years. It might just be that the coaching staff likes to bring in players that have played together at some point, under the same college scheme. Whatever the reason, Cincinnati seems to really, really like the university of Georgia.
Now, I’m a student at the University of Florida, but I have absolutely no problem with all the selections that the Bengals have spent on former Bulldogs in the drafts of recent years.
Especially when the talent we have taken from that school has impressed so much at the NFL level.
Let’s look at the last few years, and at many of the role players we have taken from the University of Georgia.
First off, A.J. Green. One of the top receivers in the game, and he is only entering his third year. The WR is a star in the making, and indeed, has already made huge leaps in the NFL.
Another familiar name: Geno Atkins. Going into his fourth year, Atkins has become the premier interior lineman in the entire league, gathering 12.5 sacks just last year. On top of that, he plays a huge role in opening up lanes for Michael Johnson and Carlos Dunlap to get to the quarterback.
Clint Boling has seen quite a bit of action the last few years at Guard for the Bengals, and has taken care of business in a position that doesn’t get a ton of hype. When Wharton went down, he stepped in.
Robert Geathers has been in the NFL for 10 years, but I feel like it’s necessary to mention his name. The defensive end has stepped in time and time again during games, and his veteran presence has helped the Bengals just as much as his abilities.
Orson Charles has become a bit of an experiment for Cincinnati in the last year and the offseason. Whatever position he is placed in, or whether he is switched around, he certainly makes a great utility man for the Bengals.
Now hopefully Shawn Williams can live up the same expectations set by his predecessors. If so, he’ll be a heck of a cornerback.