O-Line U? Georgia has Become an NFL Offensive Linemen Factory

Jan 9, 2023; Inglewood, CA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs offensive lineman Sedrick Van Pran (63)
Jan 9, 2023; Inglewood, CA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs offensive lineman Sedrick Van Pran (63) / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The line of scrimmage has become elite at Georgia under Kirby Smart and that's been reflected at the NFL Draft. The Bulldogs have become one of the top producers of NFL linemen.

Georgia has always produced NFL talent. The high school talent from the state is near the best - if not the best - in the country and the Bulldogs have benefited greatly from it. And while we're used to hearing Georgia players selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, there's one position that's taken the biggest jump under Kirby Smart: offensive line.

From 2013 to 2017, through five NFL Drafts the Bulldogs had just one offensive lineman drafted period, tackle John Theus in the 5th round of the 2016 draft. Over the most recent six, 11 Georgia offensive linemen have been selected, including four in the first round.

Georgia will likely add two more names to that list this weekend. Tackle Amarius Mims is almost certainly a lock to be picked up in the first round and center Sedrick Van Pran-Grainger will likely be drafted high as well.

While Smart is the captain of the ship, a lot of the credit for the turnaround has to be given to Georgia's offensive line coaches. Sam Pittman, now Arkansas' head coach was Smart's first o-line coach at Georgia and turned the unit into what it's become, recruiting and developing players like Andrew Thomas. Matt Luke, now at Clemson, replaced Pittman and helped develop more athletic guys like Broderick Jones. Stacy Searles took over in 2022 and has kept the train rolling.

Winning in football comes down to a lot of factors, but the correlation between Georgia's stockpiling of elite offensive linemen and winning two national championships can't be overstated. The game is won at the line of scrimmage and the Bulldogs don't lose there very often anymore.

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Christian Goeckel

CHRISTIAN GOECKEL

Christian Goeckel is a Staff Writer for Dawgs Daily on SI.com. Christian has covered College Football for nearly a decade, writing for multiple sites and hosting radio shows across Southern Georgia and South Carolina.