Monday, April 29, 2013

Georgia Tech, NFL Draft, and Paul Johnson Recruiting

The 2013 NFL Draft came and went and not a single player from Georgia Tech was selected. This marks the first time since the 2005 Draft a Yellow Jacket was not selected.
Stephon Tuitt would have been one of those "1-8" guys/IrishSports.com

The lack of Draft picks is without question a direct correlation to the lack of elite talent on Tech's squad last season which led to 7-7 year.

This past February did not bring a lot of hope things would get immediately better when the Jackets signed a small recruiting class which some services ranked in the 80s nationally and near the bottom of the ACC.

Small class numbers aside, that class lacked ready made talent and will take more than the average development to turn it into ACC and State Champions (in state rival UGA racked up eight Draft picks tying a school record).

Is Johnson bad at recruiting/developing NFL Draft talent or is he simply following along the Georgia Tech trend?

I decided to look at BCS era coaches on The Flats.  Below are the three coaches, their number of seasons, total picks, and picks in the first three rounds.  

George O'Leary (7+ seasons): 9 total picks; 5 in first three rounds
Chan Gailey (6 seasons): 12; 5 in first three rounds
Paul Johnson (5 seasons): 9; 5 in first three rounds

The first thing that jumps out Johnson is three draft picks off of Gailey's mark in one less season.

The Yellow Jackets would appear to have two almost sure draft picks for next season (Jemea Thomas, Jeremiah Attaochu) as well as a few others that could work their way in big Senior seasons (David Sims, Brandon Watts, Louis Young among others)

While Johnson did not recruit all of his nine draft picks, neither did Gailey with his 12 picks. Daryl Smith was recruited by O'Leary (in a big battle with UGA) as well as four other picks in the 2004 draft which are credited to Gailey above. O'Leary was on staff for his predecessor so you could attribute some of the mid 90s picks to him.  (FWIW if the coach was in place on National Signing Day I consider those signees to be "theirs" as nothing is official until the LOI is signed and faxed). 

I think Johnson said it best himself: the 1-85 talent is definitely better than when he arrived, but the 1-8 talent is not. This is where Johnson and his staff must improve for Georgia Tech to get back to winning ACC Championships and challenging (and ocassionally beating) UGA.  

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for putting things in perspective. I listened for several minutes yesterday to a radio host on 92.9, a sports radio station in Atlanta, talk about how shameful this is for Tech, and how could Tech athletics have fallen on such hard times, and how's the new AD going to fix it? He threw in attendance at the spring game while he was at it. Ugh. Things aren't great, obviously, but geez... The football team ended the season on a high note and basketball is still rebuilding. Just a little patience, please.

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  2. heyberto8:48 AM

    I'm that rare Bulldog fan/alumni that doesn't hate Tech, unless it is hate week. I have family that went there, so I pull for them when UGA isn't playing against them or affected by the outcome of a particular game they're playing.... that being said, their problem isn't Paul Johnson as a coach per se.. it's that danged triple option offense. One, you really have to wonder what kind of success Tech will have with recruiting, long term under this scheme. Coach Johnson has said he can prepare players for the NFL with this offense, and whether that's true or not he's not getting the chance, because either recruits don't believe it, would rather play in a more conventional offense, or are heavily influenced by negative recruiting attacking it.

    Personally, I'd rather Tech be competitive. The luster is off the rivalry.. it's like we were against Florida. Dominance is great, but I'd rather this be more competitive if we're going to continue to play against Tech.

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  3. Anonymous9:58 PM

    Mr. Johnson, I do not understand why you recruit 2star, 3star, and NR players. I believe it is you high school offense. Is time for a change in your game plan or it might be a good time too change the Head coach. I have been a Tech fan for 26 years and I can't watch you teams because of the talent and the offense. I know that you will jusy ignore me but I speak for a lot of fans. But take care and I hope the time will change for the team.

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