|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.