ATHENS — A few facts to chew on in light of Georgia’s Todd Gurley getting selected in last night’s NFL draft with the No. 10 pick by the St. Louis Cardinals:
>>>Gurley becomes the 31st Bulldog to be selected in the first round since Frank Sinkwich became the first first-rounder with the No. 1 overall pick in 1943. The Rams reportedly had Gurley rated the No. 1 overall player on their board.
“We’ve been discussing it for a while,” Rams General Manager Les Snead said. “Obviously we thought he was a unique talent that only comes around every once in a while. We thought he had fallen because of the injury and would’ve gone earlier. It was a bonus to be sitting there at 10.”
>>>Here’s a list of the Georgia first-rounders:
1943 — Frank Sinkwich, Lions
1945 — Charley Trippi, Cardinals
1948 — Dan Edwards, Steelers
1949 — John Rauch, Lions
1953 — Harry Babcock, 49ers
1969 — Bill Stanfill, Dolphins
1972– Royce Smith, Saints
1982 — Lindsay Scott, Saints
1984 — Freddie Gilbert, Broncos
1989 — Tim Worley, Steelers
1990 — Rodney Hampton, Giants
1990 — Ben Smith, Eagles
1993 — Garrison Hearst, Cardinals
1994 — Bernard Williams, Eagles
1998 — Robert Edwards, Patriots
1999 — Matt Stinchcomb, Raiders
1999 — Champ Bailey, Redskins
2001 — Marcus Stroud, Jaguars
2001 — Richard Seymour, Patriots
2002 — Charles Grant, Saints
2003 — George Foster, Broncos
2003 — Johnathan Sullivan, Saints
2004 — Ben Watson, Patriots
2005 — David Pollack, Bengals
2005 — Thomas Davis, Panthers
2009 — Knowshon Moreno, Broncos
2009 — Matthew Stafford, Lions
2011 — A.J. Green, Bengals
2013 — Alec Ogletree, Rams
2013 — Jarvis Jones, Steelers
2015 — Todd Gurley, Rams
>>>Like Gurley, a lot of those first-rounders were running backs. Seven, in fact. Sinkwich and Trippi were both first overall selections and Hearst (3) and Worley (7) both went earlier than Gurley. The last Georgia tailback taken in the draft before Gurley was Moreno (12th) by the Broncos in 2009.
>>>But considering Gurley went in the first round off a season in which he played in only six games due to suspension and injury and is four months removed from ACL reconstruction, going 10th is fairly amazing. And after no running backs were taken in the first round of the 2013 and ’14 drafts, two went Thursday night. The Chargers took Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon.
“I’m pretty sure every running back is happy about that,” Gurley said at a news conference after his selection. “We need to continue that trend.”
>>>By the way, Bulldogs coached both Gurley and Gordon. Bryan McClendon coached Gurley at UGA, while Thomas Brown coached Gordon. McClendon, who attended the draft with Gurley and his family, has since shifted to coach receivers to make room for Brown to come in from Wisconsin.
>>>Gurley becomes the 75th Georgia player drafted to the NFL in the Mark Richt era and the 305th Bulldog taken all-time. The second and third rounds will also be televised beginning at 7 p.m. tonight. Rounds four through seven will continue Saturday starting at noon.
>>>The Rams have now used first-round picks on two Bulldogs. St. Louis took linebacker Alec Ogletree with the 30th overall pick in 2013. Gurley is the 15th Georgia player that the Rams (either St. Louis, Los Angeles or Cleveland) have picked since 1942.
>>>You can see videos of Gurley’s news conference and the one with coach Jeff Fisher and Snead on the St. Louis Rams’ website.
Now here are some tweets from some fellow Dawgs on Gurley’s selection: