Feel that draft? Georgia blows away competition with 15 NFL draft picks | David Whitley

David Whitley
Gator Sports
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The NFL Draft is finally over. Will the last Georgia Bulldog drafted please turn out the lights?

The Dawgs set an NFL record by having 15 players chosen. Fifteen little twists of the knife for Florida fans.

It’s not exactly news that Georgia’s been playing better football lately than the Gators. But the draft drove home just how wide the performance gulf has become between Athens and Gainesville.

UF had three players chosen, its lowest showing in 10 years. Billy Napier must feel sort of like famed Vegas illusionist Criss Angel did at Night 2 of the draft.

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Can Billy Napier do magic act and catch Georgia? 

The show opened with Angel dangling above the stage in a straitjacket. He was wildly spinning and trying to escape from a straitjacket before time ran out and he was drafted by the Jaguars. It was just one of the acts the NFL broke out in its attempt to make the draft must-see TV.

There were Ice Cube and Weezer musical interludes. A wedding ceremony. Bill Belichick did his patented Elvis impersonation. My favorite moment came when 80-year-old Mr. Las Vegas, Wayne Newton, pulled three of his surgically altered face muscles trying to announce the Raiders’ second-round pick.

But we digress, not unlike UF’s talent level.

Seven SEC schools had more players drafted this year. Five Georgia defenders went in the first round. The Dolphins took linebacker Channing Tindall in Round 3, and he never even started a game in college.

That’s a testament to Kirby Smart’s recruiting machine. UF fans can only hope Napier's not an illusion and can stop their world from spinning out of control. ...

Tim Walton wins No. 1,000 at UF

Stud of the Week: UF softball coach Tim Walton, who got his 1,000th Division 1 win Sunday. For perspective, Billy Napier would have to win 10 games every season until 2118 to match Walton, by which time he’ll be old enough to headline with Wayne Newton at Caesars Palace. ...

Stud II: Lester Wright, from Long Branch, N.J. A day after turning 100, he ran against a bunch of 80-somethings in the Senior Masters Division 100-meter race at the Penn Relays. He finished sixth out of nine racers.

How did Lester rate his performance?

“Slow,” he said.

Dud of the Week: Adam Papas, the agent for Miami guard Isaiah Wong, for saying his client would transfer if the ‘Canes didn’t pony up more NIL money. Didn’t he know such threats must be made on the sly?

By going public, even the goofballs at the NCAA could nail Wong for taking an inducement at another school. Wong withdrew his name from the portal.

How did he rate his agent’s thinking?

“Slow,” Wong said. ...

Speaking of pay for play, Barry Switzer unveiled Oklahoma’s NIL operation last week. He said the 1Oklahoma Collective plans to raise enough to pay every Sooner football player $40,000 to $50,000 a year. Given inflation, that’s about $90,000 less than Switzer paid players when he was Oklahoma’s coach. ... Not to say ACC football needs help, but Georgia had only six fewer players drafted than that entire conference. ...

Colorado physical performance coach Mike Jasperson, who set a Citizens Bank Park record by eating 25 footlong cheesesteaks during the Rockies' four-game series at Philadelphia last week. Rockies players had pooled money to give Jasperson if he broke the record of 18 set by Milwaukee bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel in 2015. How much was that prize?

“Enough to eat 25 cheesesteaks,” Jasperson said. ...

In his draft excitement, Wayne Newton wished co-announcer Marcus Allen a happy Mother’s Day and said Raiders’ pick Dylan Parham was from Mississippi.

Parham played at Memphis, which is at least close to Mississippi. Allen, as far as we know, has never even been pregnant. ...

I’m not saying months of nonstop pre-draft analysis is all hot air by “experts,” but Criss Angel got the first three picks right in his mock draft, which he probably concocted while spinning in a straitjacket for five minutes. That was one more correct pick than Mel Kiper Jr. managed. ...        

Trevor Bauer’s been accused of sexual assault by three women. The L.A. District Attorney declined to file charges. MLB last week suspended Bauer without pay ($60 million) for 324 games.

Deshaun Watson’s been accused of sexual assault and misconduct by 22 women. A Texas grand jury declined to indict him. Cleveland signed him to a fully guaranteed five-year, $230 million contract.

Roger Goodell, you are on the clock. ...

This Just In: Mike Jasperson has released a statement saying he’s never been pregnant, though he felt like it after eating 25 cheesesteaks. ...

NIL II: After a successful night at a New Orleans casino before the 2014 Sugar Bowl, Barry Switzer told Sirius radio, “I haven’t carried this much money around with me since I recruited.”…

Update: In the wake of signing Deshaun Watson, the Cleveland Browns have filed for moral bankruptcy. ...

Hot Air II: None of the “experts” I could find got more than four first-round picks right in any of their 1.7 million mock drafts. And all of them had Liberty QB Malik Willis going in the top 20 picks. He went No. 86 to Tennessee.

To his credit, Mel Kiper Jr. did predict Wayne Newton would butcher an announcement in the second round. ...

That’s about all the space we have for this week’s Whitley’s Believe It or Not. Until next week, my advice is to not eat more than nine cheesesteaks if you want to outrun a 100-year-old man or make an ACC football team.

— David Whitley is The Gainesville Sun's sports columnist. Contact him at dwhitley@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidEWhitley

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