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Georgia place-kicker Rodrigo Blankenship (98) prepares to kick a field goal. The Georgia Bulldogs face the Baylor Bears in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 2020 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana. At the end of the first half Georgia leads Baylor 19-0. (Photo/Gabriella Audi, https://gabbyaudi10.wixsite.com/mysite-1)

Seven former Georgia football players were selected in this year’s NFL draft, matching last year’s total. However, not long after the draft finished, eight additional former Bulldogs signed with an NFL team as undrafted free agents.

Although undrafted free agents don’t initially have the same amount of job security as those who are drafted, success in the NFL is still attainable. Here’s where all eight of Georgia’s undrafted free agents signed to begin their NFL careers.

Rodrigo Blankenship — Indianapolis Colts

Rodrigo Blankenship, the 2019 Lou Groza Award winner, was projected by multiple NFL draft experts to be the first kicker selected in this year’s NFL draft, but his name was never called.

The Indianapolis Colts wasted little time to take advantage and sign Blankenship, who also joins former Georgia quarterback and transfer to Washington Jacob Eason. Georgia’s all-time leading scorer could have big shoes to fill to begin his NFL career, as joining the Colts may also signify the end to the career of the NFL’s all-time leading scorer, Adam Vinatieri.

J.R. Reed — Jacksonville Jaguars

Three-year starting safety J.R. Reed was one of the surprise players to go undrafted. However, he quickly found where he would begin his NFL career by signing with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Reed finished his Georgia career as an All-American and a Jim Thorpe Award finalist. He started in 42 consecutive games for the Bulldogs before missing the 2020 Sugar Bowl against Baylor.

Brian Herrien — Cleveland Browns

There are now two former Georgia running backs under contract with the Cleveland Browns, as Brian Herrien joins former Bulldog Nick Chubb. Herrien only started two games throughout his four-year career at Georgia, but he routinely contributed and finished with 1,413 career rushing yards and 13 touchdowns on 277 carries.

Lawrence Cager — New York Jets

Graduate transfer wide receiver Lawrence Cager elected to sign with the New York Jets following the draft, joining former Georgia linebacker Jordan Jenkins. Cager was in the midst of a career season at Georgia before suffering a season-ending injury in mid-November. He was Georgia’s leading receiver in the 24-17 victory against Florida, finishing with seven receptions for 132 yards and one touchdown.

Eli Wolf — Baltimore Ravens

Like Cager, tight end Eli Wolf was a graduate transfer who contributed often last season for the Bulldogs. Wolf was used primarily as a run blocker, which makes signing with the Baltimore Ravens an ideal situation. Wolf finished last season by starting in Georgia’s final two games. He played in all 14 games for the Bulldogs and finished with 13 receptions for 194 receiving yards and one touchdown.

Tyler Simmons — Houston Texans

Wide receiver Tyler Simmons signed with the Houston Texans. His role steadily grew while at Georgia, as he started in 12 games last season. Simmons did a little of everything in his final season with the Bulldogs, as he finished with 21 receptions for 255 yards, 89 rushing yards on 12 carries, and 143 punt return yards on nine returns.

Tyrique McGhee — Los Angeles Rams

Peach County native Tyrique McGhee signed with the Los Angeles Rams following the NFL draft. McGhee accumulated nine starts at cornerback throughout his four-year career at Georgia, finishing with 59 career tackles and two interceptions. He’s the third former Bulldog under contract with the Rams, joining Leonard Floyd and Natrez Patrick.

Tyler Clark — Cincinnati Bengals 

Three-year starting defensive tackle Tyler Clark signed with the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, joining former Bulldogs Geno Atkins, Shawn Williams and A.J. Green. Clark accumulated 119 total tackles and six and a half sacks throughout his Georgia career and was used primarily as a run stopper for the Bulldogs. 

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