An expert projects where Yellow Jackets will go in NFL draft

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 1: Defensive back D.J. White #28 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets looks to tackle running back Khalek Shepherd #23 of the Virginia Cavaliers on November 1, 2014 at Bobby Dodd Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. At halftime the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets leads the Virginia Cavaliers - . (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)

Georgia Tech cornerback D.J. White made visits to the Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts prior to the draft. (Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images)

According to draft expert Tony Pauline, former Georgia Tech cornerback D.J. White and defensive tackle Adam Gotsis will be the first Yellow Jackets taken in the NFL draft, but it won’t be until the sixth round.

Draft projections differ. CBS Sports pegs White as a fourth-round pick and Gotsis as a fourth- or fifth-rounder. Gotsis’ agent Pat Dye, who has a vested interest in raising projections his client but also in not appearing misinformed or coming off as a huckster, said he thinks that he’ll go somewhere between the end of the second and the fourth round.

I’ve found Pauline to be fairly accurate. I get the strong sense that he does his homework and is plugged in. I went back and looked at his ratings for last year’s defensive ends, for instance.

Of the 28 players that were drafted at that position, 12 were taken in the round or two-round range that he projected, including six taken in the final four rounds.

Another nine were off by one round (including projected seventh-rounders signing as undrafted free agents and vice versa). Five were off by two rounds.

Pauline completely missed on just two out of 28 players, and both were surprises to the world of draft punditry. In case you’re wondering, they were Ohio State’s Michael Bennett (projected in the second, fell to the sixth, apparently for medical reasons) and fourth-rounder Rodney Gunter, an off-the-radar pick from Delaware State.

Interestingly, though, Pauline has consistently undervalued Tech prospects over the past three drafts (below), which may lend hope to Tech fans for this weekend’s draft. (I strongly doubt that it’s intentional. He told me once his uncle played for Tech.)

Tech players, rated by position ranking and projected round, by Pauline (first two columns) and CBS Sports. (FA – undrafted free agent)

Player Rd. Pos. Rd. Pos.
D.J. White 6 23 4 14
Adam Gotsis 6 22 4-5 16
Jamal Golden FA 23 7-FA 16 (FS)
D. Smith FA 31 31 (SS)
Chris Milton FA 67 46
T. Marcordes 59
Patrick Skov 14
B. Snoddy 62

 

CBS Sports does not assign undrafted free agent projections. Offensive tackles Bryan Chamberlain and Errin Joe were not rated by either Pauline or CBS Sports.

 

Pauline’s 2015 projections (Synjyn Days and Zach Laskey were not rated)

Name Projected Actual
Shaquille Mason 7 4
DeAndre Smelter 6 4
Darren Waller 6 6
Quayshawn Nealy FA FA
Zach Laskey FA
Synjyn Days FA
Isaiah Johnson 7 FA

 

2014 (Izaan Cross and Euclid Cummings were not rated)

Name Projected Actual
Jeremiah Attaochu 3 2
Jemea Thomas FA 6
Brandon Watts 7-FA 7
Louis Young FA FA
Izaan Cross FA
Emmanuel Dieke FA FA
Euclid Cummings FA

 

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