ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Georgia cornerback Tyson Campbell, shown celebrating a safety during last season's win at Arkansas, was the first pick of Friday night's second round of the NFL draft, getting selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The last time Tyson Campbell ventured into TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, he was part of a Georgia defense that was torched for 474 passing yards last November during a 44-28 loss to Florida.

Fortunately for the 6-foot-2, 185-pound cornerback from the Miami suburb of Plantation, that does not have to be his lasting memory at that venue.

Campbell was the first pick of Friday night's second round of the NFL draft in Cleveland, getting selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars used their two first-round picks Thursday evening on a pair of Clemson teammates — quarterback and top overall selection Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne, who was the 25th pick.

"It's a surreal feeling," Campbell said during a Zoom call with the Jacksonville media. "God has blessed me with the opportunity to play in my home state, where family can have not too far of a drive to come see me. I'm excited."

As for his memories at TIAA Bank Field?

"I would say they're bittersweet," he said. "This past year, we lost in there, but the other two years were pretty good to me. I enjoy playing in that stadium, and it was always good to come home to the Sunshine State when I was in Athens."

The New York Jets followed Jacksonville's selection of Campbell by taking Ole Miss receiver Elijah Moore, with the Denver Broncos then moving up in a trade with the Atlanta Falcons and snagging North Carolina running back Javonte Williams. It didn't take long for Alabama's presence to resurface, as the Philadelphia Eagles took Crimson Tide center Landon Dickerson with the fifth pick of the second round and the 37th overall selection.

Right after Dickerson came off the board, the New England Patriots drafted Alabama defensive tackle Christian Barmore. No college program had ever produced eight picks within the first two rounds since the draft's modern era began in 1967, but the Tide racked up eight within the first 38 picks.

Alabama's six first-round selections Thursday night matched the mark the Miami Hurricanes set in 2004, with the Tide setting a new draft standard with five first-round picks on the offensive side of the ball.

Dickerson arrived in Tuscaloosa before the 2019 season from Florida State, where he endured three season-ending injuries. His last season at Alabama was derailed by a torn anterior cruciate ligament in this past December's Southeastern Conference championship game win over Florida, and he was asked Friday night on a Zoom call if he considers his litany of injuries concerning.

"I do not, because I come to work and I want to compete every day," Dickerson said. "I don't let the past bother me. What's in the past is in the past, and you can't change it. You just have to live with it and move on."

Philadelphia took Alabama receiver and 2020 Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith with Thursday night's 10th overall selection, so the Eagles wound up choosing consecutive Tide players after going the entire Nick Saban era without taking any. The most recent Alabama player picked by the Eagles before this year's draft was receiver Freddie Milons in 2002.

The third Georgia player to get selected, after cornerback Eric Stokes going 29th Thursday to the Green Bay Packers and Campbell to Jacksonville, was outside linebacker Azeez Ojulari to the New York Giants as the 50th overall pick. Ozulari led the SEC with nine sacks last season and became the fourth Bulldog drafted by the Giants in the past three years, joining cornerback Deandre Baker in 2019, offensive tackle Andrew Thomas last year and linebacker Tae Crowder last year.

Thursday's opening round included five quarterbacks going in the first 15 picks, but there wasn't another quarterback selected until the Tampa Bay Buccaneers used the final pick of the second round — the 64th overall selection — on Florida's Kyle Trask. That began a brief second wave of quarterbacks getting selected Friday, as Texas A&M's Kellen Mond went to the Minnesota Vikings and Stanford's Davis Mills to the Houston Texans within the first three picks of the third round.

The first University of Tennessee player selected in this year's draft was receiver Josh Palmer, who went 77th overall to the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers had not drafted a Volunteer since taking quarterback Jonathan Crompton in 2010 during the fifth round.

"Words really can't describe how I feel right now," Palmer said on a Zoom call. "I'm ready to get to work. If I could fly there right now, I would be running routes tomorrow."

Georgia produced a flurry at the end of the third round, with linebacker Monty Rice going 92nd overall to the Tennessee Titans, guard Ben Cleveland going 94th to the Baltimore Ravens and tight end Tre' McKitty going 97th to the Chargers.

The Titans, who had the No. 22 pick Thursday and selected Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley, drafted North Dakota State offensive lineman Dillon Radunz in the second round at No. 53. Tennessee also had pick No. 100 late in the third round and used it on Washington cornerback Elijah Molden.

The Atlanta Falcons, after using the No. 4 selection Thursday on Florida tight end Kyle Pitts, used their second-round pick to take Central Florida safety Richie Grant at No. 40 overall. In the third round, they picked Michigan offensive lineman Jalen Mayfield at No. 68.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6524. Follow him on Twitter @DavidSPaschall.

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT