- David Ching, SEC reporter
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ATHENS, Ga. -- The long wait is nearly over for the former Georgia players who hope to hear their names called at this week's NFL draft, although time could slow to an excruciating crawl for them Thursday night once the three-day draft begins.
The delay will be shorter than most for Cordy Glenn, who is the only former Bulldog most draft experts project as a first-round pick -- exactly where the imposing offensive lineman hopes to go.
"It's my goal," Glenn said. "I want to be the best, so obviously you want to go in the first round if that's the case, so that's what I'm striving for."
It is a fairly safe bet that Glenn will achieve that goal. Although some draft experts are divided on whether he projects best as an offensive guard or tackle, the 6-foot-5, 345-pound Glenn is a consensus choice as one of the draft's top line prospects.
"I think I'm pretty versatile at both of them," said Glenn, whom ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. ranks as the draft's No. 14 overall prospect, "so honestly I think that's good for me, just being able to play both of them and be comfortable and confident at both of them."
Between four and seven of Glenn's former Georgia teammates could be picked somewhere in the draft's seven rounds, while several others might catch on as undrafted free agents.
Kiper projects all three players to be off the board by the third round, noting that Charles and Boykin could conceivably become second-round selections.
Boykin only recently recovered from a broken leg he suffered while covering a kick in January at the Senior Bowl -- an injury that prevented him from participating in the NFL combine or at Georgia's pro day workouts. However, he impressed scouts during practices leading up to the Senior Bowl and enjoyed a successful senior season, so he hopes teams will grade him positively, based on film review, instead of penalizing him for missing time with the injury.
"People show up at the combine and have a great showing and people think their stock's rising so much, but the end-all, be-all is that film," Boykin said. "I've put a lot of film, a lot of good film, in people's hands. The Senior Bowl did a lot for me, so they know I'm a great player."
At No. 103 overall and No. 2 among centers, Ben Jones also appears to be a surefire draft pick, while defensive lineman DeAngelo Tyson (No. 235) and punter Drew Butler (No. 241) also rank among Scouts' top 250 prospects.
The final pick in the draft will be No. 253 to conclude the seventh round.
Those who are not selected will be free to negotiate a free-agent deal with any club -- and several Bulldogs might ultimately go that route. Butler and Blair Walsh are both among the top-rated prospects at their respective kicking positions, but only a few kickers become draft picks each year. Other Bulldogs, such as offensive lineman Justin Anderson, tight end/fullback Bruce Figgins and tight end Aron White, hope to find a spot with a team, either through the draft or through free agency.
White knows his playing second fiddle to Charles among Georgia's pass-catching tight ends did not help his draft stock, but he hopes his physical tools and intellect will help him find a pro football home.
"I don't need to come out here and have a Gronkowski year my first year," White said, referring to New England tight end Rob Gronkowski, who had 90 catches for 1,327 yards last season. "Nobody can expect that their first year in the league. Hopefully, I'm a guy that can come in and make myself indisposable because I know the playbook, I know where I'm supposed to go, and they know if they bring somebody else in there he's not going to know it as well as I do or be able to be in the right spot when he's supposed to be there."
Led by star receiver A.J. Green, six Bulldogs came off the board in last year's draft. Georgia's all-time record for players picked in a single draft is eight, following Mark Richt's first season as the Bulldogs' coach. Richt has had two draft classes (2003 and 2006) yield seven picks.
The draft will air on ESPN, starting with the first round live at 8 p.m. Thursday from New York City's Radio City Music Hall. Rounds 2-3 will begin at 7 p.m. Friday, while Rounds 4-7 will begin at noon Saturday.
Former UGA tackle Cordy Glenn leads a group of Bulldogs alumni looking to be drafted before the end of the week.