Georgia Football

Hardman and Nauta Weigh NFL Draft Option

December 28, 2018


NEW ORLEANS - The time between the end of the regular season and bowl games is maybe the most gossip-filled few weeks in all of college football.


Rumors about where recruits are going to sign heighten, the coaching carousel starts spinning and certain juniors have “Should I Stay or Should I go” by The Clash on repeat in their heads while they mull over the option of going to the NFL.


Today, two of those certain juniors talked with the media about that possible decision of going pro. They both made clear exactly where they stand.


Mecole Hardman: “Undecided.”


Isaac Nauta: “I’ll decide after the bowl game.”


That’s the PR answer that anyone in those shoes is going to give, sure, but both preached a common theme of Kirby Smart’s—be where your feet are. All the information needed to make an informed decision isn’t available to them yet. They know that a solid performance in the Sugar Bowl could still help their draft stock.


“A lot of information will come back after the bowl game,” Hardman said. “You get some before but ain’t nothing crossed my mind, just focused on the game… I’ll think about it after that and go from there.”


From Smart’s perspective, it isn’t a matter of trying to sway their decision, rather encouraging them to be as informed as possible about where they’ll land in the draft.


“He doesn’t really care if you stay or go, he wants you to do what’s best for you,” Nauta said. “his biggest thing is information… Make sure you make an educated decision.”


The two of them have already gotten some information in the form of a letter from the NFL’s College Advisory Committee, a group that gives underclassmen certain grades on where the committee thinks they will land in the draft, if at all. They both have that letter, but neither knows what it says inside.


“I haven’t looked at it,” Hardman said about it.


Nauta was in the same boat.


They might have a leaning towards one way or another, but they both understand that a lot can change between now and the January 14th deadline to declare for the draft. A nationally televised game in the Sugar Bowl could sway executives’ opinions on the two juniors’ draft stock either way, and they’ll wait to see which way that is before fully making up their minds.

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