G5 (Group of Five) teams produce great NFL talent, and this year is no different. There were two G5 players taken in the first round of the draft — the first was Cincinnati cornerback Sauce Gardner (selected fourth overall by the Jets). Gardner’s a well-known talent who was shoved down the throats of football consumers throughout the draft experience. The other was Tulsa offensive tackle Tyler Smith, whom most people only heard about when his name was called 24th overall by the Cowboys. Smith and Gardner will be expected to be difference-makers for their new teams, but there were other G5 alums in this draft who have a chance to make an immediate impact for their teams, as well.
Last season Brady Christensen, an offensive lineman from BYU, started six games after being selected in the third round by the Carolina Panthers. UCF cornerback Aaron Robinson made two starts in 2021 after the Giants selected him in the third round. Philadelphia selected edge rusher Milton Williams in the third round from Louisiana Tech and he was able to make a couple starts for the Eagles, collecting 30 tackles, including six tackles for a loss and two sacks. SMU tight end John Bates made eight starts for Washington as a fourth round selection. Running back Elijah Mitchell made his presence felt as a sixth round pick for the 49ers. He finished the season with 10 starts, 963 rushing yards and six total touchdowns. There are diamonds in the G5 rough found every season, so let’s take a look at a few of the future potential G5 gems from the 2022 NFL Draft.
Luke Goedeke, OG, Central Michigan — Round 2, Pick 57, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Goedeke is a bully of an offensive linemen who plays through the echo of the whistle. He knows how to dig out defenders who are anchored down. There’s no doubt that this man wants to maul the opposition every time the quarterback says “hut!” He’s played tackle as well, but in the middle of an offensive line is where you will find more value for his skills and mindset. He has a natural guard disposition; once Goedeke gets his hands on you he is practically impossible to shake off and you are usually going on a ride that involves a lot of syrup. On the inside, Goedeke can hide his deficiencies dealing with speed rushers, though he is an athletic lineman who started his career as a tight end. That athleticism will be used to climb to the second level to block linebackers, get out into space on quick passes and screens, and pull with bad intentions. He should be an immediate plug-and-play guard. Shaq Mason was brought in to fill one guard spot and Goedeke should fill the other. Expect the run game to be much better in 2022 for the Buccaneers.