Round Two, Pick 24 (56 overall) – Mecole Hardman, WR, Georgia
Carey Mecole (MEE-cole) Hardman was a high school All-American defender as well as Class AAA Georgia Offensive Player of the Year at quarterback his senior year at Elbert County High School. The top 50 prospect nationally signed with the Bulldogs for the 2016 season, and played in 11 games on special teams, making four coverage tackles and returning one kickoff for 17 yards. Coaches got him the ball on offense in 2017, even starting him once in 15 games played at receiver (25-418-16.7, four TD receiving; 8-61-7.6 two TD rushing). Hardman provided excitement on special teams, as he ranked eighth in the FBS on punt-return average (23-271-11.8) and also excelled on kickoff returns (20-505-25.3). He scored both of the Bulldogs’ touchdowns against Alabama in the national championship game. He continued to make plays as a receiver (34-532-15.6, seven TD receiving; 5-36-7.2 rushing in 14 games with five starts) and on special teams as a junior, garnering second-team All-SEC notice for his returns (16-321-20.1, one TD on punts; 14-353-25.2 on kickoffs). He would have ranked second in the FBS in punt-return average but came up one return short of qualifying.
Round Two, Pick 31 (63 overall) – Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia
Thornhill looked destined for collegiate athletic success after he made SportsCenter as a high school basketball player due to his dunking prowess. He was also an All-State defender and quarterback for a two-time state champion Altavista High School in Virginia. Thornhill played in nine games as a reserve as a true freshman (two tackles), then became a starter as sophomore, leading the Cavs with three interceptions to go along with 45 tackles, three for loss, and seven pass breakups in 12 games (11 starts). He garnered third-team All-ACC honors in 2017, starting 12 games and posting 63 tackles, 4.5 for loss, four interceptions and 12 pass breakups. Thornhill saved his best for last, grabbing first-team all-conference accolades as a senior by leading Virginia in total tackles (98) and interceptions (six, which tied for third in the FBS) while also making 4.5 tackles for loss and breaking up seven passes.
Round Three, Pick 21 (84 overall) – Khalen Saunders, DT, Western Illinois
Saunders is a St. Louis native who showed FBS-level talent as soon as he hit the field as a redshirt freshman. He posted 27 tackles, 4.5 for loss, and 2.5 sacks in 13 games as a reserve in 2015. He started all 11 games as a sophomore, posting 48 stops, five for loss, 1.5 sacks, and two pass breakups. Missouri Valley Football coaches named him first-team all-conference in 2017, as he started all 12 games and accumulated 57 tackles, 12 for loss, a team-high 7.5 sacks, and three pass breakups. In 2018 he was named AP FCS second-team All-American.