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Kirby Smart Addresses Georgia Players Leaving For NFL Draft

A closeup of Kirby Smart in Georgia Bulldogs apparel.

AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 11: Head coach Kirby Smart of the Georgia Bulldogs walks the field prior to facing the Auburn Tigers at Jordan Hare Stadium on November 11, 2017 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

No. 5 Georgia is the "first team out" in this season's College Football Playoff. The Bulldogs had a terrific year, but came up a few steps short.

As a consolation prize, Georgia will head to the Sugar Bowl to face No. 7 Baylor. The Bears are a tough opponent and won't be an easy out.

For Kirby Smart, the upcoming NY6 Bowl challenge has become much more difficult over the past few days. Two of the Bulldogs' key offensive linemen - Andrew Thomas and Isaiah Wilson - have elected to enter the 2020 NFL Draft.

Thomas, a projected first round draft pick, has also chosen to skip Georgia's bowl game. Wilson has yet to make any decision regarding the Sugar Bowl.

There's plenty of changes going on in Athens. But Smart has a positive outlook on the situation. While he wishes both offensive linemen were staying, he also accepts the changes occurring.

“Any time you lose two, one — probably the first round pick, one potential first round pick, it's tough, right?,” Smart said, via 247Sports. “Those kids have an opportunity to go do something they wanted to do all their lives, and we give them the information, and we let them make the best decision for them.”

Georgia not only recruits at a high level, but is also a tremendous developer of talent. The Bulldogs have plenty of players in the NFL today.

The loss of Thomas and Wilson certainly hurts. But it looks like Smart is prepared to adjust to the changes occurring.

Georgia-Baylor kicks off at 8:45 p.m. ET on Jan. 1. The game will be televised on ESPN.