Georgia Football: Post NFL Combine Draft Status for Former Bulldog Stars
Quite surprisingly, very few former Georgia Bulldogs participated in the NFL Scouting Combine this week. Despite appearances in two of the last three SEC Championship Games, the 'Dawgs were minimally represented in Indianapolis.
Quarterback and SEC passing record holder Aaron Murray was in town for the combine but participated only in team interviews and media sessions as he continues to recover from a torn ACL.
With Murray's activity limited and no early draft entrants, tight end Arthur Lynch was the lone Bulldog running through the proverbial gauntlet in front of NFL personnel.
With the combine now complete, here is a breakdown of Georgia's potential draftees in order of their projected positioning within Matt Miller's latest mock draft.
Note: Unless otherwise noted, all NFL Scouting Combine results courtesy of NFL.com. All other statistical information courtesy of NFLDraftScout.com
Quarterback Aaron Murray
- Height: 6'1"
- Weight: 207 lbs.
Although Aaron Murray was spotted tossing a few footballs around Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, he did not participate formally in any drills. While his knee continues to recover from late season surgery, Murray exercised only his mouth and his brain at the Combine.
According to Dan Parr of NFL.com, Murray compared his meetings with team officials to speed dating, saying, "It's not only them interviewing me, but me getting to know them a little bit. It's an open conversation. I have questions for them. They have questions for me."
Undoubtedly Murray impressed in these conversations, but he'll get to answer teams' questions on the field at Georgia's pro day on April 16th when he plans to participate in all drills.
Murray is currently projected as a fourth round pick by Bleacher Report's Matt Miller, but an impressive workout could vault him higher.
Tight End Arthur Lynch
- Height: 6'5"
- Weight: 258 lbs.
- 40-Yard Dash: 4.82 seconds
- Bench Press: 28 reps of 225 pounds
- Vertical Jump: 29.5 inches
- Broad Jump: 116 inches
- 3 Cone Drill: 7.38 seconds
- 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.35 seconds
In the truest sense, Arthur Lynch represented himself well at the NFL Scouting Combine. He didn't turn heads with a blazing time in the 40, he didn't move mountains on the bench press and he didn't jump out through the ceiling. The truth of the matter is that Lynch's athleticism is not eye-popping.
And yet, he has sufficient physical tools to play at the next level—especially as a tight end with a primary blocking role. In other words, he's not going to be a Jimmy Graham out in space. He can, however, find a spot on a team as an extra blocker who can keep a linebacker honest with his pass-catching ability.
Lynch is a high character guy with a proven work ethic. As Bleacher Report's own Ryan McCrystal points out, "he will be a very safe pick on the third day of the draft."
Teams know what they're getting with Lynch, and the Scouting Combine further supported that notion.
Look for him to be selected in the fourth or fifth round as projected by Bleacher Report's Matt Miller.
Offensive Guard Chris Burnette
Despite starting 37 career games, Chris Burnette was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine.
The 6'3", 306-pound Burnette played almost exclusively at the guard positions while in Athens, and that consistency bodes well for him. He has adequate size and strength to perform as an interior lineman at the next level, and he will be aided by his experience within Georgia's pro-style playbook.
Although that particular advantage is typically referenced in relation to quarterback Aaron Murray, Burnette boasts expertise in both run- and pass-blocking. That diversity will serve him well in the NFL.
Matt Miller of Bleacher Report projects Burnette as a fifth-round selection.
Offensive Tackle Kenarious Gates
- Can he play as a guard?
- Does he have the lateral quickness to survive in this league?
Kenarious Gates was not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine, but at 6'4", 327 pounds, he has the size to compete at the professional level as an offensive lineman. Furthermore, with 39 career starts at in the SEC he has the experience and wherewithal to develop into a quality NFL reserve.
Gates will participate at Georgia's pro day in April and will be looking to sneak into the last round of the draft by answering two questions:
Currently, Matt Miller projects Gates as a seventh round selection.
Defensive Lineman Garrison Smith
At 6'1", 301 pounds Garrison Smith is small for an NFL defensive tackle. On the other hand, he lacks the speed and length of a prototypical defensive end.
Despite all of that, his production at in the SEC is undeniable and might garner him a late-seventh-round selection.
Smith was never better than he was on senior night against Kentucky last November. He tormented the Wildcats to the tune of two sacks, two forced fumbles, three tackles for loss and seven total tackles.
His tenacity makes him worth a look for a 4-3 team, but he's not currently projected to be drafted.
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