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Georgia Football: 5 Players with the Most to Prove at Pro Day

Brian JonesContributor IFebruary 25, 2014

Georgia Football: 5 Players with the Most to Prove at Pro Day

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    JACKSONVILLE, FL - JANUARY 1: Todd Gurley #3 of the Georgia Bulldogs runs downfield on a 30-yard pass play to set up a field goal in the second half against the Nebraska Cornhuskers during the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl at Everbank Field on January 1, 2014
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    April 16 will be an important day for guys like Aaron Murray, Arthur Lynch and Garrison Smith because it will be pro day in Athens.

    This pro day will be important because only one Bulldog took part in the NFL combine, and that was Lynch. So this will be a chance for the many seniors and players who are eligible for the draft to put their talents on display.

    But even though every player at the pro day will try to prove to NFL scouts, coaches and general managers that they are ready to take the next step, which players have the most to prove?

    Here’s a look at five players who have the most riding on their pro day.

QB Aaron Murray

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    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    The first on the list is Aaron Murray, who said he will be ready to go for pro day, according to Mike Huguenin of NFL.com.

    Murray suffered a torn ACL back in November and was not able to participate in the combine.

    He is a fundamentally sound quarterback who is a natural leader, but his size is a question mark. He will have to show scouts that he can play bigger than his 6'1" frame.

    No matter what happens at the pro day, Murray will get drafted. But if he proves that his ACL is healed, and he can make all the throws during the workouts, he could play his way into a third-round pick instead of being drafted in the fourth or fifth round.

OG Dallas Lee

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    Dave Martin/Associated Press

    The offensive line has been a little shaky for the Bulldogs the last couple of years, but Dallas Lee was not the reason for it.

    He is durable, smart and disciplined, and those qualities are needed to be successful in the NFL.

    The one drawback about him is that he is less explosive than scouts would like when it comes to the guard position. He has also had his issues with powerful defensive linemen.

    On April 16, he has to show NFL bigwigs that he is strong and explosive enough to take on all types of defenders.

OG Chris Burnette

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    Jay Sailors/Associated Press

    Chris Burnette is probably the Bulldogs' best offensive lineman prospect. He’s quick on his feet, has great hands and will never back down from a challenge.

    He has had his share of injuries in the past, which could be why he was not invited to the combine.

    He has to show that he has the durability to play in a league that is more demanding than college.

    Another thing that Burnette has to work on is speed. He will need to be a bit faster than his 5.2 40-yard time, via NFLDraftScout.com, in order to have a successful pro day.

OT Kenarious Gates

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    Dave Martin/Associated Press

    Kenarious Gates had a so-so year at tackle this past season. He was beaten quite a few times by Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley in the season opener, but he settled down after that.

    Gates has the size (6'4", 327 pounds) to be a very good offensive lineman in the NFL. But he has to show he can stay on his blocks and protect the quarterback at all times.

    If he can’t demonstrate that at the pro day, then he will be out of the league before he is even in it.

DL Garrison Smith

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    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Garrison Smith should have been invited to the combine. At 6'1", 310 pounds, he may not have the ideal size to play defensive end on the next level, but he would make a solid defensive tackle.

    He was the most productive defensive lineman for the Bulldogs the last two years and could play either nose tackle or defensive end.

    On April 16, he needs to show that he is fast enough to play at the next level and can gain a pass rush when his number is called. Out of all the Bulldogs who are taking part in pro day, Smith has the best chance to make a name for himself by having a strong workout.

     

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