Editor’s Note: Chip Towers provided updates throughout UGA’s Pro Day and all of them are listed below. Some of the notables: RB Knowshon Moreno turned in a 4.63 in the 40-yard dash while DB Asher Allen turned in a blazing 4.33. QB Matthew Stafford ended the day with several impressive throws. DB C.J. Byrd, LB Dannell Ellerbe and WR Mohamed Massaqoui helped themselves with fast times in the 40.
Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno will be on the field again for Georgia today. Check that: They’ll be on Georgia’s fields but it will be for themselves.
Representatives of all 32 NFL teams — and in some cases three or four from each team — will be on hand as the Bulldogs’ two offensive stars from this past season, along with 12 other UGA players, show off their wares for NFL scouts.
Georgia coach Mark Richt said it may be the Bulldogs’ biggest Pro Day since he and his staff came to Athens. Strength and conditioning director Dave Van Halanger, who organizes and oversees the event, wasn’t so sure. He remembers the first year, when Georgia had Richard Seymour and Marcus Stroud and Kendrell Bell, as being a well-attended event. And certainly there was a lot of buzz when David Pollack and David Greene and Thomas Davis came out in 2004.
But in Stafford and Moreno the Bulldogs have produced two players that could be early first-round picks. And in the case of Stafford, VERY early. Some have projected him as the No. 1 overall pick.
The main reason for the incredible turnout is Stafford chose not to throw at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis last month. He chose to throw to his own recivers — Mohamed Massaquoi, Demiko Goodman and Kenneth Harris — on his own fields. And the beneficiaries of that decision, including Stafford and Moreno, are Georgia and the 12 other players hoping to get their name called during the NFL draft.
“Matthew’s decision to throw here and not there, that was up to him. . . . I don’t get into the middle of that decision,” coach Mark Richt said. “But the fact that Matthew is doing it here is a big deal because he will attract a big crowd. Even if those guys weren’t here we’d have a solid Pro Day. But with both those guys being here it’s going to be a bigger crowd than we normally get.”
Because Stafford is being considered for the top spot, more actual NFL coaches and executives are expected to be in town rather than just scouts.
Said Richt: “I can’t predict who’s coming but I’m sure there are going to be some big-name coaches, head coaches and position coaches. I would think GMs will be here. I think you’ll see a great representation of the NFL coming to our campus, which is super.”
Richt is encouraging the current Bulldogs to come out and watch their former teammates for motivation if nothing else.
“It’s a job interview for the dream of their lifetime,” Richt said. “So I told our guys to come watch their teammates interview for a job in the NFL. I want that to motivate them. I them to be excited about it.”
Other UGA players showing off for the scouts Thursday: Receivers Mohamed Massaquoi, Kenneth Harris and Demiko Goodman; cornerbacks Asher Allen and Ramarcus Brown; fullback Brannan Southerland; linebacker Dannell Ellerbe; defensive tackle Corvey Irvin; defensive ends Jeremy Lomax and Jarius Wynn; safety CJ Byrd; and punter Brian Mimbs.