NOTE: PRACTICE UPDATES BELOW IN COMMENTS.
I have been covering Georgia Pro Days off and on since the early 1990s — I remember watching Garrison Hearst and Andre Hastings run the 40 up on the track in 1992 — and I have to say that Thursday’s had to be the biggest “event” of all of them I’ve personally witnessed.
The 2001 Pro Day was well attended, with Marcus Stroud and Richard Seymour and Kendrell Bell and pretty much the whole of that defense getting drafted. There were a bunch in 2002, such as George Foster, Jon Stinchcomb, Boss Bailey and Musa Smith. Then there was 2004 with David Greene, David Pollack, Reggie Brown and Odell Thurman, among others. But in terms of creating buzz and attracting NFL and media attention, 2009 took the cake.
That comes as no surprise as Georgia may have the top players drafted at two positions in quarterback Matthew Stafford and tailback Knowshon Moreno. There were 13 other Bulldogs that worked out for the scouts, too, so they had both a quality and quantity representation. And there were tons of media around to chronicle everything.
So what did I think of the actually proceedings?
Hard to tell. The way I look at it and the way these NFL types view it are totally different. And you can’t get a whole lot out of the NFL people because they’re all holding their cards close to their vest this close to the actual draft. Some execs from a team not drafting a quarterback told us that Stafford “didn’t hurt himself; might have helped himself a little.” That is a relative dump truck of praise in their ultra competitive world.
Here’s what we do know: Stafford threw 50 scripted passes in 10 minutes. Based on my unofficial accounting, he completed 45 of those with three incompletions and two drops. Stafford was pleased but not thrilled.
“If you miss a guy here it looks bad because there is nobody [covering] him,” Stafford said. “I just wanted to throw. I know these people wanted to see me throw. I think I did fine. I just wish that I could have completed all of them.”
Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, who oversaw and scripted the session with Stafford. “I thought he did good,” Bobo said. “I wish I could’ve gotten him to slow down a little. He likes to go fast and the receivers got a little tired. But I thought he made some nice throws and showed them a good arm and good mechanics.”
Two of Stafford’s three misses were high sailers on deep outs to the left. Bobo said outs to the left are actually Stafford’s favorite because he can really put some heat on them. Probably just put a little too much on those two.
As for Moreno, he didn’t seem at all dejected afterward despite not breaking 4.6 in the 40. In his typical Knowshon style he just kind of shrugged off the whole production. “It’s whatever they want,” Moreno said. “You definitely get a lot out of the running back drills and things like that. . . . But all my stuff is really on tape. They can see what I can do.”
A few guys who definitely helped themselves were CB Asher Allen (4.33 40), DB CJ Byrd (4.38 40, 10-4 broad jump, good bench performance), WR Mohamed Massaquoi (4.47 40) and WR Kenneth Harris (4.47). I was told after the fact that Demiko Goodman ran a 4.35. Hard to tell a lot about the linemen, though I thought Corvey Irvin looked pretty good. Word is the Falcons may be interested in Allen and LB Dannell Ellerbe.
But, again, there wasn’t a lot of feedback to go on. What did y’all think?
In the meantime, be sure to check out Brant Sanderlin’s photo gallery of the day.