Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray’s decision to return for his senior season could raise his stock a round or two for the 2014 NFL draft.
That was the assessment of ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. who held court with reporters on a teleconference on Wednesday.
“I thought it was a real good, solid decision on his part to go back,” Kiper said. “If you come out, you’re looking at probably being a third- or fourth-round pick and not as early as I think maybe he would have liked. Certainly by going back, you’re in the mix with some quarterbacks who frankly need to step it up.”
Murray is competing in the 2014 quarterback draft class with Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas, Alabama’s A.J. McCarron, Clemson’s Tajh Boyd, Fresno State’s Derek Carr and North Carolina’s Bryn Renner, Kiper said.
“Murray has had a heck of a career,” Kiper said. “The big thing is going to be, how tall is he? Is he 6-foot, 6-1? What’s his accurate height going to be? But another year to play a little bit better in some of the big games along the way, another year to hone his skills.”
If Murray steps it up in the big games, “I think you’re looking at maybe a second-round pick,” Kiper said.
Other Georgia-related tidbits from Kiper:
–Jarvis Jones would be a good choice at No. 5 for the Lions as a 4-3 outside linebacker in the mold of Von Miller.
“He can get a ton of heat on the quarterback,” Kiper said.
–Kiper says potentially 12 to 14 defensive lineman could go in the first round and that half of the first round—16 of 32– could be front seven defensive players. That includes former Georgia nose guard John Jenkins.
“You get a big kid who can stuff the run like he can and occupy the way he can in the 20s, that rarely happens,” he said.
Linebacker Alec Ogletree “has got the great versatility. He can fit a lot of schemes. He can cover. He’s going to get bigger. He’s got tremendous range, had a great year. I think he certainly can be in the top 10 to 12.”
–Safeties Bacarri Rambo and Shawn Williams and cornerback/safety Sanders Commings “could all still be in that third- or fourth-round discussion.” Defensive end Cornelius Washington is pegged to go in the fifth or sixth round.”
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