Aaron Murray had something to prove Wednesday.
Only 141 days after the quarterback underwent surgery for a torn ACL, Murray provided a fresh reminder that he still knows how to sling the ball around.
During Pro Day, Murray completed 48 of 54 scripted passes on a breezy day at Georgia‚Äôs practice fields.
‚ÄúHopefully after today, we‚Äôll start hearing some more noise,‚Äù Murray said. ‚ÄúJust showing to everyone that I‚Äôm ready to go.‚Äù
The 6-foot-1/2 inch, 204-pound Murray and 14 other former Georgia players worked out before representatives of 23 NFL teams. The NFL draft is May 8-10.
Six teams had asked Murray for private workouts, visits or both before Wednesday.
‚ÄúI think I‚Äôve shown everyone they don‚Äôt have to worry about my injury,‚Äù Murray said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs not going to stop me from being able to compete this year. Now it‚Äôs just a matter of what teams like me and what teams don‚Äôt and who‚Äôs willing to draft me.‚Äù
Gus Bradley of the Jacksonville Jaguars was the only head coach in attendance. The Jaguars had seven total from the organization on hand, including offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch and quarterbacks coach Frank Scelfo.
The Jaguars staff coached at the Senior Bowl, where Murray spent a few days around the South team, even though he wasn‚Äôt playing.
‚ÄúWe have, as much as you can, a good feel for his personality, his competitiveness,‚Äù Bradley said. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs off the charts. Then to see how fast he came back and how he‚Äôs doing it and the drills that he did, very impressive. … The big thing was to see how he‚Äôs progressed through that injury and how he‚Äôs come back. If nothing else, it shows how competitive he is. To come back from an injury like that, I think it just reassured us of what we thought we already knew.‚Äù
Murray said he had no hesitation making his throws, running and cutting before an audience for the first time since he injured his left knee against Kentucky Nov. 23. It cut short the college career of the Southeastern Conference‚Äôs leader in passing yards (13,166) and touchdown passes (121).
Georgia coach Mark Richt visited Murray in the hospital the day after the surgery, not expecting the quarterback would progress as quickly as he did.
‚ÄúI think the big thing for Aaron was to kind of show everybody he‚Äôs healthy, and I thought he did that,‚Äù Richt said. ‚ÄúObviously he can throw the football, and they‚Äôve seen all that on tape. But since the injury, no one‚Äôs really seen him do much, and if he didn‚Äôt have that knee brace on, I don‚Äôt think anybody would have thought anything had happened to him. He moved well. There was no hesitation. There was no flinching. Changing direction, dropping back, stepping up, firing the football ‚Äî I thought he did a good job today.‚Äù
Thee quarterbacks coaches ‚Äî Wade Wilson (Dallas) , Zac Taylor (Miami) and Frank Cignetti (St. Louis) ‚Äî were present.
Atlanta scout Billy Devaney, the former St. Louis Rams general manager, was also on hand.
Murray‚Äôs parents, sister and girlfriend watched along with former Georgia players A.J. Green, Shawn Williams, David Greene and Dennis Roland.
Terry Shea, who worked with former Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford before his NFL combine, ran Murray‚Äôs throwing session.
‚ÄúIt was a very ambitious script, in my opinion, because we moved him around so much,‚Äù Shea said. ‚ÄúThat was paramount because we wanted to demonstrate his health, that he‚Äôs 100 percent healthy, and I believe he obviously answered those questions.‚Äù
Murray threw mostly to receivers Rantavious Wooten, Rhett McGowan, tight end Arthur Lynch and running back Brandon Harton and took snaps from Chris Burnette.
‚ÄúI had a blast,‚Äù Murray said. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs officially now my last time throwing on this field, really.‚Äù
Added Lynch: ‚ÄúI think Aaron did a good job. Obviously there were some drops out there, but I thought all the balls were on the money. For a guy who had surgery four months ago, he showed that his knee was strong and he didn‚Äôt lose any athleticism. If anything, he probably got stronger. He‚Äôs in really good shape. I think Aaron proved to everyone that he needed to prove and the future‚Äôs bright for him.‚Äù
It wasn‚Äôt quite the frozen tundra of Green Bay, but the day began with a freeze warning. It climbed into the 50s while Murray was throwing in the late morning.
It should be a much smaller draft class for the Bulldogs than last year when eight players were taken, including four in the top 84 led by first-round draft picks Jarvis Jones and Alec Ogletree.
No Georgia player is listed in the NFL Network‚Äôs top five players by position.
That includes Murray, who was the No. 9 quarterback by former NFL scout Daniel Jeremiah‚Äôs list on the NFL Network before Wednesday.
The consensus top tier of quarterbacks from ESPN‚Äôs Mel Kiper, Mayock and Jeremiah includes Louisville‚Äôs Teddy Bridgewater, UCF‚Äôs Blake Bortles, Texas A&M‚Äôs Johnny Manziel, Fresno State‚Äôs Derek Carr and Eastern Illinois‚Äô Jimmy Garoppolo.
Murray said he will be home in Tampa for the draft. Between now and then, he‚Äôll return to Indianapolis for a medical check on the knee.
‚ÄúThe biggest question mark for me was, ‚ÄòWhen am I going to be healthy?‚Äô‚Äù Murray said. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs what today was for mostly, to show these teams that I‚Äôm healthy and I‚Äôm ready to go.‚Äù
40 times (first time is official, second two are unofficial times by Marc Weiszer)
Chris Burnette 5.47, 5.44, 5.44
Corey Campbell 4.70, 4.50, 4.69
Kenarious Gates 5.26, 5.25, 5.22
Brandon Harton 4.70, 4.69, 4.66
Dallas Lee 5.18, 5.12 5.19
Rhett McGowan 4.64, 4.62, 4.66
Blake Sailors 4.45, 4.4, 4.53
Branden Smith 4.58, 4.59, 4.56
Garrison Smith 5.23, 5.31, 5.22
T.J. Stripling 4.69, 4.75, 4.62
Marcus Washington 4.79, 4.88, 4.75
Rantavious Wooten 4.57, 4.50, 4.38
Curtis Wyatt 4.72m 4.78, 4.62
Chris Burnette 7-11
Corey Campbell 9-9
Kenarious Gates 8-2
Brandon Harton 9-9
Dallas Lee 8-2
Rhett McGowan 9-10
Blake Sailors 9-6
Branden Smith 9-9
Garrison Smith 8-2
T.J. Stripling 9-6
Marcus Washington 8-11
Rantavious Wooten 9-10
Curtis Wyatt 9-8
Chris Burnette 28
Corey Campbell 31
Kenarious Gates 24
Brandon Harton 32
Dallas Lee 27
Arthur Lynch 29
Rhett McGowan 35
Blake Sailors 34
Branden Smith 32
Garrison Smith 24
T.J. Stripling 30
Marcus Washington 30
Rantavious Wooten 36
Curtis Wyatt 35
Chris Burnette 24
Corey Campbell 23
Kenarious Gates 22
Brandon Harton 15
Dallas Lee 29
Rhett McGowan 6
Blake Sailors 14
Branden Smith 8
Garrison Smith 23
T.J. Stripling 18
Marcus Washington 20
Rantavious Wooten 12
Curtis Wyatt 13
Lynch stood on the rest of his combine numbers. Murray did only on-field work.