For a team that finished 6-7 last season, Georgia will be well-represented at the NFL scouting combine that gets underway today in Indianapolis when some players begin arriving.
Among the 329 prospects at Lucas Oil Stadium that scouts and general managers will watch and interview at an event that runs through Tuesday will be eight former Bulldogs, tied with LSU for most of any SEC team.
Here’s a breakdown of the Georgia players hoping to improve their stock for the NFL Draft April 28-30:
–WR A.J. Green. Some are pegging Green to go as the No. 4 overall pick to the Bengals, but he’s rated higher by some and lower by others.
“This kid has the size, the vertical stretch ability,” said ESPN’s Mel Kiper, one of those who has Green at No. 4. “He’ll go into traffic and make the challenging catch.”
Tony Pauline of SI.com rates Green as the best overall prospect. Russ Lande of Sporting News has Green going No. 12 to the Vikings.
“Yes, I’m going to do everything at the combine,” Green said during a visit to the Chicago area tied into Gatorade. “But I don’t feel I have to prove anything because my game film tells it all. But I want to do everything just to make it easier on myself, to leave no doubts about anything.”
–DE/OLB Justin Houston. After entering the draft following his junior season, Houston is showing up as a late first- or second-round draft pick projection. DraftInider.Net has him as the No. 45 overall prospect but War Room rates him No. 80.
“The Georgia junior is a tremendous pass rusher out of a three-point stance,” writes Pauline at SI.com. “The problem is Houston lacks the size for the defensive end position and has poor instincts as a linebacker.”
Wes Bunting of National Football Post tweeted over the weekend: “The more I watch Georgia DE Justin Houston the more I like him….great get off burst, can flatten on edge, more of a 4-3 DE.”
–OL Clint Boling—Started six games at left tackle, five at right guard and two at right tackle as a senior. Got good reviews for his showing at the Senior Bowl in Mobile. The NFL Network’s Mike Mayock sees Boling projecting as a guard more than a tackle. “Boling is a better football player than I gave him credit for,” Mayock said. “I liked what he did at the Senior Bowl. He’s probably more of a second round guy.”
DraftInsider.Net puts Boling in the third round as the No. 15 guard.
After the Senior Bowl, Scouts Inc. wrote: “Boling has shown good inline power and nice awareness all week, especially in the open field where he has done a great job of adjusting on the move to cover up targets. He’s made himself some money this week.”
–Fullback Shaun Chapas- He’s No.3 rated at the position by War Room and the No. 4 by DraftInsider.Net, which puts him as in the fifth or sixth round. Chapas missed the Liberty Bowl for Georgia and did not participate in an all-star game after undergoing ankle surgery.
“Chapas is a gritty football player with a throwback mentality, but he does not have the bulk or athleticism to be a lead blocker in the NFL,” wrote the overview on Chapas at NFL.com. “Chapas will likely be a day 3 pick, as he has a great attitude and is a coach’s dream.”
–ILB Akeem Dent—DraftInsiders has him in the seventh round and War Room pegs him as the No 10 inside linebacker. Scouts Inc. has him as No. 5 ILB. It lists him as average in several categories but at above average in strength/toughness.
“Downhill run stopper that’s not afraid to meet lead blockers in the hole when teams run at him,” Scouts Inc. writes. “Right shoulder dominant but flashes the ability to get off lead blocks in time to make plays at the line of scrimmage. Tougher than strong however.
CB Vance Cuff—He may be a late round pick or free agent, but I’m looking forward to seeing what Cuff clocks in the 40-yard dash. Cuff set a Georgia program record last spring when he was timed running a 4.24 in the 40. The top official 40 time last year at the combine was Clemson wide receiver Jacoby Ford’s 4.28.
DE Demarcus Dobbs—Late round pick or free agent. He’s rated as the No. 18 defensive end by War Room and No. 28 by NFLDraftScout.com, which writes that “if he finds the perfect situation, he could have a shot as a reserve strong-side end in a 4-3 defense.”
OT Josh Davis—Late round pick or free agent. “Davis has great length for the offensive tackle position, but he lacks the flexibility to consistently block defensive ends at the next level,” was NFL.com’s overview. Scouts Inc. rates Davis above average for awareness (“Keeps head on a swivel in pass protection”) but below average for run blocking.
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