The pro day is the final shot for college players to show scouts what they can do before the NFL draft takes place in early May.
For Aaron Murray, it was his only shot as he has been recovering from an ACL injury.
So when Murray took the stage on Wednesday to throw in front of scouts, he knew he had to be nearly flawless. And he did just that as he completed 48 of his 54 throws, according to Gentry Estes of 247 Sports.
Granted, the pro day is scripted, and everyone who takes part in it should do well. But this was really the first time Murray has shown the scouts his ability live. He did attend the NFL combine, but he was there only to meet with scouts, coaches and general managers to let them know that he will be healthy once the 2014 season begins.
So with a combination of his performance at Georgia's pro day and him doing the little things right, Murray’s draft stock is on the rise.
Many draft experts, including Mel Kiper (via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution), believe Murray will be a mid-round pick. The big thing Murray has going for him is that he has a big arm and throws with accuracy. But he is a smaller quarterback who needs a clean pocket to be efficient.
One of the reasons Murray's stock is rising is that he has the work ethic one needs to survive in the NFL. The ACL injury he suffered in November was a blow, but he worked hard for the last five months and is on his way to being a key contributor for an NFL team.
Now where he will be drafted will be interesting, because it will all depend on how the first two rounds go. If there is a run of quarterbacks in the first round, which is possible, Murray could go in the third round. But if there are only two quarterbacks taken in the first day, there’s a chance Murray could drop to the fifth round.
Aaron Murray in pass drills, looks good, very sharp. But I still don't know what you learn here that 4 yrs of SEC football can't teach you.— Gentry Estes (@GentryEstes247) April 16, 2014
Jon Gruden said (via The Red and Black) that he would be surprised that Murray doesn’t go in the third round. Gruden went on to say that he was impressed with the workout and that Murray is a coach on the field.
We all know what Murray can do on the field; he leaves Georgia as the most prolific passer in school and SEC history. So there is no question he can play the position. But the NFL is an entirely different ballgame, and Murray will have to make improvements to his game in order to be a starter.
What it comes down to is this: Murray will be drafted by a team that needs depth at quarterback. When he’ll be drafted remains to be seen, but based on the work he has put in the last five months, Murray is a prospect on the rise—and the NFL is starting to take notice.