Georgia has done a fine job of producing top-level talent for the NFL. Both Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno were starters last season. The continued presence and success of guys like Hines Ward and Champ Bailey underscores the overall talent-level that the Dawgs have seen over the years.
This season, a new crop of players are looking to make their mark on the NFL gridiron. Some of them got their chance to shine over the weekend in Indianapolis.
What follows is a brief overview of how those guys did and where they are likely to fall in light of their performances.
Owens did the most of any Georgia player invited to the combine. He blew away the pro scouts with his jaw-breaking physical ability. He was the top performer amongst defensive linemen with 44 reps at 225 pounds.
He's listed at 6'1", 304 pounds, and is a bit shorter than some might like for the interior spot. But he is stellar in run defense, and his leadership ability and infectious attitude make him a sure-bet to be a key contributor early.
Prior to the Combine, he was thought to be a fourth- round prospect, but after his performance, he's a borderline second round pick that's almost certain to be long gone before the fourth round rolls around.
Falling not too far behind Jeff Owens was Geno Atkins. His name was already generating quite a bit of buzz following his performance at the Senior Bowl. He did nothing to diminish that fire at the NFL Combine.
He was among the top performers at his position and was impressive enough to move from a third round prospect up to, perhaps, an early second round pick. His size is a bit of a factor, but he plays bigger than his height would suggest. His obvious strength makes him an attractive option in a 4-3 scheme—a scheme he excelled in at Georgia.
Prior to the NFL Combine, the only knock on Curran was his size. That has ALWAYS been the knock on him. Yet, that has never stopped him from being one of the top linebackers in the SEC over the last two seasons.
Curran will be best suited for a 4-3 scheme as his size and ability to make plays off the edge are unmatched by many. That said, he won't be able to outmuscle too many offensive lineman at the next level and will struggle a bit if placed in a 3-4.
Curran has a great work ethic, and he's always playing with a chip on his shoulder. That could make him worth the gamble for any team looking for a tough player with better than average tackling ability.
Atlanta Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff has reportedly shown some interest in Rennie—a projected third round pick.
Reshad Jones was another top performer at his position during the NFL Combine. He benched 225 pounds 24 times. His vertical jump of nearly 40 inches didn't do anything to diminish scout's view of him as a mid-tier defensive back at the next level.
He didn't do anything to hurt his second-third round draft grade and showcased the right amount of strength, agility and ball skills to make him an attractive choice for any team looking for help in their secondary.
He'll go early for sure.