ATHENS, Ga. — All eyes were on the Classic City on Wednesday morning, when 19 former Bulldogs participated in Georgia's annual pro timing day in front of dozens of scouts and representatives of all 32 NFL teams.
Among those who participated were star linebacker Leonard Floyd, running back and NFL combine phenom Keith Marshall, wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell and others looking to make a career out of playing football.
What were the biggest takeaways on Wednesday?
|Georgia Pro-Day Results|
|Georgia Sports Communications|
Marshall Making Money
For the majority of his career, Marshall was more sizzle than steak at Georgia.
The former 5-star prospect came in with more recruiting buzz than former Bulldog and current Los Angeles Ram Todd Gurley. But Gurley's emergence early in 2012 coupled with Marshall's inability to stay healthy relegated the Raleigh, North Carolina, native to backup status during his four years with the program.
That might change at the next level.
Marshall sat on his 4.31-second time in the 40-yard dash from the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis last month but wanted to show teams that his agility is right where it should be on the "5-10-5" shuttle and "L drills."
"I talked to coaches, and they said that I did well today," Marshall said.
Better late than never for Marshall, who credits weight loss over the last three months for his sudden rise up draft boards.
"I was healthy six months ago, but I got too big during the season," he said. "I thought I was eating healthy, but I wasn't. I dropped down a lot of weight and body fat.
"I was up to 230, but 218 today. It wasn't too big of a problem, but 230 was too big for me."
Marshall is finally wowing the football world in a way that many expected him to as a true freshman for the Bulldogs in 2012. The potential has always been there, and he showed it again on Wednesday.
Floyd the Freak
NFL scouts were drooling at the sight of Leonard Floyd—the 6'6", 244-pound ultra-athletic linebacker who easily could slide into a 3-4 NFL system and become a pass-rushing force.
He didn't disappoint.
Floyd sat on his combine results of 4.60 in the 40-yard dash and 127-inch broad jump, which have solidified him as a possible first-round pick.
"Why wouldn't I be worthy?" Floyd joked. "I played for Georgia, made plays for Georgia. Why wouldn't I be? I can bring the edge. I can bring speed. I can bring passion for the game. All of those things."
Those measurables opened the eyes of all of the scouts, but so did his weight...in the wrong way. Floyd has been criticized as being too thin, according to several outlets, including his draft prospect page on NFL.com. In just one month, Floyd has jumped from 244 in Indianapolis to 248 at pro day in Athens.
"Most teams question my weight and how much I can continue to gain weight," Floyd said. "I show 'em with the scale—that I can gain weight."
Floyd looked sharp, explosive and up for the challenge in front of the scouts on Wednesday for a brief period of time on drills, including the hoops drill and three-cone. But stomach issues forced him to cut his day short after eating something that didn't sit well for breakfast.
As long as that weight keeps rising, though, he will be just fine come time for the NFL draft.
Malcolm in the Middle
Malcolm Mitchell is the ultimate team player.
The former Georgia wide receiver volunteered to play cornerback to open the 2012 season when the Bulldogs were decimated by injuries and suspensions in the defensive backfield but moved back to wide receiver as the season progressed.
He was set to become a star in 2013 but tore his ACL celebrating a Todd Gurley touchdown early in the season opener versus Clemson.
Finally, after an up-and-down career in Athens, Mitchell became a star in 2015 with 865 yards and five touchdowns. That performance, coupled with his versatility, transformed him from draft question mark to potentially one of the fastest risers of the draft process.
The Valdosta, Georgia, native stood pat on his 4.45 40-yard dash time at the combine, as well as his 36-inch vertical, 129-inch broad jump and all timed drills. On Wednesday, he participated mostly in field drills, and showed off his hands and route-running ability.
He's projected as a fourth-rounder by CBSSports.com and didn't do anything to hurt that on Wednesday.
The Other Linebacker
Jordan Jenkins played in the shadow of some high-profile linebackers during his four years in Athens. Playing on the opposite side of Floyd, and alongside middle linebackers Jake Ganus, Ramik Wilson, Amarlo Herrera and others during his career, Jenkins had 40 tackles for loss during his four years and quietly made his name known to scouts.
On Georgia's pro day, Jenkins became a star.
He upped his 40 time from 4.80 to 4.76 on both runs on Wednesday, upped his reps on bench from 16 to 19, and improved two inches on his broad jump and an inch-and-a half to 38 inches on his vertical jump.
"I wanted to try to improve and show that I'm faster than that 4.8," Jenkins said.
The 6'3", 259-pounder played "Jack" linebacker at Georgia, and routinely put his hand in the dirt and lined up at defensive end. That versatility has made him attractive to scouts at the next level.
"The things I need to work on are my hand usage and being more in tune with my hands," he said. "Sometimes when I'm setting the edge and when I'm striking a blocker, I get my hands out of place make the job of setting the edge a lot harder than it should be."
Jenkins joked at the intensity of pro day compared to playing in front of 90,000 fans at Sanford Stadium.
"Honestly, it's almost more intense. This is your job now. This is an interview. You don't want to mess up on an interview."
He didn't on Wednesday morning.
A Long and Winding Road
Middle linebacker Jake Ganus didn't have a team to play for a year-and-a-half ago.
UAB had shut down, and the Chelsea, Alabama, native was left in search of a new program to play his final year of eligibility.
While he wasn't the star of the 2015 Georgia defense, he did lead it in tackles with 102 and earn team MVP honors and an invitation to the Senior Bowl.
He didn't earn one to the combine, though.
"At first, I was pretty shocked," Ganus said. "Everybody that got an invitation from Georgia was deserving, but I feel like I deserved to be a part of that group."
Because of that, a strong performance on pro day was a necessity for Ganus.
"This is the first time that the scouts really get to see me run the 40, do the vertical and bench and all of those things," he said. "So it was good to see where I'm at."
That place is better than expected, according to Ganus.
"A lot of scouts, when they watch my film, project my time at 4.9 or five-flat—not very fast," he said. "I was around the 4.76-to-4.82 range on the one attempt. I beat their expectations, so that can't hurt."
Ganus admitted that he's not a track star, and one look at his game film will confirm that. But he went from a player without a home to the most important player on a defense loaded with talent in a one-year span, which will certainly give him a chance to find a role at the next level.
Barrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and national college football video analyst for Bleacher Report as well as a host on Bleacher Report Radio on SiriusXM 83. Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee.