Georgia Bulldogs: Todd McShay

Three to watch at UGA pro day

March, 20, 2013
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Branden SmithScott Cunningham/Getty ImagesBranden Smith didn't get an invitation to the NFL combine in February, but the speedy CB will have a legitimate chance Thursday to increase his stock.

ATHENS, Ga. -- Georgia has had three players picked in the first round of the NFL draft in the last four years. None of them were defensive players, extending a strange streak of seven straight years in which the Bulldogs have not had a defender become a first-round pick.

That will almost certainly change on April 25, when the league opens its three-day draft at New York’s Radio City Music Hall -- Bulldogs defenders Jarvis Jones, Alec Ogletree and John Jenkins are all first-rounders in ESPN analyst Todd McShay’s most recent mock draft, while Ogletree and Jones are first-round picks in ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr.’s most recent mock -- but Thursday’s pro day workouts at Georgia’s practice facility could greatly impact those projections.

It’s obviously a big day for Jones, who did not work out at the NFL combine in February, but that’s also the case for several of his former teammates who will participate in Georgia’s pro day. The Bulldogs are tied with Alabama and Florida State for the most players -- six -- ranked on ESPN Scouts Inc.’s list of the top 115 prospects in the draft -- Ogletree (No. 12), Jones (No. 16), Jenkins (No. 25), Bacarri Rambo (No. 86), Shawn Williams (No. 92) and Tavarres King (No. 115). Thursday’s pro day will surely be well attended by NFL scouts and personnel execs. It’s a perfect opportunity for ex-Bulldogs who don’t have the draft profile of an Ogletree or Jones to catch somebody’s eye.

Let’s take a look at three players who can each help his own cause at Thursday’s pro day workouts:

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Bulldogs well represented at Senior Bowl 

January, 25, 2013
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ATHENS, Ga. -- No school is better represented this week at the Senior Bowl than Georgia, which sent six players to Mobile, Ala., to participate in college football’s premier postseason all-star game Saturday.

In addition to serving as a high-profile job interview for an assortment of NFL scouts, general managers, coaches and other personnel reps, this week’s Senior Bowl practices are also a mini-reunion for the six Bulldogs in Mobile who scattered throughout the country to prepare for the draft.

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Aaron Murray was so torn up about his impending decision on whether to stay at Georgia for his senior season that he hopped a flight for New Orleans for the Allstate Sugar Bowl immediately after winning game MVP honors in Tuesday afternoon’s Capital One Bowl victory against Nebraska.

[+] EnlargeAaron Murray and Mike Bobo
Paul Abell/US PresswireAaron Murray will lean on advisement on coaches and family to make his NFL decision.
As a member of the American Football Coaches Association’s Good Works Team, Murray was invited to participate in a special football camp before the Sugar Bowl and to be recognized at the game, so he took his older brother Josh along for the ride. But the fun and games will soon end for Georgia’s record-setting quarterback, and he knows he will have to seriously weigh his options before deciding on his future.

The decision that he makes -- like those of draft-eligible teammates Jarvis Jones and Kwame Geathers -- could completely change the complexion of Georgia’s 2013 season.

"I think I’m going to sit down with my parents in the next few days and still have to draw up the pros and cons and go from there,” Murray said after passing for 427 yards and five touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 45-31 bowl win against the Cornhuskers. “… Jarvis and I are blessed to have this opportunity to make this tough decision, but right now I’m just enjoying the process.”

In truth, Murray and Geathers’ decisions are much more difficult than the one that awaits Jones. The two-time All-American outside linebacker seems to be almost a sure bet to become an NFL first-round draft pick.

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Game breakdown: Georgia vs. Nebraska

December, 31, 2012
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No. 7 Georgia and No. 16 Nebraska meet on New Year’s Day in Orlando, Fla., in one of the highest-profile non-BCS games of this bowl season. The key to Tuesday’s game might be discerning which of them actually takes that reality seriously.

It’s not the BCS championship game, where Georgia could easily be playing, or the Rose Bowl, which Nebraska expected before laying an egg in a 70-31 loss to Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game. But the winning program on Tuesday could very well wind up where it has not been in quite some time.

Georgia was once a top-10 team essentially every season under coach Mark Richt, but it has not finished the season in the Associated Press top 10 since 2007. Likewise, Nebraska finished the season ranked in the AP top 10 eight times in nine seasons between 1993 and 2001, but it has not finished the season there in the last decade.

Let’s take a look at how they might make it there with a victory to inaugurate the new year:

No. 7 Georgia vs. No. 16 Nebraska

Tuesday, 1 p.m.
Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium, Orlando, Fla.
ABC

Records: Georgia 11-2, Nebraska 10-3

Last game: Georgia lost 32-28 to Alabama in the SEC championship game on Dec. 1. Nebraska lost 70-31 to Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game on the same day.

What’s the Story? Georgia and Nebraska are both trying to snap two-game bowl losing skids and end their seasons with a milestone victory of sorts. Nebraska hasn’t won at least 11 games in a season since 2001 and Georgia has only won 12 games twice in school history.

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Game Breakdown: Vanderbilt at Georgia 

September, 21, 2012
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VANDERBILT AT NO. 5 GEORGIA
Saturday, 7:45 p.m. ET
Sanford Stadium/Athens, Ga.
ESPN2
Records: Georgia 3-0 (1-0 SEC), Vanderbilt 1-2 (0-1)

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Jones tops two NFL draft prospect lists

September, 19, 2012
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He didn't even play last Saturday against Florida Atlantic and Jarvis Jones still rose in the opinions of ESPN's NFL draft experts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay.

Jones occupies the No. 1 spot in both analysts' lists of the top prospects for the 2013 NFL draft. The All-America outside linebacker rested a tweaked groin during the FAU game, but said he will be ready to go Saturday when Georgia hosts Vanderbilt.

Bulldogs fans can only hope he picks up where he left off the last time he was on the field, when he generated two fourth-quarter turnovers that helped Georgia pull away from Missouri -- a buzzworthy performance that helped him rise to the top of the boards.

Said Kiper, guessing that many will see the move being more about demoting USC quarterback Matt Barkley: " ... this move is still more about how exceptional Jarvis Jones has been, even coming off a weekend where he rested. The Georgia star can really do it all on defense.

He's the most relentless pass-rusher in the country, a guy who closes fast and must be planned for."

See Kiper's full rankings here. Insider

Said McShay of Jones' rise: "That's not to say I believe Jones will be the top overall pick when April rolls around, but at this point he's taking advantage of Barkley and other struggling prospects and boosting his stock." See McShay's full rankings here. Insider

Watch: McShay's top five prospects

August, 29, 2012
8/29/12
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Todd McShay ranks his top five prospects in college football.

Intriguing players for 2013 NFL draft

May, 1, 2012
5/01/12
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Todd McShay examines three players who could be gems and looks ahead to top prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft.

McShay discusses UGA's Glenn, Boykin 

April, 2, 2012
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ESPN NFL draft analyst Todd McShay participated in a media teleconference on Friday where he included Georgia draft prospects Brandon Boykin and Cordy Glenn in some of his responses.

ESPN Public Relations sent out a transcript of the call this evening, so I thought I'd share McShay's responses related to the Georgia guys: Q: Just want to check in on Brandon Boykin, the cornerback from Georgia, where he fits and what might be available for the Falcons at 55 at left tackle there?

TODD McSHAY: Well, Boykin's fast. Every time I watch Boykin, it's all I can think of. He's just so fast. Everything he does is fast. I think his instincts need to improve. I know his instincts need to improve. He's late diagnosing some throws. When they put him in the zone, he can get lost a little bit, and that's not really his strength.

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