As the NFL’s front-office executives focused on the first day of free agency, scouts descended on the golden destination of Athens, Georgia. With back-to-back national champion Georgia hosting its Pro Day Wednesday, football minds from all 32 organizations came to the land of plenty.
They wanted more.
While 12 Bulldogs were poked and prodded at the NFL Combine Feb. 28-March 6, the Pro Day gave a few players a chance to give scouts a second look, while others, like offensive lineman Warren Ericson, it was their one chance to add something to their game tape.
Last year’s Georgia Pro Day attracted a school record of 122 NFL associates.
Will there be more this year?
🔜 2023 NFL Draft#GoDawgs pic.twitter.com/hddOQhs0nD
— Georgia Football (@GeorgiaFootball) March 15, 2023
Georgia Football’s Pro Day Attracts NFL Scouts En Masse
One of the big draws was defensive lineman Jalen Carter, once considered a possible No. 1 overall selection. But with legal problems and a poor showing Wednesday, Carter’s falling stock lowlighted the event.
Carter weighed in at 323 pounds, nine pounds heavier than his NFL Combine weight. He only participated in positional drills, but did not impress before exiting after he started “cramping up and breathing heavily,” ESPN’s Mark Schlabach reported.
Carter is facing reckless driving and racing charges related to the deaths of former teammate Devin Willock and staffer Chandler LeCroy last January. As he did at the combine, Carter did not speak to the media Wednesday.
Another star attraction, quarterback Stetson Bennett threw to receivers such as Dillon Bell, Matt Landers, Kenny McIntosh, Marcus Rosmey-Jacksaint, Arian Smith and Darnell Washington. Stetson’s brother, Luke, also ran routes.
Bennett arrived with a script of 55 passes he wanted to show off to scouts. The two-time national champion QB criticized his performance, throwing at least five incomplete passes. Landers dropped one deep throw.
“I missed a few,” Bennett said, as reported by Yahoo Sports.
Stetson Bennett to Darnell Washington pic.twitter.com/QfYnOsZY9F
— Marc Weiszer (@marcweiszer) March 15, 2023
Georgia Coach Kirby Smart Hosting Future Bulldogs?
One week after hosting five-star recruits Jeremiah Smith and Peyton Woodyard, Georgia coach Kirby Smart is preparing to host several highly ranked prospects this weekend, coinciding with Tuesday’s start to spring practice.
Among those scheduled to attend the on-campus events are the who’s who of the recruiting cycle, according to Dawgs Daily:
- Kristopher Jones: The four-star athlete holds offers from Florida, Tennessee, and South Carolina, among others, and Smart will have to fend off the SEC rivals for the linebacker/running back recruit from Stafford, Virginia.
- Julian “Juju” Lewis: Attempting to get a jumpstart on the recruitment of the 2026 QB, Smart was eager to get a look at Lewis. The Carrollton, Georgia, native led his team to the 7-A state title game last season, passing for a state-record 517 yards.
- Dylan Raiola: The top quarterback in the class of 2024, Raiola has strong ties to Nebraska and is also being pursued by Oregon and Southern Cal. This weekend will be Smart’s best chance to make an impression.
- Kevin Riley: The four-star running back from Northport, Alabama, has the potential to be an all-purpose back, a stable the Bulldogs’ offense.
- Sacovie White: The three-star wide receiver has already committed to the program and returns for a follow-up visit. White hails from Cartersville, Georgia.