The decisions by running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel to return for their senior seasons left a thin class of Georgia prospects in the NFL draft.
That didn’t keep Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn from attending Georgia’s pro day on Wednesday, along with general manager Thomas Dimitroff, assistant general manager Scott Pioli and 10 more staff members.
“Knowing the players who have come through here, although there may not be as many high-profile names this year as in years past, there are some good football players here who will play their way onto rosters,” Quinn said.
Quinn was the only NFL head coach at the event held at Georgia’s new indoor facility. He said he’ll also attend Georgia Tech’s pro day on Friday.
According to the NCAA, Georgia ranked sixth in the nation with 41 players on NFL rosters at the start of the 2016 season.
Wide receiver and return specialist Isaiah McKenzie was the only Georgia player invited to the NFL combine held earlier this month in Indianapolis.
Georgia had 15 players participate in the pro day, including offensive linemen Greg Pyke, Brandon Kublanow and Tyler Catalina, defensive backs Maurice Smith and Quincy Mauger and receiver Reggie Davis.
All 32 NFL teams, plus the Canadian Football League’s BC Lions, were represented.
“Georgia has got a great history of putting guys in the NFL,” said Georgia coach Kirby Smart. “Even undrafted guys have had a lot of success.”
Former Georgia center David Andrews, who was undrafted in 2015 but started every game for the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in 2016, returned for Wednesday’s event.
“There are so many good guys who don’t go to the combine,” Quinn said. “For those guys, this is their combine. This is our time to find out about them.”
McKenzie acknowledged that academic problems contributed to his decision to bypass his senior season. McKenzie said he would have had to win an appeal to continue his career at Georgia if he had not entered the draft.
McKenzie led Georgia with 44 catches for 633 yards and seven touchdowns. He holds the school record with five punt returns for touchdowns.
McKenzie ran the 40 at 4.47 and 4.42 at the NFL combine and did not run again on Wednesday but he participated in the 60-yard shuttle.
Georgia did not release official times from the 40-yard dash. Davis, a former high school track star in Tallahassee, Florida, said he heard his times for his two runs were 4.31 seconds or better.
“I just wanted to come out here and kill the 40 and I feel like I did a good job with that,” Davis said, adding he expected his times would help him earn an invitation to a training camp if he is not drafted.