ATHENS — Eight Georgia players have been invited to the NFL combine, including tailback Keith Marshall, though not team MVP Jake Ganus.
Outside linebackers Leonard Floyd and Jordan Jenkins, receiver Malcolm Mitchell and offensive tackle John Theus are the most notable to receive an invite, and the least surprising. Floyd is regarded as a possible first-round pick. Jenkins, Mitchell and Theus also have upper round potential.
Four other seniors have also been invited, according to the web site: Marshall, fullback Quayvon Hicks and defensive linemen Sterling Bailey and Chris Mayes.
But Ganus, who led the team in tackles and was named Georgia’s team MVP, was not issued an invitation. Ganus, the UAB transfer, has decent NFL size for an inside linebacker, making it all the more surprising. But he will still have a chance to impress scouts at UGA’s pro day later in the spring.
An invite to the combine should help a player, if he uses the appearance well, but it’s not always essential. Last year offers up a prime example, as Georgia center David Andrews wasn’t invited, and wasn’t drafted, but signed a free agent contract with the New England Patriots and started most of the season.
Marshall’s invite is important to him, as he was limited by injuries the past couple years and didn’t get many actual game carries for the Bulldogs. But he was a five-star recruit coming out of high school.
Hicks has been an on-and-off starter at Georgia the past few years. But he has an intriguing blend of size and athleticism, and also played some H-back as a junior.
Mitchell was the team’s leading receiver last season, hauling in 58 passes for 865 yards and five touchdowns. Perhaps more importantly, he stayed healthy and played in every game.
Bailey, who played mostly at end, had 46 tackles and one sack this season. Mayes, playing mostly the nose, had 41 tackles.
The combine is set for Feb. 24-29 in Indianapolis.