ATHENS — Georgia football will have nine players at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis this year, another indication of Kirby Smart’s ability to develop professional talent.
RELATED: Georgia football has 10 on NFL Draft boards
The NFL Combine runs Feb. 26-March 4 at Lucas Oil Stadium and remains a critical element to the NFL Draft process with the medical exam, interviews and on-field testing taking place.
The Georgia players who have been invited, according to NFL.com, are:
• CB Deandre Baker
• WR Riley Ridley
• OLB D’Andre Walker
• DL Jonathan Ledbetter
• WR Mecole Hardman
• TE Isaac Nauta
• WR Terry Godwin
• RB Elijah Holyfield
• OL Lamont Gaillard
Baker, the Thorpe Award winner, is widely considered a first-round NFL pick.
Ridley is considered to have a high ceiling, as well, with some believing he can elevate to the first round with a strong combine workout.
Walker underwent sports hernia surgery on Jan. 23 at Andrews Sports Medicine in Birmingham, Ala., and is hopeful to be healthy enough to test and perform on-field drills at Georgia’s Pro Day on March. 20.
RELATED: D’Andre Walker undergoes surgery for hidden ailment
Walker will, however, attend the NFL Combine and undergo the medical and take part in interviews with NFL teams.
Georgia inside linebacker Natrez Patrick has yet to receive an NFL Combine invite, but his agent is surely working hard on that, and players do get added as others withdraw.
Alabama has 11 players invited to the NFL Combine, most among SEC teams:
• Alabama 11
• Georgia 9
• Ole Miss 9
• Florida 8
• Mississippi State 8
• Kentucky 8
• Texas A&M 8
• LSU 6
• Missouri 6
• Auburn 6
• South Carolina 5
• Arkansas 4
• Vanderbilt 2