ATHENS — Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm is ready for the NFL challenge ahead of him, whatever that might entail.
Strange as it might sound, Fromm figures to be under considerably less pressure at the professional level than he was with the Bulldogs each of the past two games.
Fact is, Fromm has operated with little margin for error since leading the Bulldogs to the CFP Championship Game his freshman season.
Fromm replaced an injured Jacob Eason at the start of the 2017 season, and then beat out Justin Fields — a highly-regarded Georgia prospect now at Ohio State — throughout the 2018 season.
Fields, of course, transferred and had great success in the Buckeyes’ numbers-friendly spread offense in 2019, while Fromm operated out of UGA’s relatively conservative Pro Style attack.
It made Fromm a target for criticism, even though Fromm had lost a significant amount of his supporting cast from the season before.
“Do you excuse some of the things that happened this year, in terms of touchdown numbers coming down, because he lost his top four receivers, his tight end, a 1,000-yard rusher and his center?” ESPN analyst Kiper asked rhetorically during his ESPN conference call this week.
“I think those are all reasons to give Jake Fromm the benefit of the doubt and look at him in the second round.”
Plenty of teams have expressed interest in Fromm, some going so far as to ask fellow projected first-round NFL pick Andrew Thomas about him.
“Every time they ask, I just tell them what an incredible leader he is and how he lights up the room,” Thomas said. “He’s the same person win or lose, he’s going to motivate you and have a positive attitude.
“People don’t realize the positions he put us in by understanding the playbook. he’s just a great all-around quarterback.”
Defenses knew they were up against an NFL-ready quarterback when the faced Fromm, as he had the freedom to change plays at the line of scrimmage.
“You watch the film, you see he’s calling the plays, he’s not looking over and checking with the coaches,” Baylor safety Grayland Arnold said at the NFL combine.
“He sees it, and he makes the check right then. That was a challenge because we understood that if he checked a play, that if we look over to get a play, we’ve got to be fast, because he could snap it.
“I feel like he’s a pro-type of quarterback. No questions about the arm strength, his intelligence.”
Indeed, Fromm scored a 35 on the NFL’s Wonderlic test, second-highest among quarterbacks — and significantly higher than Eason (23), Too Tagovailoa (19) and Jalen Hurts (18).
Fromm was one of just 22 student-athletes in the country to be named to the 2019 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team for his leadership in his local community and overall commitment to giving back.
Fromm made multiple trips to read to students at an elementary school and assisted individuals with disabilities and their families. He was also a regular at “Camp Sunshine,” which provides opportunities for children with cancer.
As reliable and consistent as Fromm was on the field for Georgia, he was also a genuine role model and community leader off the field.
Fromm quarterbacked Georgia teams that finished 13-1, 11-3 and 12-2, becoming the first full-time SEC East QB in history to reach the league title game three consecutive seasons.
Fromm dominated rivals along the way, 3-0 against Florida, 3-0 against Tennessee, 3-0 against Georgia Tech and 3-1 versus Auburn.
In only three seasons, Fromm threw 78 TD passes (second all-time), and he finished ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, and UGA’s all-time list for career completions and career attempts.