ATHENS — Departing Georgia football receiver Riley Ridley has the name, frame, hands and route-running ability to take his game to the next level, there’s no doubt about that.
But Ridley surprised some when he chose not to re-test in some of the drills and exercises at the Bulldogs’ Pro Day last Wednesday.
“No I didn’t consider (re-testing),” Ridley said. “I put my best foot forward every time I step on the field.
“What I put out at the combine is what I put out, and I’m happy about it.”
Riley is far from being the fastest, quickest or highest jumper among the receivers in this year’s NFL draft, which takes place April 25-27 in Nashville.
Ridley’s performance at the NFL combine earlier this month created some doubts after he entered the annual league event in Indianapolis as one of the more talked-about underclassmen.
Ridley’s 4.58-second time in the 40-yard dash was 29th fastest of the 37 receivers who ran at the NFL combine, his 30.5-inch vertical was 41st of the 42 that jumped and his 3-cone drill was 23rd quickest of the 29 in the event.
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Ridley’s projected NFL draft stock fell in the eyes of some after the combine, but he didn’t seem to have any concerns at UGA Pro Day.
“I came out, I put my best foot forward, (and) when you do that, there’s no reason to be sad,” Ridley said. “I’m in a blessed position in my life, so it’s all smiles for me.”
Ridley led Georgia with 44 catches for 570 yards and nine touchdowns last season.
NFL.com analyst Peter Schrager still has Ridley projected in the first round, going No. 30 overall to Green Bay.
But Ridley dropped out of Bucky Brooks’ Top 5 at the wide receiver position after the combine.
NFL.com analyst Daniel Jeremiah has Ridley rated the No. 36 overall player, and provided the following breakdown updated on March 13:
“Ridley has good size (6-1, 199 pounds), and he’s a very polished route runner. He lacks an explosive burst in his release, but he understands how to set up defenders and is very efficient at the top of his route. Despite lacking top-end juice, he creates separation with his clean footwork in/out of the break point.
“He has very strong hands and attacks the ball at the highest point. After the catch, he is tough, but he lacks premier burst or elusiveness. His relative lack of production is a concern, but there were a lot of mouths to feed in this offense. Overall, Ridley is ready to contribute right away. While he doesn’t possess the ideal twitch, he consistently gets open and has strong, reliable hands.”
Ridley’s brother, Atlanta Falcons WR Calvin Ridley, attended Riley’s workout in Athens.
“He told me work hard, run fast and catch all the balls,” Riley Ridley said. “He was videoing the routes I was running and afterward he showed me the ways I can work on those routes.
“After this, I’m going to get back with him and watch that film and learn ways to improve.”
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