ATHENS — Next year’s Georgia football NFL draft class is already on the clock, even before the 2019 draft has gotten underway in Nashville.
Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy took note of the Bulldogs’ G-Day Game last Saturday. Nagy let people know on Twitter that rising Georgia seniors have already caught his eye — including one that’s not even on campus yet.
Nagy, a former scout with the Seattle Seahawks, said he’d be watching safety J.R. Reed, kicker Rodrigo Blankenship, tailback Brian Herrien and incoming grad-transfer receiver Lawrence Cager.
It’s G-Day for @FootballUGA and a few of the players we’ll be watching for next year’s @seniorbowl are a productive safety (J.R. Reed), a talented RB that’s waited his turn (Brian Herrien), a draftable kicker (Rodrigo Blankenship), and a big-play transfer WR (Lawrence Cager). pic.twitter.com/5jcE8E1SAe
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) April 20, 2019
Georgia had four players invited to the most recent Senior Bowl, but only defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter and long snapper Nick Moore played.
Cornerback Deandre Baker elected to sit out both the Sugar Bowl and the Senior Bowl, at the advice of his agent.
Outside linebacker D’Andre Walker said he was almost in tears when learning he couldn’t play in the Senior Bowl.
“When I found out I had to have surgery, I called Mr. Nagy, personally,” Walker said. “I was about in tears because I know the Senior Bowl is a great opportunity and it meant a lot to me that he believed in me.”
Indeed, Nagy felt Walker should have been starting as a junior.
“D’Andre was a guy, for me, going back to the scouting process at Seattle, you’re putting on tape last year watching (Davin) Bellamy and Lorenzo Carter,” Nagy said, “and to me, 15 (Walker) should have been playing over both of those guys.”
Walker, whose third quarter injury in the SEC Championship Game opened the door for Alabama’s comeback, worked out for NFL scouts in Athens on April 12 and impressed.
The Bulldogs have other seniors who could work their way onto the Senior Bowl watch list, such as inside linebacker Tae Crowder and tight end Charlie Woerner.
Players who have graduated are also eligible for the game, and Georgia has four rising third-year offensive linemen who will surely consider their NFL options after next season.
Nagy says the 2020 offensive line class appears relatively lean.
We’re already about 75% finished with our board for the 2020 @seniorbowl and it’s shaping up to be a lean OL class. Conversely, this current OL class is one of the best in recent years so smart teams will address OL first and circle-back on other deep positions like DL and TE. pic.twitter.com/rjP7Cn5EnC
— Jim Nagy (@JimNagy_SB) April 22, 2019
DawgNation Senior Bowl 2019 coverage