ATHENS — Jake Fromm wasn’t the only one eager to learn his future on Saturday afternoon, Kirby Smart said.
“I’ve been sitting here holding my breath that he’d get picked,” Smart said on NFL.com. “And now he’s going to cold, cold Buffalo.”
RELATED: Jake Fromm tells Buffalo media he’s used to being an underdog
Fromm has been the face of the Georgia football program for the past three years, proving himself the ideal ambassador off the field, and a winner on it.
The NFL is a sometimes cold business, however, and Fromm’s throwing performance at the combine was less than ideal.
The coronavirus pandemic prevented Fromm from getting a second chance to impress many of the teams, as Georgia Pro Day was cancelled, and NFL teams restricted interviews.
ESPN Insider Chris Mortensen said that New Orleans and Indianapolis were the two teams Fromm felt had expressed the most interest, but each decided to go in different directions.
The Buffalo GM told Mortensen he originally had no intention of drafting Fromm, but he saw him as “too good to pass up” as a fifth-round option.
RELATED: Why Buffalo drafted Jake Fromm
“There’s only one quarterback on the field at a time, and so many teams have filled their need,” Smart explained, asked why Fromm fell into the fifth round. “It was a weird year, things happened in a strange way.”
No doubt, Georgia was beset with injuries at what was already an inexperienced receiver position. That led to what Smart referred to as a “merry-go-round” at the receiver position, and a lack of timing in the pass game at times.
Fromm, one of the most accurate and efficient passers in college football his first two seasons, saw his statistics suffer as a result of the problems at receiver.
The loss of reliable receiver Lawrence Cager led to a drastic drop off. Fromm completed more than 70 percent of his passes with Cager on the field and less than 50 percent without him.
Bowl practices gave Fromm a chance to get in sync with George Pickens, and the results were impressive.
Fromm was 20-of-30 passing for 250 yards, 2 touchdowns and no interceptions, leading UGA to a 26-14 win and a No. 4 national ranking.
Still, Smart said he had an idea Fromm wouldn’t be one of the first quarterbacks taken in the 2020 NFL Draft.
“I thought all along he’d be a third or a fourth-round pick, and he lasted to the fifth,” Smart said.
One of the least surprising things to happen was to see several Georgia rivals make the most of Fromm’s disappointing draft on social media.
Indeed, Fromm was 3-0 against Florida, 3-0 against Tennessee, 3-0 against Georgia Tech and 3-1 against Auburn.
They couldn’t beat him on the field, so they took potshots when NFL teams passed.
Smart said those sorts of people will only provide more motivation.
“People got a lot of doubters, and sometimes doubters motivate you,” Smart said. “So I know he’ll be happy to go to Buffalo, be part of a good organization, and they’re gonna be a lot better off having him on their team.
“He’s a winner, that’s for sure.”
Fromm proved just that in his interview with Buffalo media on Saturday, bringing the same chipper approach to football and positive attitude Georgia fans witnessed throughout his sterling career.
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