Former Georgia wide receiver Ladd McConkey had a very strong showing down in Mobile, Ala., as he impressed plenty of people with his route running and hands.
Those participating in the Senior Bowl took notice, with McConkey being voted the American Team’s top wide receiver in practice last week.
“It felt good, I feel a little rusty, too, I feel I could have got out of my breaks a little bit better on some of those routes,” McConkey said. “I go against the best of the best every single day at practice Georgia, I played against a lot of these guys here so it’s good to compete against them again.”
NFL personnel also came away impressed with McConkey, as the Georgia wide receiver seems to be moving up draft boards. In Matt Miller’s latest two-round NFL mock draft for ESPN, he had McConkey landing with the Carolina Panthers with the first pick of the second round.
“The Panthers didn’t do a great job surrounding rookie quarterback Bryce Young with talent at wide receiver in 2023 and must make major additions this offseason,” Miller wrote. “McConkey is the best route runner in the draft with excellent stop-start quickness and acceleration out of his cuts. He’s also sure-handed enough to be the Panthers’ No. 1 receiving option.”
McConkey could move into the first round with a strong showing at the NFL combine, which is set to start later this month. Miller had six wide receivers going in the first round. McConkey battled injuries last season but still found a way to be an impactful player for the Bulldogs.
If McConkey were to go with the No. 33 overall pick, it would be the highest a wide receiver has been drafted since Smart became Georgia’s head coach in 2016. Mecole Hardman and George Pickens have both previously been second-round picks.
McConkey was not the only Georgia player to be featured in Miller’s mock draft, as Georgia had a total of five players in the first two rounds. Miller had tight end Brock Bowers and offensive tackle Amarius Mims going in the first round and cornerback Kamari Lassiter and Javon Bullard joining McConkey in the second round. Bowers landed with the New Orleans Saints at pick No. 14, Mims is set to end up with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Lassiter will head to Green Bay to play with the Packers and the Baltimore Ravens are projected to take Bullard.
Georgia has had 34 players taken in the previous three NFL drafts, the most ever over a three-year span. Last year, Georgia had three players taken in the first round.
The drills portion of the NFL combine is set to begin on February 29 and conclude on March 3. The first round of the 2024 NFL Draft is scheduled for April 25.