MOBILE, Ala. — Georgia team captain Jamaree Salyer was back in his element at the Senior Bowl this week, leading teammates on and off the field.
Salyer, who may project as a second-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, continues to show the power and footwork that talent evaluators like to see.
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But it might not be until they sit down to interview Salyer that they have a true appreciation for the intangibles he will bring to a franchise in the locker room and in its community.
Certainly, the Bulldogs’ 2021 CFP Championship team benefitted greatly, and now Salyer wants the future Georgia players to add another big trophy to the case.
“Take this and learn from it, build another team, understand the ground work we laid as seniors and build your own,” Salyer said at the Senior Bowl Media Day on Wednesday at the Mobile Convention Center.
The Senior Bowl game takes place at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday (NFL Network) at Hancock Whitney Stadium.
Salyer is one of six Georgia players taking part, along with offensive lineman Justin Shaffer, defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt, linebacker Channing Tindall, punter Jake Camarda and cornerback Derion Kendrick.
Coach Kirby Smart assembled championship level talent in his first six years leading the Georgia program.
But Salyer made it clear that all of that talent was not enough when asked to reflect what he takes away from the national championship season, the Bulldogs’ first in 41 years.
“Just the work that goes into it, that’s all I could think about, is how much work it took to actually get there,” Salyer said. “You look at the young guys, you’re like, ‘Man, you’ve got to do this again. You’re winning, but you’ve got to start right back from square one.’
“It took a lot of work, ground work, a lot of wins and losses to get us to a place where we were going to do it right this time.”
The Bulldogs polished off the No. 3 signing class in the nation on Wednesday, bringing in another class of elite talent.
Salyer had a message for them, too.
“At a place like Georgia, you have to have a different type of mindset,” Salyer said. “Approaching practice, approaching training, doing everything and finishing with your heart — not just doing it just to do it, but having a purpose with what you are doing and just being physical on the football field.
“We like to get downhill and be physical on both sides of the ball.”
Salyer and the other Georgia players — along with most all of the other SEC players in the game — are on the “National Team” being coached by the Detroit Lions’ staff.
Already, there are new lessons at the NFL level.
“They’re always talking about routine, having a routine for what you do, how you do it,” Salyer said. “It’s getting in the playbook, they gave us a pretty big playbook, being able to digest all that and taking it from the meeting to the practice field.”
Salyer has made the most of it so far in the line drills with NFL head coaches, general managers and scouting departments in attendance watching this week.