INDIANAPOLIS — The NFL is all about identifying winners, and Georgia football players have a decided advantage over their competition in that respect.
The 2023 NFL Combine interviews begin Wednesday, with three of the 12 Bulldogs who boast two-time national championship credentials speaking before the media.
Georgia set an NFL record with 15 players selected in last year’s draft, including five defensive players who were picked in the first round.
Bulldogs’ team captain and program icon Jordan Davis was one of those first-round picks, and one of two Georgia players selected by the NFC champion Philadelphia Eagles.
Philadelphia executive vice president and general manager Howie Roseman spoke with DawgNation on Tuesday about the value of playing in the Georgia football program.
“We have tremendous respect for Coach Smart and the program he has developed,” Roseman said. “When we’re drafting players, just knowing how they are trained and the background, it’s no different than when you are hiring staff, you look for people who have learned the right way.”
Roseman said Davis and Nakobe Dean, a linebacker selected in the third round, were representative of the brand Georgia players represent in the professional ranks.
“The guys we get from that program understand how to work and they understand the expectations — it’s not just about playing well, it’s about trying to compete for championships,” said Roseman, whose Eagles did just that this season, winning 16 games before falling just short in the Super Bowl.
“They are being trained the right way at Georgia as football players and as people.”
Davis, who opened eyes with a 4.78-second time in the 40-yard dash at last year’s combine - as a 6-foot-6, 341-pounder — was slowed by injuries this season with the Eagles.
Dean, meanwhile, was buried on the depth chart behind elite veteran inside linebackers.
And yet, Roseman noted, both former Georgia players exhibited the sort of championship attitude the Eagles’ franchise seeks.
“Bringing those two guys in our building, and seeing what kind of people they are,” Roseman said. “We didn’t have tremendous adversity this year, obviously, we won 16 games, but we had a moment of adversity and I remember seeing how Jordan reacted to that, and how he went around the locker room and kept people up as a rookie.
“Then Nakobe, at a moment where he understood he wanted to play more on defense, and our two guys who are veterans playing over him, and we talked to him about being a leader on special teams, and then the next game we played Tennessee and he went and laid somebody out.
“We’re incredibly excited about those guys going forward, and it’s because of the way they were trained.”
8 a.m. Robert Beal: The 6-foot-4, 250 pound Beal started 8 games last season and produced 20 QB pressures; led the Bulldogs with 6.5 sacks the 2021 CFP Championship season.
8:20 a.m. Nolan Smith: Smith was leading the team with 16 QB hurries before suffering a torn pectoral muscle against Florida in Game Eight. Not expected to be ready to work out, but should interview well.
10:30 a.m. Jalen Carter: Potential No. 1 overall draft pick played in 11 games, returning from a sprained knee to force two fumbles and record a sack and TFL in a battle of No. 1 teams.