Report: Isaac Nauta and Riley Ridley ‘leaning’ towards NFL

Isaac Nauta-2019 NFL Draft-Georgia football
UGA tight end Isaac Nauta has 29 catches for 427 yards with three touchdowns in 2018

UGA tight end Isaac Nauta and receiver Riley Ridley are “currently leaning” towards declaring early for the NFL Draft, according to ESPN’s Mark Schlabach.

Nauta is a junior tight end who emerged as the clutch target for UGA quarterback Jake Fromm towards the end of the season. Ridley is the younger brother of Atlanta Falcons star receiver Calvin Ridley.

The ESPN report also said that three other UGA players who are eligible to leave early – running back Elijah Holyfield, receiver Mecole Hardman and safety J.R. Reed – are “leaning toward coming back” for the 2019 season.

Eligible underclassmen have until Jan. 14 to make their intentions known for the NFL Draft. UGA plays Texas in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1.

If UGA coach Kirby Smart is able to convince key juniors to stick around for next season, the Bulldogs will be considered a favorite to contend for the national championship.

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