Georgia players primed to add more value at next week's Senior Bowl

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ATHENS — Georgia football will have a record number of players arriving in Mobile, Ala., for the start of Senior Bowl activity on Saturday — that much is known.

But it’s the players’ abilities to answer the unknowns that make the trip well worth their while, as the head coaches, general managers and personnel directors

Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy sat down with DawgNation to preview the event, which includes three days of practice next week leading up to the game at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 30.

The Carolina Panthers NFL staff will coach the South team which the UGA players will be appearing on.

Interestingly enough, first-year Carolina coach Matt Rhule will already be familiar with the Bulldogs as he was Baylor’s coach when Georgia played the Bears in the Sugar Bowl last year.

In addition to the unique experience of playing for a coach who schemed to beat them, the Georgia players will also have teammates like Alabama’s Mac Jones and Najee Harris.

Nagy indicated a few of the former UGA players will be looked at in different positions, such as Mark Webb.

Others like defensive lineman Malik Herring, offensive lineman Ben Cleveland and cornerback DJ Daniel, have a chance to truly put themselves on the map in the one-on-one drill work during the week and in the game.

Nagy predicted in the YouTube video that tight end Tre’  McKitty could have a break out next week, while another former Bulldog is the “wild card” of the entire event.

“This isn’t specific to Georgia, but just big picture, the college level does not use the tight end as effectively as the NFL level does,” Nagy said. “Tre’ is a guy that, every year in scouting, you come across guys that, when you get in draft meetings, you describe them as guys that will be better pros than college players. I think that’s going to be the case with Tre’.”

Georgia, meanwhile, is going in the direction of using its tight ends more with a quarterback capable of getting through multiple reads and delivering throws at each level under the direction of former NFL offensive coordinator Todd Monken.

Regardless of the positions, there will be a lot of money to be made on and off the field for the UGA players.

With the NFL combine recently canceled, the value of a Senior Bowl appearance has skyrocketed, as it's likely the only time players will get to meet face-to-face with their future employers.

While teams like Georgia will still hold Pro Days, most player interviews will be held via Zoom, and the NFL GMs and decision-makers aren’t expected to travel to the schools’ Pro Days like normal because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The players will be quarantined upon arriving and take three Covid-19 tests before being cleared for Monday night’s stretch and run session, and practice in helmets and shoulder pads on Tuesday.  Wednesday and Thursday will be full-contact workouts.

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