What NFL.com thinks of Georgia players in the 2020 NFL draft
ByKIPP ADAMS 3 hours ago
The 2020 NFL Draft is set to take place from April 23-25 and while it was originally scheduled to take place in Las Vegas, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is likely to result in it taking place in a studio setting instead. Once again, Georgia is likely to have a strong presence in the draft.
Coming off an 11-win season, with back-to-back-to-back SEC East Division Titles, trips to the SEC Championship, and an appearance in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, kicker Rodrigo Blankenship, wide receiver Lawrence Cager, quarterback Jake Fromm, running back Brian Herrien, offensive lineman Solomon Kindley, safety J.R. Reed, running back D'Andre Swift, offensive tackle Andrew Thomas, offensive tackle Isaiah Wilson, and tight end Charlie Woerner all were invited to the combine.
NFL.com has updated its draft profiles for each player following the combine, and the site has posted initial scouting reports and player comparisons for all 10 Georgia players. Scroll down to read more about each player.
The NFL.com profiles also include a prospect grade on a 10-point scale.
- A 9-10 grade is considered a once in a lifetime player.
- An 8-8.99 grade is considered a perennial All-Pro.
- A 7.5-7.99 is considered a future All-Pro.
- A 7.0-7.49 is considered a Pro Bowl-caliber player.
- A 6.50-6.99 grade is considered a chance to become a Pro Bowl-caliber player.
- A 6.00-6.49 grade means the player should become an instant starter
- A 5.50-5.99 grade means the player has a chance to become an instant NFL starter
- A 5.20-5.49 grade means the player is an NFL backup or has special teams potential
DB J.R. REED
Pre-combine Grade: 5.99
Post-combine grade: 5.92
Overview: Productive, football-savvy prospect with unremarkable traits and explosiveness, but an elevated football IQ to make up for it. He needs to prove he can hit the baseline speed and athleticism numbers as a split-safety who can drop into the box or cover tight ends despite his slender frame. His instinctive brand of football allows him to play chess against quarterbacks, but he could struggle if the offensive scheme is able to isolate him against a vertical target. The size, length and speed won't impress and he's not a rangy player, but toughness and smarts could push him beyond the measurables.
NFL Comparison: Xavier Woods
Strength: Football smart with wheels turning during the play.
Weakness: Below average safety frame with narrow hips and short arms.
K RODRIGO BLANKENSHIP
Pre-combine Grade: 5.99
Post-Combine Grade: 5.99
Overview: Charismatic kicker and fan favorite -- as long as he's making his kicks. His thick, black-rimmed glasses have become his trademark, but so too are booming touchbacks and a big leg to hit 50-yard field goals with plenty of ball flight leftover. Blankenship rarely mi****s the football but does need to make sure he elevates drive kicks consistently. He should be the first kicker off the board.
Strength: Made 92.7 percent of kicks under 40 yards
Weakness: Missed six kicks in 2019
WR LAWRENCE CAGER
Pre-combine Grade: 5.87
Post-combine Grade: 5.87
NFL Comparison: Justin Watson
Overview: There are two versions of Lawrence Cager. The Miami Hurricane version played slower and had issues with focus drops. The Georgia Bulldog version played faster and with better fluidity of movement. In fact, he played with elite focus and contested-catch talent. He is a reliable possession receiver with the size and toughness to work the middle of the field, but proved he could make impressive catches on all three levels. Both versions had issues with injury, so his medicals and 40-yard-dash time will play a substantial role in deciding whether or not he gets drafted, but his 2019 tape was definitely good enough.
Strength: Outstanding size combined with smooth athleticism
Weakness: Durability will be a concern
QB JAKE FROMM
Pre-combine Grade: 6.29
Post-combine Grade: 6.16
NFL Comparison: Colt McCoy
Overview: Heady quarterback who is light on physical traits but sees the game like a pro-signal-caller most of the time. Fromm has big-game experience and proved to be a worthy challenger against Alabama as a freshman and sophomore. He's a full-field reader who has shown a consistent ability to change plays and make smart pre- and post-snap decisions. He'll be forced into becoming more consistent with timing and ball placement in order to overcome a lack of arm strength and an inability to make off-schedule plays. He's an intelligent game-manager whose range is good backup to middling starter, but he will be scheme- and skill-position-needy at the next level.
Strength: Typically unrattled in high-leverage battles
Weakness: Lacks premium physical tools
RB BRIAN HERRIEN
Pre-combine Grade: 5.60
Post-combine Grade: 5.60
Overview: Hard-charging, backup-caliber running back with adequate size and plenty of toughness but missing feel and finesse. Herrien is loose-limbed and has some elusiveness, but the tape is littered with runs where he tastes squared, punishing contact. With that said, he has one fumble over 296 attempts and through all the contact, he rarely seems deterred from squeezing out additional yardage by any means necessary. His lack of decisiveness is apparent when watching him follow teammate D'Andre Swift, but success in short-yardage carries and kick-return experience might help his cause.
Strength: NFL size with quick-trigger burst when lane opens
Weakness: Harsh running style lacks finesse and rhythm
OL SOLOMON KINDLEY
Pre-combine Grade: 5.50
Post-combine Grade: 5.50
NFL Comparison: Denver Kirkland
Overview: Nasty guard who lives in scrap mode, looking for fights inside a relatively small phone booth where he's most comfortable. Kindley has the frame of a powerful guard, but doesn't bend well enough to generate leverage and push at the point of attack. He's a mauler with enough finesse to get to some reach and cut-off blocks, but faces scheme limitations. Slide quickness is limited and his tendency to lunge allows rushers to work around his edge earlier than teams like. The size and toughness are great, but Kindley needs to play with better control and technique in order to become an average NFL backup.
Strength: Wide frame from chest to ankles
Weakness: Helmet comes before hands into first contact
RB D'ANDRE SWIFT
Pre-combine Grade: 6.81
Post-combine Grade: 6.78
NFL Comparison: Frank Gore
Overview: Swift possesses the play traits and running style of a skillful NFL veteran and is the latest in an avalanche of talented Georgia backs. Tempo and decisiveness are his calling cards, making him a highly talented inside/outside zone runner. He's a cerebral runner who understands block timing and uses quick-cut agility and rare spatial awareness to read and react to defenses beyond the second level. Swift isn't overly explosive as a home-run hitter and doesn't run with the violence of last year's top running back, Josh Jacobs. He can step right in and provide early stability and production as an efficient, every-down back with Offensive Rookie of the Year potential.
Strength: Compact build with strong lower body and three-down talen
Weakness: Ball security is well below NFL standards, with a low carries-per-fumble mark
OT ANDREW THOMAS
Pre-combine Grade: 6.48
Post-combine Grade: 6.49
NFL Comparison: Ja'Wuan James
Overview: Three-year starter and current bellcow of a line that is a consistent front-runner for the Joe Moore Award. He's played both tackle spots but may get first crack at playing on the left side, due to the dearth of talent there. Thomas is a gritty player with above-average recovery talent to "get the job done" when his process breaks down. He's a Day 1 starter who comes in well-coached and technically savvy, but occasional leaning, lunging and inconsistent knee bend in pass pro could be isolated and attacked by pass-rush wolves looking to feast if he doesn't get those areas cleaned up.
Strength: Hurries to get to lateral landmarks in run game
Weakness: Is a little heavy-legged in his second-level climbs
OT ISAIAH WILSON
Pre-combine Grade: 6.28
Post-combine Grade: 6.34
NFL Comparison: Phil Loadholt
Overview: Big, broad right tackle prospect with outstanding physical traits and above-average potential. Wilson's play was a bit uneven depending on his matchup, but his level of play showed improvement in-season. He's a little inconsistent hitting his landmarks as a zone blocker but should fit nicely into a man-based blocking scheme. A potential lack of range in pass protection could lead to over-sets and subsequent troubles with inside counters. Wilson has elite size and length. There's buzz surrounding his NFL projection, but early work might be needed for both his footwork and technique in order to play with desired consistency as a starter.
Strength: Broad through chest and back with tapered waist
Weakness: Lurches forward, diminishing balance as run blocker
TE CHARLIE WOERNER
Pre-combine Grade: 5.62
Post-combine Grade: 5.51
Player Bio: Hard-charging, pesky blocker whose lack of size and length make him a candidate for a move to fulltime fullback or H-back. Woerner simply doesn't have it in him to give the defender a half-speed rep and he's more than ready to collide into his target on iso-blocks or in space. He has the body control and radar to handle move blocking duties but lacks the physical traits teams seek. Woerner has some athleticism but was a relative non-factor as a pass-catcher and needs to stand out on special teams to bolster his chances.
Strength: Used like a fullback but from wingback alignment
Weakness: Carries very short arms for his size