Former Georgia QB Aaron Murray hopes pro day answered questions

semerson@macon.comApril 16, 2014 

ATHENS - A.J. Green, one of the best receivers in football, offered his endorsement when Aaron Murray's all-important performance at UGA's pro day ended on Wednesday.

"He looked pretty good," Green said. "Not too slowed by the injury. He can play in the league."

Of course Green is slightly prejudiced, having been Murray's teammate at Georgia in 2010. The ones who most needed to be impressed were the 23 NFL teams who sent representatives to Athens on Wednesday. And none of those scouts, coaches or personnel directors were going to talk.

But it was evident from watching Murray that he had a good day. There were no obvious lingering effects of his torn ACL last December. He hit on his throws, showed good mobility (albeit without going against a rush) and most importantly, showed he was healthy.

"I feel no limitations with the knee," Murray said afterwards. "I think everyone today saw that, between all the movement I was doing, the cutting, the sprinting."

"If he didn't have that knee brace on I don't think anybody would've thought anything had happened to him," Georgia head coach Mark Richt said.

Murray and his advisers said they designed an ambitious 54-play demonstration that included cutting, sprinting and movement all around the pocket.

"I think today showed these teams that they don't have to worry about the knee," Murray said. "I'm ready to go, I'm ready to complete, I'm ready to play. I think that should help come draft time. But we'll see. We'll see what happens."

Murray has been projected as a mid-rounds pick, perhaps as high as the third round. He re-wrote Georgia's record books during a four-year career as starter, but his height - he was measured at 6 feet and one-half-inch at the NFL combine - remains the main issue.

"Hopefully after today we'll start hearing more noise, just showing everyone I'll be ready to go," Murray said. "I just wanna get picked somewhere. At the end of the day I just want to be able to be picked by a team and put in the right situation. Be put in a situation where the scheme fits me and my abilities, and what I'm able to do on the field."

It was a big day for Murray, who was supported by his girlfriend Kacie McDonnell, his mother Lauren and his sister Stephanie. Many former Georgia players now in the NFL attended, including Green and three other Cincinnati Bengals (Shawn Williams, Orson Charles and Dannie Roland), Baltimore Ravens receiver Marlon Brown, Jacksonville Jaguars defensive lineman Abry Jones and Atlanta Falcons linebacker Akeem Dent.

The only NFL head coach to attend was Jacksonville's Gus Bradley, whose team has the third overall pick. No Georgia players are expected to go in the top two rounds, with tight end Arthur Lynch the only player besides Murray to be invited to the combine.

Lynch, who caught more than 50 passes in his Georgia career from Murray, was the recipient of a few more during Wednesday's demonstration.

"At the end of the day the kid is a stud, and he'll have a long and successful career in the NFL," Lynch said.

Richt admitted to being surprised that Murray has recovered this quickly, but he had an inkling the day after Murray's surgery. Richt was at the hospital visiting Murray, who was going without meds.

"I was like: Son, push that button, you know. Get some of that good juice," Richt said, laughing. "He said: 'Coach, I feel great. I wanna go start rehabbing right now.' He's just a tough kid, he's a fast healer."

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