Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Pro Day comparison: Charles and White

Much like the guys at S&G, I love the NFL draft. It's always intriguing to me. In many ways it is like signing day for NCAA football, only with more structure and a lot more money on the line. You're looking at which players are the best fit at certain picks while also taking into account what positions are critical for certain teams. Fascinating stuff if you ask me.

Anyway, I was reading late Monday about how our guys did at Georgia's Pro Day and the tight ends really stuck out to me. Orson Charles came into Monday needing to only solidify scouts' beliefs that he is worthy of a top 1st day pick. It's unlikely that he falls further than mid-3rd given his athleticism. He's considered top tier TE talent for this year's draft along with Stanford's Coby Fleener and Clemson's Dwayne Allen. Charles ran the 40 (4.75), had a vertical jump of 30.5", had a long jump of 9.5 feet, a 4.75 shuttle and a 4.29 cone drill. Orson had previously decided not to run the 40 at the NFL combine last week so his 40 time Monday was important, but was hindered by the windy conditions.

Aron White on the other hand came into Monday needing a strong showing. Reports say he was noticeably bigger, maybe as much as 10 pounds of muscle. He wasn't among those invited to the combine in Indianapolis of course. So his performance Monday was especially critical since his numbers last year were modest (9 receptions for 101 yards and 4 TDs). And he made the most of it: 4.63 40, benched 225 22 times, 33.75 vertical, 9' 8" broad jump, a 7.13 second cone drill and a 4.1 second shuttle. So receiving drills aside, White bested his former teammate in all but the cone drill.

In the end I don't think Orson did anything to hurt himself Monday. Most all of those 40 times we saw will be tossed out or taken into consideration with great scrutiny. However, he could've used a strong showing to prove himself a better pick than the "traditional" tight ends he's up against. In other words, what makes OC stand out is also what makes him different. He'll end up no worse than an early 2nd day selection, but hopefully eases into a 1st round pick with a team ready to utlilize his unique skillset.

White won't be drafted ahead of Charles, but there were 30 NFL teams represented Monday that saw a guy that works hard and really wants an opportunity. It's clear his work the last couple months with Ryan Goldin and his staff has really paid off. Next up would be individual workouts with teams who are interested. I believe Charles already has one scheduled with Philadelphia. Both of these guys are Damn Good Dawgs! Would love to watch them represent the G on Sundays. 

Some more reading/thoughts:

  • Fletcher Page looks more closely at Aron White's big day ($$)
  • Marc Weiszer's recap of Pro Day
  • David Ching's quick observations
  • a lot was made of Justin Houston returning to Athens Monday, but I also noticed Clint Boling was mentioned among those former Dawgs in attendance. Boling is back at UGA to finish his degree. Awesome!

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