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Georgia Shines at the Senior Bowl

Senior Bowl

The 2024 Reese’s Senior Bowl concluded over the weekend.  The National Team emerged victorious in the 2024 game, defeating the American Team 16-7 in Mobile, Alabama. Beyond being merely an exhibition game for NFL draft hopefuls, the Senior Bowl encompasses a week of practices, providing NFL teams with an opportunity to assess prospective picks. While traditionally catering to seniors, the event now showcases other upperclassmen as well. The Senior Bowl allows prospects to showcase their skill and hope that a team or two will fall in love come the NFL Draft in April.

Among Georgia’s six participating players, four contributed significantly or garnered attention. Running back Dajun Edwards notably had minimal impact, not registering any carries in Saturday’s game. Long Snapper William Mote was also involved in the week-long activities. Below is a recap of the performances of the four Bulldogs who stood out during the week, enhancing their draft prospects.

Georgia Shines at the Senior Bowl

Tykee Smith

Defensive back Tykee Smith had a nice week. The senior broke up three passes in the game and was named the MVP for the American team. At Georiga, CBS recognized Smith as a second-team all-American, and was also selected for the coaches’ all-SEC second team. He was one of the top players for Georgia this year, leading the team in tackles (70), solo stops (46), tackles for loss (8.5), and interceptions (4).

What the scouts said: 

“After playing the ‘star’ nickel position at Georgia, Smith appeared comfortable negotiating space in coverage during drills, highlighting the instincts and finishing skills that made him an All-SEC player in 2023. He looks like a rookie special teamer who has the versatility to compete for immediate snaps in an NFL secondary.” – Dane Brugler, The Athletic

Draft projection: 2nd Round

Javon Bullard

Javon Bullard had an excellent week at the Senior Bowl, but that is far from a surprise to Georgia fans. After being voted as the top Defensive Back on the American team during the practice player-of-the-week awards ceremony, based on the votes from Wide Receivers and Running Back teammates. Bullard had four tackles on Saturday in the game.

Bullard, a junior from Milledge, Georgia, played a pivotal role as a leader in Georgia’s defense. He was recognized as an AP All-SEC Second Team selection and ranked third on the team in tackles with a total of 56, including one tackle for loss. Additionally, he secured two interceptions and achieved five pass breakups throughout the season. Bullard has consistently performed well when the lights were shining their brightest throughout his career. He logged two interceptions and a tackle during the CFP National Championship Game against TCU, where he was named Defensive MVP. He also had an impressive performance in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl against Ohio State, where he recorded three tackles, a sack, a pass breakup, and a QB hurry, earning him the title of Defensive MVP in the CFP Semifinal game.

What the scouts said: 

“Whether you see him more as a slot or as a true safety, he’s the kind of football player every NFL team wants, and he’s the kind of run-defending defensive back you can count on near the line of scrimmage.” – Pro Football Focus

Draft projection: 2nd or 3rd Round Pick

Ladd McConkey

Ladd McConkey hoped for a successful week at the Senior Bowl to make up for an injury-plagued 2023 season. He received recognition as the top wide receiver on the American team, thanks to a vote from his defensive back teammates during the practice player-of-the-week awards ceremony. Despite only making one catch for 15 yards during the game, McConkey’s skill set undoubtedly makes him an asset to teams, much like he was at Georgia. With the right fit and offensive scheme, McConkey has the potential to shine.

McConkey redshirted his freshman season in 2020 but significantly contributed to Georgia’s offense in Athens over the following three years. Throughout his first two years, McConkey consistently proved himself a reliable receiver, often igniting momentum for the Georgia offense. Despite having only 30 receptions during the season, each catch appeared instrumental in keeping Georgia’s drives alive. McConkey attempted to play through an injury during the SEC Championship game but could not do so effectively. His absence was notable and contributed to Georgia’s offensive struggles that day.

 

 

What the scouts said: 

“If anyone was sleeping on what McConkey is capable of heading into this week at the Senior Bowl, they aren’t anymore. The Bulldogs star is a thoughtful route-runner who attacks defenses with a well-defined route plan. On Tuesday, he was able to create separation left and right. His ability to uncover and make the tough catch should continue into Day 2 because he’s proven he can do it consistently.” –Lance Zierlein & Eric Edholm, NFL.com

Draft projection: 2nd round

Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint

Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint aimed to improve his draft prospects with a strong showing at the Senior Bowl. His highlight moment came when he caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler during the game, earning praise from scouts throughout the week. The 2023 season provided Rosemy-Jacksaint with ample opportunities to showcase his skills. This year he had 34 receptions for 535 yards, ranking third on the team, and scored four touchdowns, tying for second among Bulldogs. Notably, his standout performances came against two SEC East opponents. He led the team in receiving yards during a win over South Carolina, recording six catches for 71 yards. He also caught seven passes for a team-best 91 yards and two touchdowns against Tennessee.

 

What the scouts said: 

“A fluid route runner, he got in and out of his route breaks well and gained easy separation against defenders. His ability to snatch the ball out of the air was among the most impressive of any receiver I saw Tuesday.” – Jordan Reid, ESPN

Draft projection: Late-round, undrafted free agent

 

Senior Bowl

Photo courtesy: Gregg Pachkowski / [email protected] / USA TODAY NETWORK

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