Pair of Georgia Bulldogs named as top players to watch at NFL combine

NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks has outlined who he is looking forward to watching at the 2023 NFL combine in Indianapolis, Indiana. Brooks has his eyes on a pair of former Georgia Bulldogs: defensive back Kelee Ringo and tight end Darnell Washington.

Both former Georgia standouts have the physical traits to put on a show at the NFL combine. Both players have a chance to be first round draft picks. The combine is held from Feb. 28 to March 6.

Here’s what Bucky Brooks has to say about Georgia defensive back Kelee Ringo:

As a unanimous five-star recruit with an impressive track background, Ringo arrived at Georgia with a whole heap o’ hype. He was forced to redshirt his first year on campus due to a shoulder injury, but started on each of the Bulldogs’ back-to-back national championship teams over the past two seasons, earning second-team All-SEC honors this past fall. A size-speed combo with explosiveness, Ringo has all of the surface-level attributes NFL teams are looking for at the cornerback position. But there are questions about his anticipation, technique and ability to track the football in the air. His tape from the 2022 campaign was a mixed bag.

Ringo’s rare athleticism should shine in the combine setting. The question is how he’ll perform in positional drills. If he can showcase better-than-anticipated footwork and technique, as well as scheme versatility, Ringo could see his draft stock soar.

I agree with Bucky Brooks that Kelee Ringo should excel at the NFL combine. Ringo has impressive speed and size that should help him improve his draft stock.

Ringo ran track in high school and showed explosive speed throughout his career at Georgia. He finished his Georgia career with four interceptions and has good ball skills.

Darryl Webb/For the Republic

Kelee Ringo should run one of the fastest 40-yard dash times at the NFL combine. Ringo is currently projected to be the No. 31 pick in the 2023 NFL draft.

Darnell Washington also signed with the University of Georgia as a five-star recruit. Both Washington and Ringo were members of the class of 2020 coming out of high school. The duo won back-to-back national championships to cap off their respective careers in Athens, Georgia.

Why is Bucky Brooks looking forward to watching Georgia tight end Darnell Washington at the combine?

The supersized tight end is built like an offensive tackle, but moves like a receiver in space. College football fans certainly recall his tackle-breaking, hurdling, 25-yard gain in Georgia’ season-opening blowout of Oregon. Washington’s combination of superb run-blocking skills and extraordinary athleticism — at 6-7 and 270 pounds, according to Georgia’s listing — make him a unicorn at a position that has become the biggest mismatch spot in football. The combine is made for freak shows, and this guy fits the bill.

If Washington can display refined skills as a route runner and pass catcher, he could push his way into serious first-round consideration as a rare specimen with blue-chip traits.

Darnell Washington did not put up huge numbers (three career touchdowns) during his career at Georgia, but he did impact winning. Washington is the best blocking tight end in the draft. There’s a chance he could eventually become an offensive tackle in the NFL. Washington is just that special.

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

For now, Darnell Washington is expected to be a difference maker at the tight end position. Washington has good speed and an impressive vertical jump. He’s a must-watch prospect at the combine.

Darnell Washington is projected to be the No. 41 selection of the NFL draft.

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Story originally appeared on UGA Wire