Posted: 6:00 am Wednesday, March 19th, 2014
By D. Orlando Ledbetter
Former Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray is set to leave for Phoenix today to start the final month of his preparations before Georgia’s Pro Day on April 16.
“He will work with quarterback coach Terry Shea,” said Pat Dye, Jr., Murray’s Atlanta-based agent. “We think the first week he’s there he’s going to be working with RGIII (Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III).”
Murray tore his ACL against Kentucky on Senior Night and had surgery the following Tuesday.
“He’s been training in Pensacola with the Athletes’ Performance, but they also have the Andrews Institute down there with Dr. (Robert) Andrews,” Dye said. “We just thought the combination of the performance training and medical attention that he would get down there would be tough to match.”
After the Phoenix trip, Murray’s schedule is packed.
“He’s going to be training out there for about 10 days and then he’ll come back to Pensacola and train for a little bit,” Dye said. “Then he’ll do the (Jon) Gruden Camp, the 5th and 6th of April on ESPN. Then he’ll go from there back to Athens to start really polishing up. He’ll start throwing with his wide receivers, tight ends and running backs at Georgia. He’ll be working with his Georgia teammates and really start honing his Pro Day workout.”
Here are the 12 teams that have shown the most interest in Murray: Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Arizona, Minnesota, New Orleans, St. Louis, Cleveland, Houston, Dallas, Oakland, Tennessee and Kansas City.
He won over a lot of teams by attending the Senior Bowl and the scouting combine.
“There’s just a real positive buzz about Aaron with the teams,” Dye said. “He’s well ahead of schedule and he should be fine to start training camp or at some point during training camp. Whether if that’s the first day or two weeks into it. Aaron swears he’ll be ready by training camp, a full go.”
Murray met with teams at the Senior Bowl and at the combine.
“He’s very smart and has great football intelligence,” Dye said. “(He’s a) leader. He’s a very, very tough kid. When you watch the way that he got whacked around in the 2010 Auburn game by Nick Fairley, on what some wished were personal foul penalties, a lot of people don’t know that he had to get his chin stitched up during that game. He played, but from the second series on he apparently had a cracked sternum.
“Just getting to know Aaron, he has a passion for football. There’s such a positive energy about him. It’s really infectious and I think teams pick up on that when they are around him.”
The Falcons and the Jaguars’ coaching staffs worked the Senior Bowl. Murray was slated to play on the South team, but accepted his invitation anyway.
“I think it was a brilliant strategy for us to — Aaron and I kind of talked about it — go down and participate in the Senior Bowl just as if he was playing,” Dye said. “To take the time to go down there, go to the meetings, go to the quarterback position meetings, sit there and listen to NFL coaching and stand there behind the huddle and watch every day, he kind of immersed himself in NFL coaching and NFL culture.
“I think he impressed a lot of teams because he took the time to go down there for three days. That really, really resonated with people that he was so proactive about that and had such a sense of urgency about that.”
While Murray rewrote the record books at Georgia and in the SEC, there is the knee injury and the fact that he’s a half inch under 6-1. Most project that he’ll go in the third round or possibly as early as the late second round.
“In an ideal world, he’s not coming off an ACL,” Dye said. “In an ideal world, he’s 6-foot-4. But he’s not. We’ll just make the best of that. His height and his ACL are a little bit of a detriment to his draft status, but, all in all, I don’t expect much of draft fallout from the ACL. I just think there is a positive bounce from his production, performance and his intangibles. I think ultimately, he’ll end up going about where he would have gone had he not got hurt.”
Murray should be ready to participate in his field drills on Georgia’s Pro Day.
“We don’t see any point in trying to run a 40 (yard dash), short shuttles, or jumping and all of that stuff,” Dye said. “He’s just starting to incorporate throwing the football. He’s been throwing for a while, but he’s just kind of starting to do his drops and really starting to incorporate all of the different throws and drops into his workout regimen.”