Strengths and weaknesses of Georgia's fringe NFL prospects

Julian Alexander | The Red & BlackGeorgia running back Brian Herrien (35) hugs his teammates Georgia tight end Charlie Woerner (89) and Georgia tight end Eli Wolf (17). Georgia leads Auburn 14-0 at halftime on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, in Auburn, Alabama.

The cancellation of Georgia’s pro day shouldn’t be the reason a former Bulldog isn’t selected in the upcoming NFL draft, but it’s not going to help those who were on the fringe.

Brian Herrien, Tae Crowder, Eli Wolf and Charlie Woerner are among those who could’ve used the opportunity to have a solid pro day. Herrien and Woerner were the only two of this group to compete at the NFL combine, but both remain projected to go undrafted.

Herrien waited until his senior season with the Bulldogs to grab his first career start, but he found his way onto the field in at least 12 games all four years. In his first carry at Georgia, for example, he showed his speed with a 19-yard rushing touchdown against North Carolina.

He finished with 1,413 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns on 277 carries in his collegiate career and developed into a hard-hitting running back who finished with only one fumble. His 4.62 40-yard dash time did little to hurt or help his stock going forward.

With a combine prospect grade of 5.6, Herrien is projected to make the end of an NFL roster or have a place on the practice squad. This makes him a priority free agent whenever the NFL draft comes to an end.

Another four-year contributor for Georgia is Woerner, who started all 14 games last season. His ability to run-block was the major reason, and he may have to switch positions in the NFL to fullback

because of that. He didn’t do much on the receiving end during his time at Georgia, as he finished with one touchdown and never had more than 11 receptions in a season.

Woerner is listed as the No. 19 tight end in this year’s draft class, according to Bleacher Report’s NFL draft expert Matt Miller, so it appears he’ll have to also wait until after the draft to find out his potential playing destination.

Another tight end that could find his way onto an NFL roster is Wolf, who played his first three seasons at Tennessee before transferring to Georgia for his final season of eligibility. Like Woerner, Wolf was primarily used as a blocker in the run game.

Although he started in five fewer games at Georgia compared to his final season at Tennessee, he finished with a career-high 13 receptions for 194 receiving yards. This improvement has led to Wolf following closely behind Woerner as the No. 22 tight end in this year’s draft, according to Miller.

One of this year’s biggest NFL combine snubs might be Crowder, who made the switch from running back to linebacker for the Bulldogs mid-season his redshirt freshman year. He started 13 of Georgia’s 14 games last season, finishing with 62 tackles and four tackles for loss.

Crowder was selected as a semifinalist for the 2019 Butkus Award, given to the nation’s best linebacker, so it’s hard to imagine he goes unnoticed following the NFL draft.

Printed with permission from The Red & Black independent student media organization based in Athens, Georgia; redandblack.com/sports

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