A look at the 41 players with Georgia ties invited to the NFL scouting combine

South Carolina quarterback Collin Hill (15) is brought down by LSU linebacker BJ Ojulari (8) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Brett Duke)

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

South Carolina quarterback Collin Hill (15) is brought down by LSU linebacker BJ Ojulari (8) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Brett Duke)

FLOWERY BRANCH — Forty-one players with Georgia connections have been invited to the NFL scouting combine, which begins Tuesday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

The number is up from 38 who were invited in 2022. There were 32 invited in 2020.

There was no combine in 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic. There were 20 players, including future Falcons cornerback A.J. Terrell, with state ties invited in 2020.

Here are bios of 41 players from Georgia colleges or high schools (41 players), who were invited to the combine:


Stetson Bennett, 5-foot-11, 190 pounds, Georgia (Pierce County High School): The 25-year-old quarterback trained in Fort Worth, Texas, with Apex Sports. Bennett was arrested for public intoxication Jan. 29 in Dallas. He is alleged to have been banging on doors at 6 a.m., looking for a residence at which he was staying. Bennett blew off the champions’ morning press conference in Los Angeles, made a confrontational speech at Georgia’s championship celebration at Sanford Stadium the next weekend, turned down an invitation to play in the Senior Bowl and was arrested in Dallas. As a sixth-year senior last season, Bennett completed 68.3% of his passes for 4,127 yards, 27 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also ran for 10 touchdowns. Over three seasons, Georgia went 29-3 with Bennett as its starting quarterback. He set school and career records for completion percentage and finished with 8,428 yards passing, 66 passing TDs, 14 rushing TDs and 21 interceptions.


Tank Bigsby, 6-0, 214, Auburn, (Callaway HS): Bigsby, a former SEC Freshman of the Year, rushed for 2,903 yards and 25 touchdowns over his career with the Tigers. He rushed for 1,099 yards and 10 touchdowns as a sophomore but dipped last season.

Jahmyr Gibbs, 5-11, 201, Alabama (Dalton HS): Gibbs transferred from Georgia Tech to spend his final collegiate season in Tuscaloosa, where he was featured. He had 926 rushing yards and added another 444 yards receiving on 44 catches.

Kenny McIntosh, 6-1, 210, Georgia: He rushed 279 times for 1,582 yards and 16 touchdowns over his career with the Bulldogs. Last season, he played in all 15 games for the national champions and rushed 149 times for 829 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Keaton Mitchell, 5-9, 188, East Carolina (Eagles Landing Christian): Highly productive for the Pirates over three seasons. He rushed 463 times for 3,027 yards and 25 touchdowns. He rushed for more that 1,100 yards in 2021 and more than 1,400 in 2022.

Chris Rodriguez, 5-11, 224, Kentucky (Ola HS): He was elected a two-time captain for the Wildcats. He rushed for 3,643 yards and 33 touchdowns over his career. His yards were the third-most in school history.


Josh Downs, 5-10, 175, North Carolina (North Gwinnett HS): Downs, a Suwanee native, had 1,029 yards and 11 touchdowns on 94 catches last season. In 2021, he had 101 catches for 1,335 yards and eight touchdowns. He was among the best receivers in North Carolina history, finishing fourth in career receiving yards and third in receptions. He need to run a fast 40-time to alleviate size concerns. His father, Gary Downs, played seven seasons in the NFL and his uncle is Dre Bly, an 11-year NFL player.

Jadon Haselwood, 6-3, 213, Arkansas (Cedar Grove HS): He was a five-star recruit. ”It’s been a grind,” Haselwood told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution at the East-West Shrine Bowl. “I feel like I still haven’t shown the world what they need to see from me. I’m going to continue to work to get better every day.” Haselwood committed to Georgia before he signed with Oklahoma. He played three seasons with the Sooners and then transferred to Arkansas. He played 25 games for the Sooners and caught 62 passes for 736 yards and seven touchdowns. In 2022 with the Razorbacks, Haselwood caught 59 passes for 702 yards and three touchdowns. Haselwood trained for the combine in Miami. “The 40-yard dash is going to be a big deal for me,” he said.

Kearis Jackson, 6-0, 200, Georgia (Peach County HS): Over 44 games he caught 78 passes for 1,107 yards and four touchdowns. He also returned punts and kickoffs for the Bulldogs.


Davis Allen, 6-6, 250, Clemson (Calhoun HS): He played in 42 games and caught 88 passes for 951 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Payne Durham, 6-5, 255, Purdue (Peachtree Ridge HS): A three-time All-Academic selection in the Big Ten who played lacrosse before converting to football. He played in 36 games for the Boilermakers and caught 126 passes for 1,275 yards and 21 touchdowns.

Darnell Washington, 6-7, 250, Georgia: He played in 27 games for the Bulldogs and caught 45 passes for 774 yards and two touchdowns.

Credit: D. Orlando Ledbetter


Broderick Jones, 6-4, 315, Georgia (Lithonia HS): He was the starting left tackle for the back-to-back national champions. He was a five-star recruit. He’s considered one of the top three tackles in the draft and could be in play for the Falcons at No. 8.

Warren McClendon, 6-4, 300, Georgia (Brunswick HS): He was a three-year starter at right tackle for the Bulldogs. He was named to the AJC’s All-State Class 6A team in 2017.

Wanya Morris, 6-6, 310, Oklahoma (Grayson HS): Morris, a five-star recruit, began his college career at Tennessee. He’s played left and right tackle. He was a second-team All-Big 12 selection by Associated Press in 2022. He played in nine games and started eight at right tackle for the Sooners last season.


Robert Beal, 6-4, 255, Georgia (Peachtree Ridge HS): He played in 37 games and had 72 tackles and 10 sacks.

Jalen Carter, 6-3, 310, Georgia: Considered the top player in the draft. He played 35 games for the Bulldogs and had 83 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss and six sacks.

Brenton Cox, 6-4, 253, Florida (Stockbridge HS): He played in 44 games and had 138 tackles, 34.5 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks. Cox played one season at Georgia before he transferred to Florida.

YaYa Diaby, 6-4, 255 Louisville (North Clayton HS, Georgia Military College): He played in 33 games, had 94 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks.

Thomas Incoom, Central Michigan (Stone Mountain HS): He played in 25 games and had 85 tackles, 27.5 tackles for loss and 15.5 sacks. Began his college career at Valdosta State.

Isaiah Land, Florida A&M (Grayson HS): He is ESPN draft analyst Jordan Reid’s No. 1 prospect from the HBCU ranks. He was a dominant pass rusher in the SWAC, but likely will have to move to weakside linebacker in the NFL. Led the nation in sacks with 19 and tackles for loss with 25.5 in 2021.

Myles Murphy, 6-5, 275, Clemson (Hillgrove HS): Murphy is a projected first-rounder. He had 18.5 sacks and 36 tackles for loss across three seasons. Murphy might be a top-10 pick, and he would be a logical fit for the Falcons at No. 8 overall.

Nolan Smith, Georgia (Calvary Day School before IMG Academy): He played in 38 games and made 110 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and 12.5 sacks. His final season was cut short by a torn pectoral muscle.

Keion White, 6-4, 267, Georgia Tech: A Tech player hasn’t been selected in the first round since Derrick Morgan (No. 16) and Demaryius Thomas (No. 22) in 2010. White started his career as a tight end at Old Dominion. He’s overcome a severe ankle injury and turned some heads with a three-sack performance in the Yellow Jackets’ upset of North Carolina last season.

Colby Wooden, 6-5, 278, Auburn (Archer HS): He played in 40 games over four seasons. He has 153 tackles, 29.5 tackles for loss and 14 sacks.

Byron Young, 6-3, 245, Tennessee (Georgia Military College): He had seven sacks and 12 tackles for loss. ESPN’s Mel Kiper projected Young as the No. 20 overall pick in a recent mock draft. He had 42 pressures, according to Pro Football Focus. He made a strong showing in a win over Clemson in the Orange Bowl, with three tackles and two sacks.


Will Anderson, 6-4, 243, Alabama (Dutchtown HS): Anderson is the consensus top edge rusher in this class. He’s usually considered the second-best defender behind only Georgia interior rusher Jalen Carter. Anderson (6-foot-4, 243 pounds) has been compared with Von Miller and has the potential to be among the most feared pass rushers in the NFL. Anderson had a dominant sophomore season, earning an FBS-high 34.5 tackles for loss and 17.5 sacks. His numbers dropped in 2022, but he still impressed, with 10 sacks and 17 tackles for loss. He won consecutive SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors and Bronko Nagurski trophies.

Shaka Heyward, 6-3, 240, Duke (Mill Creek HS): He played in 51 games and made 41 starts for the Blue Devils. He made 337 tackles, 31.5 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks. He was a two-time All-ACC pick and was the team’s defensive MVP in 2022.

BJ Ojulari, 6-3, 249, LSU (Marietta HS): Ojulari could rise throughout the pre-draft proceedings, making him a potential first-round pick. He finished with 16.5 sacks and 25.5 tackles for loss over his three seasons at LSU. He’s a finesse-based pass rusher with good length who will test well athletically. Ojulari is the younger brother of former Bulldogs edge rusher Azeez Ojulari, who’s with the Giants.

Owen Pappoe, 6-1, 226, Auburn (Grayson HS): He played in 41 games and made 256 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, eight sacks and two interceptions.

Charlie Thomas, 6-2, 207, Georgia Tech (Thomasville HS): Thomas graduated from high school early and enrolled at Georgia Tech in 2018. He benefited from the COVID-19 season and played five seasons. He started six of 10 games as a freshman and went on to have 10 sacks, two interceptions, five pass breakups, six fumble recoveries and seven forced fumbles.

Credit: WSBTV Videos


Brian Branch, 6-0, 194, Alabama (Sandy Creek HS): One of the top safeties in the draft. He finished his career at Sandy Creek as the program’s career interceptions leader. He was selected as the Georgia Class 5A Ironman of the Year by coaches. The award is presented to the top two-way player. He picked Alabama over Ohio State, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

Trey Dean, 6-3, 206, Florida (Dutchtown HS): He played in 57 games over five seasons. He had 255 tackles and four interceptions. He started 12 games at safety last season.

Kelee Ringo, 6-2, 205, Georgia: Considered of the top cornerbacks in the draft. He played in 30 games over the past two seasons, made 76 tackles and four interceptions.

Jammie Robinson, 5-11, 199, Florida State (Lee Co. HS): He played two seasons at South Carolina before transferring. He has seven career interceptions.

Christopher Smith, 5-11, 190, Georgia (Hapeville Charter Academy): He was a dynamic presence in Georgia’s secondary during its back-to-back national championship seasons. He intercepted six passes over the past two seasons. In the 2022 SEC Championship game against LSU, Smith was the player who recovered the ball following a blocked kick and returned it 96 yards for a touchdown as Tigers players seemed unaware the play was alive. Smith also intercepted a pass and collided with a defender that resulted in another interception during Georgia’s 50-30 win.

Terell Smith, 6-1, 215, Minnesota (South Gwinnett HS): Played in the East-West Shrine Bowl and was an All-Big Ten honorable mention at safety. He started all 13 games for the Golden Gophers and made 38 tackles and had 4.5 tackles for loss and two sacks.

Rashad Torrence, 6-0, 202, Florida (Marietta HS): Started 12 games at safety and had 84 tackles in 2022.

DJ Turner, 6-0, 180, Michigan (North Gwinnett HS before IMG Academy): He is a speedster whose 40-yard dash could drastically help his stock. Tony Pauline of Pro Football Network projected Turner as the No. 23 overall pick in his recent mock draft. Pauline wrote: “I like DJ Turner more than most. He’s a polished corner with outstanding ball skills despite being under the radar.”

Jay Ward, 6-1, 180, LSU (Colquitt Co. HS): Versatile defensive back who played safety, cornerback and nickel back for the Tigers. He played in 46 games over his career and made 23 starts.


Jack Podlesny, K, 6-1, 180, Georgia (Glynn Academy): He made 61 of 74 field-goal attempts (82.4%) and 73 of 74 extra-point attempts (98.6%).

-AJC staff writers David Wellham and Gabriel Burns contributed to this article.

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