ATHENS — “Development” was the buzz word at Georgia’s Pro Day, and no one embodied that better than Ladd McConkey.

McConkey represents one of the Cinderella stories among the prospects for the 2024 NFL draft, having grown from an unheralded 165-pound 3-star recruit who took a redshirt season into a potential first-round pick.

McConkey was one of the 13 outgoing Bulldogs on hand Wednesday to work out and meet with all 32 NFL teams in Georgia’s so-called “House of Payne” indoor football facility.

“Most of these guys have been part of 46 of the last 48 games we’ve come out on top,” said coach Kirby Smart, potentially on the verge of producing what would be a third-consecutive double-digit NFL draft class.

“You have good football players, and that equates to that, (and) all these guys played a role in those games.”

Georgia first-round prospects Brock Bowers and Amarius Mims postponed field work Wednesday because of hamstring injuries.

“A lot of my time has been training for the 40. I’d rather be training for football,” Bowers said Wednesday. “It sucks being on the sideline watching.”

Mims, who ran a 5.07-second time in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, said he did put up “22 or 23″ repetitions in the bench press before passing on field drills.

Both Bowers and Mims said they plan to hold a Pro Day workout next month leading to the draft (April 25-27).

McConkey, meanwhile, has overcome the back and ankle injuries that forced him to miss time last season and – much like his time at Georgia – is getting in all the work he can.

McConkey’s role grew throughout his Georgia career: from scout team player, to slot receiver and punt-return man, and finally the featured wideout this season.

“I’m a guy that can play anywhere,” said McConkey, who also played quarterback at North Murray High School in Chatsworth, sharpening his ability to recognize and exploit defenses.

“I feel like I’m a great route runner; I can find the holes, whether it’s man and zone (coverage). I’m a guy they can move around the field and play every down.”

Jim Nagy, an NFL draft analyst and former NFL scout, agrees to the extent that he compares McConkey with Los Angeles Rams receiver Cooper Kupp.

“Ladd has knocked the pre-draft process out of the park,” said Nagy, now the executive director of the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. “He had an unbelievable week in Mobile getting open, then he goes to the combine and runs a high 4.3 (40-yard dash), and then he shows up at Georgia Pro Day and does everything the scouts there asked him to do.

“Ladd embraced the process and competed, and not everyone in his position group did that, and that will be a separator.”

The fact that McConkey was even on the roster was a testament to the value that Smart places on prospects’ attitudes.

“Chip on the shoulder,” Smart said Wednesday when asked what led him to offer McConkey a scholarship when no other Power 5 school outside of Vanderbilt would.

“It started from the time we offered him until now, he’s ascended and aspired to be great,” Smart said. “Nobody works harder than Ladd McConkey, and nobody on our team would say there is a better teammate than Ladd McConkey.”

And Smart, a former All-SEC safety and noted defensive guru, knows there might not be a more difficult cover in football than the fleet-footed McConkey.

“In and out of breaks, his ability to separate is one of the key things,” Smart explained. “In the NFL there’s less touching and you’re able to run routes, and that’s going to be advantageous for Ladd.

“He’s pretty elite on third downs at getting open, and that keeps the chains moving.”

McConkey, who measured in at 6-foot, 186 pounds at the NFL combine, said he’ll keep his focus on football, the NFL draft merely the next stage of his storybook career.

“You want to go as high as possible to the right fit. That’s my saying,” McConkey said. “I’ll be super pumped wherever I land. This is a dream come true.

“All I want at the next level is a chance to contribute and make an impact.”