ATHENS, Ga. – All 32 NFL teams had someone in attendance at Georgia’s Pro Day on Wednesday, and receivers Reggie Davis and Isaiah McKenzie and offensive tackle Tyler Catalina seemed to draw the most interest of the 15 Bulldogs who worked out.
In Catalina’s case, it was for his work at a different position. Catalina, a graduate transfer from Rhode Island, was the Bulldogs’ starting left tackle in 2016, but he said he likely would be a guard or center on the next level. That is the way that he approached Wednesday’s workout.
“I know that my future is going to be inside,” he said.
To that end, Catalina worked out with center Brandon Kublanow as they went through snapping drills with an NFL staff member. Catalina worked mostly at snapping the ball for a shotgun formation.
“(Working out at center) was brought up by the teams,” Catalina said. “At the University of Rhode Island, I was a backup center for a year, so I’ve had the experience and know how to do it. But the fact that they brought it up to me was exciting.”
Catalina said he has talked with numerous NFL teams, mentioning the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers by name. (The Falcons, by the way, were well-represented in Athens, with GM Thomas Dimitroff, assistant general manager Scott Pioli, coach Dan Quinn and 10 other staff members in attendance.)
McKenzie spoke with reporters for the first time since announcing he was turning pro. McKenzie says part of his decision was based on academics; he did not get into specifics, but said he would have needed to sit out spring practice.
His goal is to prove to NFL teams that he can be more than just a return man at the next level.
“They say they like me in the slot position,” McKenzie said. “They ask me if I play any outside positions … but they love me at the slot. (Their interest) is mostly for special teams, but slot comes with it.”
McKenzie sat on his 4.42 40 time from the combine but did take part in the receiving and return drills Wednesday.
Davis also is trying to make a late push to impress NFL teams. His biggest selling point is his speed. While official times were not announced from Wednesday’s 40-yard dashes, he said he knew it was fast.
“I’ve heard 4.25, 4.28 or 4.31,” Davis said. “It’s somewhere in that area.”
Speed never has been an issue with Davis. Instead, it was his hands and his ability to hold on to the ball. The problem was especially big in 2015, with a crucial dropped pass at Tennessee and a muffed punt against Florida.
Despite these concerns, Davis is getting interest from NFL teams for his return ability. He went through return drills with McKenzie, who was the only Georgia player invited to the recent NFL Scouting Combine.
The two were watched closely by Falcons special teams coordinator Keith Armstrong, whose unit needs a return man.
Davis said he ran a laser-timed 4.29 40 during training in Davie, Fla. But he will need to add weight, as his official weight Wednesday was 155 pounds.
Georgia also allowed former linebacker Tim Kimbrough to return to Athens for this pro day workout, but he was unable to do so because of a pectoral injury. Kimbrough said it was a “mutual decision” to leave Georgia in August 2016.
(You can follow Dan Mathews on Twitter @DanMathewsATL)
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