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Checking In On Aaron Murray's Draft Status: Bengals Interested?

Kevin C. Cox

We are approaching the kind of NFL Draft that I really, really look forward to. The kind that doesn't feature a large number of prospects who played their college football at Georgia. Because that means that the guys who played last year in Athens are still in Athens getting coached up on how to get better.

But I digress. Aaron Murray is one former Bulldog whose been the subject of a lot of speculation in the lead up to the draft. For one thing, there's that pesky ACL injury which prevented him from completing his senior season on the field and hampered his ability to work out for teams. There's his physical stature, which is not ideal for measurable-conscious personnel folk. And there are the questions surrounding his "big game" let downs, a topic which you never hear about in relation to QBs not good enough to get their teams into big games in the first place*.

As a result no one's really sure where Murray will end up. Charles Davis thinks Murray may be one of the biggest sleepers in the draft. By definition, I think this means that Davis is granting that Murray may fall deep in the draft. ESPN's Pat Yasinskas thinks Tampa Bay might take a shot on the local product to allow him to compete against Mike Glennon for their starting job.

SB Nation's own Cincy Jungle reports that the Bengals met with Murray at the recent NFL Combine. Curiously some of their readers aren't terribly jazzed about it, though some of the analysis of why is a little off, at least in my opinion. For example, I found it odd that at least one reader would rather take Zach Mettenberger in the 3rd or 4th round if he's available than take Murray, which would be a great strategy if height and beard growing acumen were the best determinants of NFL success. I for one would be thrilled to see him reunited with targets Orson Charles and A.J. Green, along with the host of other Bulldogs currently working in the industrial capitol of northern Kentucky.

Murray says he's on track to participate in Georgia's Pro Day on April 16th, has been throwing for a few weeks now, and recently told David Ching that he's running at about "80-85%" already, which is pretty amazing less than 4 months after an ACL tear. Murray has provided scouts with a ton of film to watch during his four years as a starter in the Classic City. That's both good and bad. I suspect that the task at this point is convincing teams that Murray will be in a position to compete this summer. Teams have seen what he can do, they just need to know that he'll be able to do it in September when they need him to.

Go 'Dawgs!!!

* Aaron Murray was 3-1 against Florida with the only loss in overtime as a freshman. I really just needed a way to segue into pointing that out.