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NFL Draft Player Profile: Jake Ganus

An in-depth look at where Athens' finest will be selected in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Coming into the 2015 season, many Bulldog fans heard of a linebacker transfer from the discontinued UAB football program and thought, "Cool, we have some more linebacking depth now."  Even though he was the leading tackler at UAB for two consecutive seasons, even the most optimistic UGA fans (well, at least most fans) would not have believed the impact Jake Ganus would have on the 2015 UGA team.

Much like he did at UAB, Ganus became the leader of the Georgia defense, and for the third straight season, led his team in tackles.  Not just a leader on the field, but off the field Ganus was a mentor and leader to the younger linebackers, namely Natrez Patrick, Roquan Smith, and Juwan Taylor.  His fantastic season in Athens culminated with the 2015 Team MVP award at the team’s post-season gala.

Despite his fantastic season and the team MVP award, Ganus was still going unnoticed when it came to the NFL Draft.  He was a participant in the Senior Bowl, but even his play in that game wasn’t enough to earn an invite to the Combine in Indianapolis.

At the UGA Pro Day, Ganus posted a 4.85 40-yard dash and put up 15 bench reps at 225.  Still, at 6’2" and 232 lbs., most NFL execs view him as too small for the NFL.

This isn’t new for Ganus, as he has been doubted both coming out of high school as well as coming into the SEC.  His hard work and determination have helped get him to this point in his football career, and that is one thing that the NFL scouts and execs have taken notice about Ganus.

There is a chance Ganus could go in the late rounds of the NFL Draft, but all indications point to him signing as an undrafted free agent.

Personally, I would love to see a team take a chance on Ganus late in the draft.  Watching him play in Athens, I believe he would definitely help an NFL team in one form or another, but unfortunately, I don’t get to make those types of decisions.

Whether he does get drafted late or signs post-draft, one thing is certain: don’t discount Jake Ganus sticking around with an NFL team for the 2016 season and beyond.