ATHENS Ten Georgia football players will be headed to Indianapolis for the NFL combine in the next week.
Linebacker Tae Crowder is not one of them.
But Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy, who has four Super Bowl rings from his stints in Green Bay, New England, said he believes Crowder can still make an NFL roster.
"Getting the invite to Indy isn't the end all be all, whatsoever," Nagy said during the DawgNation Ingles On The Beat Show. "He'll have his pro day and the rest of the process to work it out."
Crowder was a key to the nation's best defense last season from his inside linebacker position. The Bulldogs finished last season ranked No. 1 in scoring defense and rushing defense and No. 3 in total defense and No 8 in pass efficiency defense.
"I'll say this about Tae Crowder, to me, the arrow is pointing up with him," Nagy said. "When you're in scouting, you talk about guys that are ascending players, and I think Tae is doing that."
Crowder, a 6-foot-3, 235-pounder, was a late bloomer of sorts. A noted running back and receiver prospect in high school, Crowder converted to the linebacker position under Coach Kirby Smart.
Crowder finished second on the team with 62 tackles last season, and many believe his best football is ahead of him.
"I think he's playing his best football this year, no doubt," Nagy said. "He's long, he can run, he can play in space. I think he's going to make somebody's team on special teams."
Nagy pointed out that Georgia linebacker Natrez Patrick made the Los Angeles Rams 53-man roster last season without an invite to the NFL combine.
"Tae Crowder to me is a better prospect than Natrez, and to Natrez's credit he signed with the Rams as an undrafted free agent and made their 53, so that's awesome for him," Nagy said.
"But if you're just grading players, Tae is a better prospect in my mind than Natrez was, so it surprised me (Crowder) wasn't in another all-star game, that was a little surprising, and then the combine snub.
"I hope he uses that as some fuel moving forward. I was part of a lot of teams that drafted guys with no all-star game, no combine, and that played for a long time."
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