ATHENS Jake Fromm's arm strength holds the key to his NFL draft status, according to ESPN analyst Mel Kiper jr.
"We know what he has: the smarts, we know he has the leadership, we know he's an accurate passer forget the numbers, he lost all his receivers going into this year so you know he can do all those things," Kiper said on an ESPN teleconference on Wednesday.
"But is the arm good enough? (That's what) people are going to be really scrutinizing with Fromm going through this whole draft process leading up into late April, which will determine whether he's a second round pick, or whether he's a fourth- or fifth-round pick."
Kiper Jr. continues to maintain that Fromm reminds him of Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton.
But, the long-time draft expert said, there is also a scenario where he projects more closely to former Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray.
Fromm's performance at the NFL combine next week in Indianapolis will obviously be important.
"Only thing (that's) gonna be on display there, he's going to have to show is the necessary arm strength, because that's going to determine, is he Aaron Murray or is he Andy Dalton?" Kiper Jr. said. "That's what everybody is trying to figure out."
The NFL combine runs from Feb. 23 through March 2 with testing taking place in Lucas Oil Stadium. Quarterbacks and wideouts will workout on Feb. 27.
"If he's Andy Dalton, you're talking about a second round, early-second round type of quarterback. If you're Aaron Murray, you're a later-round quarterback who's now playing in the XFL."
Murray, currently with the Tampa Bay Vipers of the XFL, was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Murray is the SEC's all-time leading passing yardage and passing touchdown leader, played for Mark Richt in Athens from 2010-2013.
Kiper, however, has leaned more toward the Dalton comparison, which he first revealed last month during a podcast with fellow draft analyst Todd McShay.
"The easiest (comparison) in this draft is Jake Fromm to (Cincinnati Bengals quarterback) Andy Dalton," Kiper said. "From competitiveness, leadership, smarts, size "
Kiper, like Georgia coach Kirby Smart, qualified the drop-off in Fromm's numbers to the loss of UGA's top five pass catchers from the season before, along with other attrition.
"All of (Fromm's) touchdowns were gone," he said. "Think about (former UGA players) Riley Ridley, Mecole Hardman, Terry Godwin, Isaac Nauta.
"Then, he also lost Elijah Holyfield who was the No. 2 or 1-A running back with (D'Andre) Swift, who had a big year. And he lost his center as well. You can't take that away with anybody."
Fromm has been working out in Mobile, Ala., at "QB Country" with his quarterback coach, David Morris, in preparation for the NFL combine.
Fromm is one of 10 Georgia football players who received an invite to the all-important combine. Players will undergo thorough medical exams in addition to testing out in drill work and meeting with teams.
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