It’s never easy for an athlete to bounce back from an ACL tear. Repairing one’s NFL Draft stock is a whole different story, though.
According to numerous reports, Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray has torn his left ACL, sending his 2014 NFL Draft stock into a tailspin. There were already questions about the Bulldogs quarterback – lack of size and arm strength to name a couple – but a serious knee injury could force NFL teams to steer clear on draft day.
Last year, several players including Marcus Lattimore, Quanterus Smith, and Michael Mauti all saw their draft stocks plummet due to knee injuries during the 2012 season. Lattimore was a sure-fire first-round prospect before a gruesome injury dropped him to the fourth round. Smith and Mauti both fell to similar fate, and weren’t called until the fifth and seventh rounds, respectively, despite possessing Day 2 talent.
Prior to the injury, Murray was considered to be a second- or third-round talent. Despite lacking prototypical size or arm strength, he showed outstanding accuracy, leadership and intelligence while starting all four of his seasons with the Bulldogs.
Murray has a long road ahead of him if he plans of hearing his name called in May. He’s scheduled to go under the knife on Tuesday to repair the tear. With just over five months to go, teams will need to see significant progress in his rehabilitation before they even decide to put his name on their draft boards. If anything, we might see a team take a flier on the Georgia passer in the late rounds and “redshirting” him for the first year.
This type of injury is always a devastating blow, but the timing for Murray is just deadly. We’ll see how quickly he can rehab and go from there.