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Bulldogs Nolan Smith & Robert Beal Jr. Impress at Day 1 of NFL Combine

Will Morrison

Day 1 of the NFL Combine in Indianapolis kicked off today, and the defensive linemen and linebackers were first up. 

UGA had two players showing off their skills, edge rushers Robert Beal Jr. and Nolan Smith. 

Beal, who led the Dawgs in sacks in 2021, had a good showing today. He posted the third-highest time among edge rushers in the 40-yard dash with a 4.48. That time is faster than former UGA running-back Nick Chubb and star Philidelphia Eagles receiver A.J. Brown. Beal's vertical jump was measured at 30", and his broad jump of 10'3" was the 9th-best jump of all edge rushers. 

Perhaps the biggest story of the combine’s first day was Nolan Smith. He made some money after the numbers he put up in Indianapolis. He had an official time of 4.39 in the 40-yard dash, which was the fastest time of all players that ran today and the second fastest time ever by an Edge. His 10-yard split was 1.52 seconds. That is now the new record for fastest ever among edge rushers. Nolan's forty-yard dash time was faster than NFL stars Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffery, and Stefon Diggs.

Smith’s vertical jump was measured at 41.5", which was also the highest of any player to participate in the combine today. Nolan's 41.5" is higher than star receivers such as JaMarr Chase and D.K. Metcalf. Former Georgia receiver Chris Conley held the record for the highest vertical jump for 6 years until it was broken last year.

The great day for Smith didn't stop there, as he had the third-longest broad jump of the afternoon at 10'8". The numbers put up by the former #1 overall high-school recruit is proving to many NFL GM’s why he should be a first-round pick in the NFL Draft. Nolan will have another chance to impress scouts in a couple weeks in Athens as he has decided to workout at UGA's pro day on March 15th.

The Dawgs took over the NFL Combine last year, and they look like they might do so again. Kelee Ringo and Christopher Smith are set to take on the NFL Combine tomorrow. The events will start airing on NFL Network at 3:00 EST.

Stay tuned to DawgsCentral for daily coverage of UGA players at the NFL combine.

Edited by Will Morrison

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