ATHENS, Ga. — While he continues to rehab his knee — and his reputation — Todd Gurley is relying on game film to make his case for the NFL draft.
Gurley could only watch during Georgia's Pro Day on Wednesday. About four months after his tearing his left anterior cruciate ligament in a win over Auburn, Gurley says his recovery is on schedule. Even so, he's not ready for the 40-yard dash and other drills that were part of the day for other Georgia players looking to impress NFL scouts.
Gurley said he wished he could have performed for the NFL scouts but he added "Good thing I've got a little film to prove something."
That film and the statistics make a strong case for Gurley to be considered with Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon as one of the top running backs in the draft.
Gurley is expected to be the first Georgia player drafted. He bypassed his senior season, lost four games to a suspension for accepting money for autographs, lost more time to the injury and still is the second-leading rusher in Georgia history, behind only Herschel Walker. He also trails only Walker on the career lists for touchdowns, all-purpose yards and 100-yard games.
Gurley says NFL teams have asked about the suspension, as well as his progress in recovering from the knee surgery.
He says he knows he'll continue to have to explain why he took money for autographs, breaking NCAA rules that led to the suspension.
"It has to. They're not just going to not say anything about it," he said. "You have to ask, so I definitely tell them the situation and you go on from it.
"Like I told them before, I made a dumb mistake, something I did in my freshman and sophomore year. I should have never have done it. I knew the rules but I still broke them. I'm definitely ready to move on and get on with my life. It's still going to be something that comes up. It's just something I learn from."
Gurley has been working out in Pensacola, Florida. He said he returned for Pro Day "just to be here and to support my teammates."
He already has visited the Lions and plans to visit the Carolina Panthers on Thursday.
With an unusual combination of size, speed and power, Gurley (6-1, 226) is expected to be picked in the first two rounds.
Among Georgia's other draft hopefuls are linebackers Ramik Wilson and Amarlo Herrera, cornerback Damian Swann, wide receiver Chris Conley and center David Andrews. Quarterback Hutson Mason was sharp in his passing drills on Wednesday but acknowledged his expectations for the draft are "late rounds to free agency."
Conley (6-3, 205) was a surprise of the NFL combine by running the 40-yard dash in 4.35 seconds and soaring 45 inches in the vertical jump. He didn't try to improve those marks Wednesday but did show his receiving skills while catching passes from Mason.
Conley said his impressive showing in the NFL combine "opened some eyes and they had to go back in the film and look again" at his career highlights.
Wednesday's top times in the 40-yard dash were posted by receiver Corey Moore (4.53) and Wilson (4.62). Moore also had the top broad jump at 10 feet. Linebacker Kosta Vavlas took top honors at 36 inches in the vertical jump. Andrews bench pressed 225 pounds 27 times.
NOTES: Coach Bill O'Brien represented the Houston Texans. ... Former Georgia offensive coordinator Mike Bobo, now the Colorado State coach, returned for the day. Also returning was former offensive line coach Will Friend, who joined Bobo at Colorado State.