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Labor rules force NFL scouts to watch on TV
NFL Combine Football Heal
Georgia wide receiver AJ Green runs a drill during the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis Sunday. - photo by Associated Press

    ATHENS — No NFL scouts watched A.J. Green's workout in person at Georgia's pro day because of a six-mile technicality.
    Green, likely to be the first receiver drafted next month, went through a 30-minute session Tuesday that private coach George Whitfield had scripted.
    During the NFL lockout, only draft-eligible players are allowed to participate in a pro day, and they either must live within a 40-mile radius of the workout site's metropolitan area or have played college football in-state.
    Green's workout partner, former Montana and Oregon quarterback Justin Roper, lives six miles outside the radius. Green decided to workout with Roper anyway and let scouts watch it on television.
    "That's the only quarterback I had timing with here, so my agent and I thought he was the best guy for the job," Green said. Scouts "can watch this film on TV, so it doesn't really matter."
    Whitfield learned Tuesday morning that the league wouldn't let scouts watch Green when it learned that Roper's home in Buford, Ga.
    As some scouts walked past Green's agent, Tom Condon, on their way to watch Green's workout on TV inside Georgia's practice complex, Condon shrugged.
    "It's all because of the" collective bargaining agreement, Condon said. "Otherwise, we could've had Matthew Stafford come out here and throw."
    Stafford, another Condon client, stood nearby chatting with former Georgia teammates and coaches. Two years ago, Stafford left the Bulldogs after his junior year and was drafted No. 1 overall by Detroit.
    Condon is growing accustomed to new NFL rules during the lockout. Condon represents former quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who had to throw to Division II and NAIA receivers at Missouri's pro day last week.
    "We were going to use NFL receivers, but (the league) said he couldn't throw to them," Condon said. "They let the Division II kids participate because they said they were eligible, but they're not eligible for (an NFL's team's) private workout, so we had to throw it to the coaches."
    Green thought the session with Roper went well despite an overthrown end-zone fade route that caused him to reach out and fall over a red border rope and a large plastic trash can.
    "I caught myself," Green said with a smile. "I had on some gloves so I'm all right. I didn't see the rope until the last minute. I was like, 'Man.'"
    Roper threw 28 passes to Green, 28 to former Georgia receiver Kris Durham and 16 to former Bulldogs fullback Shaun Chapas.
    "I don't think I had any drops," Green said. "That low one hit my foot. I think I was pretty good today."
    Green skipped the other drills, most notably the 40-yard dash. He decided to let his 4.5-second time stand from the combine.
    Former Georgia linebacker and Statesboro Blue Devil Justin Houston, also projected as a first-round pick, participated in every drill. Several other former Bulldogs also worked out, including offensive tackle Clint Boling and inside linebacker Akeem Dent.