As the NFL Draft looms next week, Dawgs Daily's Brooks Austin sat down with former Falcons head coach Jim Mora.
In addition to his time in Atlanta as the Falcons head coach from 2004 to 2006, Mora served as the head coach for the Seattle Seahawks and the UCLA Bruins. A coach that has experienced the draft process from both sides of the spectrum like Mora provides an invaluable perspective.
We discussed what Mora had to say about the Georgia prospects entering the 2021 NFL draft. Still, it was impossible to pass up the opportunity to get his opinion on Georgia’s starting quarterback JT Daniels. After all, Mora has been evaluating Daniels for years.
Mora got his first look when Daniels was in the eighth grade. That year, Daniels attended a football camp at UCLA where Mora has the head coach. According to Mora, Daniels stood out even then. From that point on, UCLA would consistently recruit Daniels. Mora recalled a specific game he attended during Daniels's time at Mater Dei High School. Mater Dei faced a supremely talented Bishop Gorman team out of Las Vegas. Even with the stiff competition, Mora told Austin he left the game amazed at the level of arm talent he saw in Daniels.
Mora knows first-hand what a talented quarterback looks like. During his time at UCLA, he coached Josh Rosen, a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Mora compared Daniels to Rosen, saying that Daniels likely has more arm talent than Rosen displayed during his time at UCLA while also being bigger and more physical. However, there is an area of his game where Daniels is far superior.
While it was clear that Mora felt Daniels has the physical tools to be a high-level prospect in next year’s draft, it was equally clear that Mora respects the intangibles that Daniels has shown in his college career. Suffering a severe knee injury during the first game of his sophomore season at USC and then transferring to Georgia was a major challenge for Daniels to overcome.
During the interview, Mora explained how impressed he was that Daniels overcame the injury and then made an impact for Georgia last season. The level of drive and mental toughness it takes to make it back from an injury like the one Daniels sustained will serve the Georgia starter well as his career continues.
Mora’s praise for Daniels extended to the Georgia coaching staff. He believes that head coach Kirby Smart and offensive coordinator Todd Monken made the right decision in keeping Daniels off the field until he fully recovered from his injury, despite the concerns they had at quarterback.
It is always great to get an opinion on Georgia Football from someone outside the fan base. This is doubly true if the person is a former college and NFL head coach. The apparent respect that Mora has for Daniels should give Georgia fans confidence that he is setting up to have a big year for the Dawgs.
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