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2015 NFL DRAFT
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Greg Blue

Height: 6-2 | Weight: 216 | College: Georgia
 
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Overview

Blue is another in a line of standout safeties produced by Georgia coach Mark Richt in recent years, following All-American Sean Jones and Thomas Davis. Blue has excellent range and is a physically strong tackler who, like Davis, can also line up as a linebacker in the nickel package.

Blue was named to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Super Southern 100, Top 50 in Georgia, Class AAA All-State first-team, and Marvelous Metro 11 squad as a defensive back during his senior year at Banneker High School. He received Georgia Sports Writers Association All-State and Super Prep All-Dixie Team accolades. He was named one of the top 25 safeties in the country by Student Sports Magazine.

Blue recorded 89 tackles, six forced fumbles, four interceptions, and 14 pass breakups as a senior. He also had an 88-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and a 65-yard punt return for a score that year. He helped his team to the 2000 Class AAA state playoffs with a 9-2 record. Blue was also a member of the basketball team and was invited to play in the 2001 Georgia North-South All-Star Game.

Blue redshirted in 2001 at Georgia. He was a reserve at the rover position in 2003, playing in 14 games. He finished that season with 42 tackles (24 solos). He sat out the first four games of the 2003 campaign due to a knee injury suffered in fall camp. He managed to make 42 tackles (30 solos) and deflected three passes while starting three late-season games.

Blue took over rover duties full-time in 2004 with the departure of Sean Jones. He ranked second on the team with 80 tackles (64 solos), including one sack and three stops for losses. He caused three fumbles, recovered another and batted away three passes.

Blue earned national honors as a consensus first-team All-America selection after his senior year. The Thorpe Award semifinalist led the team with a career-high 96 tackles (70 solos) and made 4.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. He caused and recovered a fumble, batted away five passes and intercepted two others while serving as team co-captain.

In 49 games at Georgia, Blue started 28 times. He registered 260 tackles (189 solos) with a 10-yard sack, 7.5 stops for losses of 26 yards and 13 quarterback pressures. He recovered two fumbles and caused two others. He also had 12 pass deflections and a pair of interceptions.

Analysis

Positives: Has good upper body muscle definition, tight waist, good bubble and hamstrings, thick thighs and calves … Tough competitor who plays with aggression … Attacks the ball with good urgency and has excellent straight-line quickness to close in a hurry … Shows adequate footwork, balance and body control in his backpedal … Does a good job of reacting to pre-snap movements … Anticipates the passer well to get a break on the ball … Doesn't explode out of his breaks, but also does not take wasted steps coming out of transition … Shows good awareness and quick reactions playing in the zone and has no hesitation stepping up to support vs. the run … Hits with authority, demonstrating the strength to close downhill with force … Has the short area quickness to mirror tight ends and backs underneath … Assertive taking on blockers and fills the inside rush lanes with good pop on contact.

Negatives: Has excellent straight-line closing speed, but is too high-cut and tight in his hips to get a fluid turn coming out of his backpedal … Lacks natural hands, struggling to secure the ball on interception attempts … Tries to attack the ball too often and make the big play rather than wrap and secure the ball carrier … Needs to work on taking shorter angles in pursuit … Does not have the change of direction agility or ease of movement operating in space … Does not have the hip snap or burst to handle receivers in man coverage outside the short area … Needs to play with better control, as he gets too reckless and will overpursue.

Blue is a hard-hitting tackler who might not have the acceleration and lateral range of Thomas Davis, but can be quite effective playing linebacker in a nickel package. He has a good feel for locating the ball sifting through trash and does a good job of holding his ground taking on double teams in run force. He shows the urgency to take on and fill the holes and has a very good straight-line charge to close on the ball carrier and shock the runner with a punishing hit.

While he is known for his aggressive "take no prisoners" approach, it does get him in trouble at times. Blue is too stiff in his hips to fluidly change direction and does not have the stop-and-go action to redirect or recover when he outruns the play. He is better working inside the box in run support, as he uses his upper body strength efficiently to control blockers.

Blue lacks the foot quickness to shadow receivers in man coverage. He does not have the hip snap to come out of his backpedal cleanly and lacks the top speed to pursue long distances. He also needs to do a better job of taking shorter angles in his pursuit.

Blue is an imposing-looking athlete who might be better served filling out his frame and shifting to strong safety. He is capable of neutralizing the outside run and has the vision to shut down the cutback lanes. If his hips were more flexible, he could be a dominant free safety, but without it, he's a bit of a risk in the passing game.

Career Notes

Registered 176 of his 260 career tackles, 11 of his 13 quarterback pressures and all 7.5 of his stops behind the line of scrimmage during his last two seasons … Part of a graduating class that earned 44 victories -- most by any senior class in Georgia history.

2005 Season

All-America first-team selection by Walter Camp, Associated Press and American Football Coaches Association, adding second-team honors from The NFL Draft Report … All-Southeastern Conference first-team choice … Started all year at rover, leading the team with a career-high 96 tackles (70 solos) … Added 4.5 stops for losses of 14 yards and had six quarterback pressures … Recovered and caused a fumble … Intercepted two passes and deflected five others … Led a secondary that ranked seventh in the nation in pass defense (169.62 ypg) and pass efficiency defense (105.88 rating) … Named team co-captain.

2005 Game Analysis

Boise State … Opened the season with four tackles (2 solos) and intercepted a Jared Zabransky pass midway through the second quarter.

South Carolina … Deflected a pass and made eight hits (5 solos), including one that stopped QB Syvelle Newton for a 1-yard loss on a second quarter option play.

Louisiana-Monroe … Added seven tackles (6 solos) and took down Joey Trappey for a 7-yard loss on a third-and-15 pass thrown by QB Steven Jyles late in the second quarter.

Mississippi State … Delivered 11 tackles (7 solos) and caused a fumble when he hit Will Proser on a third-and-7 third quarter pass from QB Omarr Conner that netted 4 yards. Cornerback Paul Oliver recovered the ball at the MSU 40, setting up a 23-yard field goal by Brandon Coutu … Intercepted a pass thrown by Conner in the final minutes of the game. Georgia ran out the clock in a 23-10 victory.

Tennessee … Registered a season-high 14 tackles (13 solos).

Vanderbilt … Followed with a seven-tackle (5 solos) performance.

Arkansas … Had six hits (4 solos), including one that stopped tailback Darren McFadden for a 4-yard loss at the start of the second quarter … Also deflected one pass.

Florida and Georgia Tech … Totaled five tackles in each game.

Auburn … Was in on nine stops (7 solos).

Kentucky … Teamed with middle linebacker Jarvis Jackson to stop tailback Rafael Little behind the line of scrimmage in the first quarter, finishing with six tackles and a pass deflection.

Louisiana State (SEC Championship) … Delivered six tackles (4 solos).

West Virginia (Sugar Bowl) … Closed his career with eight tackles (7 solos).

2004 Season

Recipient of the Teka and John Adams Football Scholarship … Started all year at rover, finishing second on the team with 80 tackles (64 solos) … Credited with a 10-yard sack, three stops for losses of 12 yards and five quarterback pressures … Caused three fumbles and recovered another … Also deflected three passes … Part of a team that has posted 42-10 record from 2001-04 (sixth best in the country), three straight seasons of 10 or more wins, three straight bowl victories, and three consecutive national top six finishes.

2004 Game Analysis

Georgia Southern … Opened the season with 11 tackles (8 solos).

South Carolina … Totaled five solo tackles with a 10-yard sack of QB Dondrial Pinkins, causing a fumble on the play.

Tennessee … Caused a fumble when he tackled tailback Gerald Riggs, Jr., adding eight hits (7 solos).

Vanderbilt and Auburn … Collected seven tackles in each game.

Louisiana State and Florida … Posted five stops in each game.

Kentucky … Registered six solo tackles with a stop behind the line of scrimmage and caused a fumble that he recovered.

Wisconsin (Outback Bowl) … Stopped tailback Anthony Davis behind the line of scrimmage and was in on a season-high 12 tackles (11 solos).

2003 Season

Sat out the team's first four games of the season, vs. Clemson, Middle Tennessee, South Carolina and Louisiana State, after suffering a knee sprain during fall camp … Returned to play in 10 games, starting vs. Auburn and Kentucky at rover and vs. Purdue (Capital One Bowl) at nickel back … Recorded 42 tackles (30 solos) with two quarterback pressures and three pass deflections … Part of a Georgia defense that ranked second nationally in scoring defense (14.5 ppg), fourth in total defense (276.86 ypg), sixth in passing defense (174.50 ypg), 14th nationally in turnover margin (plus-.79 per game), and fourth in number of scoreless quarters (25) among the Associated Press final top 10 teams.

2003 Game Analysis

Tennessee … Deflected a pass and made five tackles (3 solos).

Auburn … Registered 10 tackles (7 solos) and a pass breakup in his first career start.

Kentucky … Followed with four tackles.

Louisiana State (SEC Championship) … Posted eight tackles (7 solos) and deflected a pass.

Purdue (Capital One Bowl) … Collected four stops (3 solos).

2002 Season

Reserve safety, appearing in every game … Finished with 42 tackles (24 solos) and a pass deflection … Part of a defense that finished first in the SEC and fourth nationally in scoring defense (15.1 ppg), first in the SEC in red zone defense (58.8 percent), second in the SEC and 19th nationally in rushing defense (114.0 ypg), fourth in the SEC and 15th nationally in total defense (303.5 ypg), and allowed only 30 total second half points in the final seven games of the season.

2001 Season

Redshirted as a freshman.

Injury Report

2002: Missed most of spring drills with a hamstring pull.

2003: Sat out the team's first four games of the season, vs. Clemson, Middle Tennessee, South Carolina and Louisiana State, after suffering a knee sprain during fall camp.

Agility Tests

Combine: 4.62 in the 40-yard dash … 2.7 20-yard dash … 1.6 10-yard dash … 37.5-inch vertical jump … 10'0" broad jump … Bench pressed 225 pounds 18 times … 33-inch arm length … 9 1/8-inch hands.

High School

Attended Banneker (Atlanta, Ga.) High School, playing football for head coach James Fletcher … Named to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Super Southern 100, Top 50 in Georgia, Class AAA All-State first-team, and Marvelous Metro 11 squad as a defensive back during his senior year … Received Georgia Sports Writers Association All-State and Super Prep All-Dixie Team accolades. He was named one of the top 25 safeties in the country by Student Sports Magazine … Recorded 89 tackles, six forced fumbles, four interceptions, and 14 pass breakups as a senior … Also had an 88-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and a 65-yard punt return for a score that year … Helped his team to the 2000 Class AAA state playoffs with a 9-2 record … Member of the basketball team and was invited to play in the 2001 Georgia North-South All-Star Game.

Personal

Child and Family Development major … Born Gregory R. Blue on 3/12/82 … Resides in Atlanta, Georgia.

 
 

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