ATHENS, Ga. --- A.J. Green worked out at Georgia's pro day on Tuesday without a single NFL scout or coach on the sideline.
The NFL talent evaluators weren't permitted under league rules to watch in person as Green, a projected top-10 overall pick, ran routes and snagged balls thrown his way.
That's because the player throwing to him, former Buford High quarterback Justin Roper, is from the Atlanta metropolitan area.
Athens is only 46.25 miles away, but isn't included in the metro area, the NFL determined, so scouts and coaches couldn't watch Roper, and thus Green, throw and catch.
"He couldn't throw and that's the only quarterback I had timing with here," said Green, who had caught passes from Roper about five times before Tuesday. "So we -- my agent and I -- thought he was the best guy for the job. They can watch this film on TV, so it doesn't really matter."
The issue arose Tuesday morning about whether scouts were going to be allowed to watch, said George Whitefield, a quarterbacks coach who is also working with Auburn's Cam Newton. He said Georgia received initial clearance to allow Roper to throw to Green, projected by most as the draft's top receiver.
The 48 representatives from 30 NFL teams -- including Carolina Panthers general manager Marty Hurney -- were permitted to watch other Georgia players work out, including outside linebacker Justin Houston, offensive lineman Clint Boling and inside linebacker Akeem Dent.
After final word came from the league office that scouts and coaches couldn't watch Green, they left before Green was joined by former Bulldog receiver Kris Durham and fullback Shaun Chapas in the pass-catching drills.
Scouts were given the option of watching a live online showing on ESPN3.com in a Butts-Mehre meeting room, but no more than two did, a Georgia official said.
There's plenty of film available from Green's three seasons at Georgia, where he finished third all-time with 2,619 receiving yards.
He also worked out at the NFL combine in Indianapolis in February.
"I think most people know what kind of player he is already," said Green's agent Ben Dogra.
Several projections have Green, who left after his junior season, going fourth overall to Cincinnati
"I think I'm going to go in there and contribute to a ballclub right away," Green said. "I don't want to be just a regular receiver. I want to be mentioned as one of the greats."
Reach Marc Weiszer at firstname.lastname@example.org.