Pro day for the Alabama Crimson Tide is over and done with. Many talented players showed up to impress the scouts and coaches, and there was plenty of media attention as a lot of these guys are going to be selected rather early in next month’s NFL draft.
Some players impressed more than others, some didn't do much to affect their NFL draft stock, and then others just showed their face and didn't work out much at all. Pro day is often an over-hyped event that shouldn't be taken too seriously, as it is the stuff you see in the film that should hold more weight.
However, there are things that you can learn from practices like this and there was a lot to take from the Alabama pro day.
Here are some of the highlights from the big day for future Alabama NFL players.
Barrett Jones isn't one of the more elite offensive linemen this class has to offer. He doesn't have the most athleticism, can get sloppy with his hands at times, and he does have an injury history that could scare a few teams away.
But the reason to absolutely love the kid is his willingness to help a team out. It is his off-the-charts intelligence that is going to help him make an NFL roster and the things he said during pro day is enough to really help seal the deal. Jones is an official team player and these days, that ranks high with NFL coaching staffs.
Still recovering from an offseason injury, Jones hasn't worked out much for scouts besides lifting, but it was the things he said that will only help his stock. According to Chris Walsh of 247Sports, Jones said he would prefer to play center, but is willing to do whatever it takes to help the team.
If you made me choose I'd probably choose center right now because 1) I played there last year and 2) I'm kind of a control freak. I like to be in control. If we're watching TV together I like to hold the remote. That's the kind of guy I am. I like making the calls. I like the preparation aspect of it. But that being said, wherever they think the best fit for their team and can help them win, that's where I want to play.
With the versatility Jones brings to the table, he could really lineup anywhere on the line and be effective. It is his willingness to go the extra mile that is going to stand out with NFL teams.
Nico Johnson is another player who was limited during the workouts, as he missed the NFL combine with an injury and didn't exactly have his best showing during pro day. However, the former Tide linebacker shouldn't be too concerned with what he showed, as it shouldn't be enough to hurt his stock much entering April.
In the words of Dennis Green, Johnson is who we thought he was!
Johnson ran a 4.75 40-yard dash time and looked slow. According to Chris Walsh of 247Sports, he used the injury as a crutch for the subpar time and expects to improve when he practices once again on April 2.
It was my first time really running. He said. I didn't have much time to prepare for something like this.
I'm gonna come back and do pretty much everything over. That sports hernia kind of held me back a little bit. And I felt it today, but I don't know how I ran personally. I know I can run better. As of that, I feel like I've got a whole lot to improve on.
Granted, a couple more weeks of preparation could help out Johnson, but he was never considered a fast linebacker. More of a thumper in the middle of the defense, Johnson is at his best in run defense and being effective towards the line of scrimmage.
No matter what he does in the next couple weeks, the fact that Johnson is a situational player likely isn't going to change.
Eddie Lacy was yet another Alabama player who wasn't exactly 100 percent during the workout. Still limited by a hamstring injury, the former star running back wasn't able to show scouts anything on pro day and expects to work out the last second before the draft.
When asked about the lack of drills he has participated in, Lacy told Laken Litman of Scout that he hasn't let it bother him that much.
I’m not concerned about it at all. Lacy said when asked if he pays attention to draft predictions. NFL coaches like you because of what you do in games and what you do in big stadiums…This is just something that you want to receive glowing evaluations, but at the end of the day somebody takes you.
This is true. Lacy has proven to be arguably the top back in this class and unless somebody is blowing the doors off in the next week or two, he will still be the first guy at the position taken. However, Lacy does have a lengthy injury history and with his running style, that is not going to change much.
It would be nice to see him work out a bit, solidify his draft position and put a few minor concerns to rest. As of right now, he remains a question mark and somewhat of a risk if a team is willing to spend a late first-round pick on him.
I think it is safe to say that D.J. Fluker is going to be one of the first players taken in this year’s NFL draft. His athleticism, strength, length, leadership and ability to open up running lanes is impressive and will result in him hearing his name called rather early.
But if you saw him on pro day, he may have improved his stock by a few more picks. Fluker, who weighed in at 355 during the Senior Bowl, trimmed down an incredible amount of weight, as he now barely tips the scale at 334 pounds.
Seeing him much lighter on his feet and his willingness to get in better shape in a short amount of time is a great sign if you were somebody who was considering drafting the big man.
Fluker also held his own against another talented lineman in Chance Warmack (Which you can see here), and he showed glimpses of why he is so high on draft boards.
Many are going to talk about the things Fluker does on the field, but seeing him put the work in and trim down so quickly is a sign this guy wants to be great. It doesn't get much better than that for an NFL coaching staff.
The highlight of the Alabama pro day was defensive player Jesse Williams. We knew the kid was strong, we knew he played with excellent pad level and his ability to shed blocks was also intriguing.
But did you know he was fast?
Williams ran the 40-yard dash in 4.9 seconds. Considering he weighs 325 pounds and isn't going to be playing the defensive end position at the next level, this shouldn't be fair. Guys this big should not be able to run so fast, as even he was impressed with the time, according to Alex Scarborough of ESPN.
"That's pretty good, I mean anything under 5 seconds," he said. "I weighed in at 325. It felt like I was moving pretty fast. The hardest part was trying to stop before running into you guys."
Williams is somebody who could fit in either a 4-3 or 3-4 system, but was projected to be your typical run stuffer on the line. With this type of explosiveness and pure speed for his size, he could turn out to be a lot more effective against the pass than most thought.
The big boy from Australia just made a case for being a Top 32 pick.