WRs Smith, Waddle, others sit out; Surtain stars at Tide pro day… Not surprisingly, all 32 teams had reps at the Alabama today. The crowd of NFL personnel people included G.M.s Brandon Beane of Buffalo, Jacksonville’ s Trent Baalke; Rick Spielman of Minnesota, and Martin Mayhew of Washington, along with Tennessee G.M. Jon Robinson AND head coach Mike Vrabel and Pittsburgh GM Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlinand Atlanta head coach Arthur Smith. However, several of the Tide’s top prospects did not work out including WRs Devonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle, RB Najee Harris, LB Dylan Moses, and C Landon Dickerson, reportedly because of some health issue. Alabama had already scheduled an additional pro day on March 30th at which some of those players will work out. However, Smith, this year’s Heisman Trophy winner indicated that he likely won’t work out until sometime in April at a private work out, although even then nothing is guaranteed. For the record, Smith did get weighed today and came in at 170 which is pretty light by NFL standards these days.
Alabama QB Mac Jones went through a scripted 40-pass throwing session to wrap up the Tide’s pro day. We leave it to analysts with a higher pay grade to make the final judgement, but the initial impression was that Jones’ performance was ‘okay’ but maybe not much more. In fact, Jones himself indicated that he wasn’t at all happy with the way the day went. Jones did show off a really quick, easy throwing motion; he also moved better than expected with a decent 4.85 40 clocking. However, the ball really doesn’t jump off his hands. And for a guy whose strength is accuracy too many of Jones’ passes against air hit the ground, although to be fair with star WRs Devonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle sitting the day out, most of Jones’ throws, even those downfield, were to TEs and RBs. Bottom line, Jones work out felt more like that of a quality game manager rather than that of a true gunslinger. For the record, Jones plans an even more extended throwing session of up to 60 passes next week when Alabama holds its second pro day.
Alabama DT Christian Barmore also certainly passed the eye test. Barmore, a late-first early second round type prospect by most accounts, measured in at an impressive 6-4, 310 with long 34.5-inch arms and big 10-inch hands. He ran a solid 4.95 clocking in the 40 and then posted a 4.75 time in the short shuttle which was .04 faster than former Auburn DT Reggie Brown, a top ten pick at last year’s draft. Meanwhile, OG Deonte Brown weighed in at a svelte 344 pounds, down close to 20 pounds from his playing weight during the season, and ran a 5.45 40, although speed and quickness is hardly his game. It was also nice to see C Landon Dickerson doing the snapping during QB Mac Jones’ throwing session. Dickerson, voted the top C in the country last year, was injured late in the year and missed the CFP playoffs and national championship game. And talk about turning out to support your teammates. RB Najee Harris wasn’t going to work out today, but still drove 9 hours overnight to be there this morning after his flight to Alabama was cancelled.