So Alabama has so much talent they’re running two pro days this year… Flex? Absolutely. But when you churn out NFL talent better than Willy Wonka does chocolate… you can have as many pro days as you like.
Without the combine this year, pro days are even more important, and the scouts of the NFL will be bouncing around the country to see as many prospects workout as possible. So we thought we’d summarise a few takeaways from the most important pro days, allowing us to continue to keep you in the loop with all things NFL draft related this off season…
Surtain In Shape
Patrick Surtain the second. Son of Patrick Surtain Sr, who had a long and productive career in the NFL, spending the majority of his career with the Miami Dolphins, and also featuring for the Chiefs in KC. His son has certainly got football in his blood, running through his veins, and showed up to his pro day looking every bit the part of an NFL cornerback.
NFL Network reported that Surtain has drawn comparisons to Jalen Ramsey, who he heralds as one of the guys he looks up to in the league, also mentioning Tre’Davious White of the Bills, Jaire Alexander, and Patrick Peterson. Surtain has of course worked closely with his dad in preparation for the draft, and the SEC Defensive Player of the Year is in tremendous shape.
He ran a 4.46 40 yard dash on the day, and repped 18 bench reps. He looked great in the drills, and showed his ability to track and play the ball with dominance too.
Surtain II did himself a very strong service on the day. He’s 6″2, 208 pounds, a big physical corner who’s going to be a lock for the first round. The battle is currently between Surtain and Caleb Farley to be the first off the board come draft day, and I believe Surtain has done enough to be that guy. Farley is due to have surgery on his back, which will stop him from working out before the draft, so I’d expect to see that combined with Surtains efforts this week result in the ‘Bama DB getting off the board first.
Skill Guys Supporting Cast
Three names you’ll hear on day one of the draft this year, Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith, and Najee Harris. All three were in attendance this week for the first Alabama pro day, even though none of them were there to work out.
The most impressive being Najee Harris, who’s flight to Tuscaloosa was cancelled, so he drove from Dallas, 9 hours, to be there in time for the pro day, just to support his team mates. What a guy, and you best believe those sorts of things MATTER to NFL teams. It’s important that you like your team mates, and that they like you. Mac has that with his Alabama team mates.
DeVonta Smith is healthy enough to work out, however decided he won’t do so, citing that the season just passed gives NFL teams all the tape they need to assess him. There are concerns around his weight and physicality, which results in analysts such as Bucky Brooks, and our very own Tom Clapham, believing he will slide come draft day, which Tom highlighted right here, in his draft day slide…
Jaylen Waddle battled his socks off to get back to his team before his Alabama career came to an end, after missing some time with an ankle injury, when an opposition player landed on his foot earlier in the season. Waddle worked tirelessly to get healthy enough to feature, and was able to make a contribution during the National Championship. He said he was determined not to have his last college play being him being carried off the field. I respect this so much. He was very obviously not 100% for the Natty, but got out there and dug in anyway. In the NFL, sometimes you have to play hurt, and again, NFL teams will recognise these qualities.
Mac on Track?
Mac Jones drew the limelight, and with his offensive weapons out, he still put on a solid pro day. Now personally, i’m not a fan. I just don’t think it’s a very exciting option at quarterback. His body type is… unusual. He’s a dad bod quarterback.
However, before we get into the on field display, what was very obvious was his relationship with his team mates, both offensive and defensive. He was right there clapping and cheering on Patrick Surtain while he pushed out his bench reps, and that again is the kind of thing NFL teams are looking for. He can win over a locker room.
On the field, he wasn’t perfect, but was very good. He made a point of displaying his athleticism. Plenty of roll outs in his planned showing of throws. Play action, throwing on the run was definitely a focus, and he did so very well. He showed more than 50 routes to the watching NFL scouts, and although he struggled early on, got it going in good time. Again, he wasn’t perfect, and there’s definitely a gap between Jones and the four QBs ahead of him on the board. But I’d still expect him to land somewhere on day one.
Mac Jones is well known for his ability to unleash a deep ball, and has something with Daniel Jeremiah describes as the twitch. He can ‘twitch’ and throw a ball deep down the field. It basically means he can fling the ball deep without having to have a big wind up and taking too much time.
The dad bod quarterback ran a 4.86, standing 6″2 and 217 pounds. He’ll be throwing again at the Tide’s second pro day, which will be March 30th.
An Impressive O Line Performance
And finally, among other players working out for Alabama, it’s worth highlighting Alex Leatherwoods performance. The offensive lineman showed scouts his ability in every aspect on the day. He scored highly everywhere. In a draft class littered with strong offensive line talent, Leatherwood has done enough to put his name into the conversation on day one. If not, somebody is going to get a very valuable prospect on day two.
Alabama will run their second pro day as mentioned, on March 30th. We don’t yet know if Smith, Waddle or Najee Harris will workout this time around.