TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama hosted its annual Pro Day on Wednesday afternoon with 17 draft-eligible Crimson Tide athletes participating in front of 75 scouts representing all 32 NFL teams.
There were also numerous general managers and head coaches in attendance at today’s event. The list was highlighted by New England Patriots head coach and general manager Bill Belichick, Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles and Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert.
“These players have done a fantastic job for us over the three or four years that they’ve been here,” said Alabama head coach Nick Saban. “(Pro Day) benefits them and our program when they do extremely well in times like these so that they get the opportunity to play at the next level and get drafted as high as possible. We’re hopeful that each one of those guys will be able to represent themselves in a way that will allow them to do that.”
Draft-eligible players that participated in the day’s events included: Jonathan Allen, Ryan Anderson, Dakota Ball, Gehrig Dieter, Reuben Foster, Brandon Greene, Adam Griffith, O.J. Howard, Marlon Humphrey, Eddie Jackson, Korren Kirven, Cole Mazza, Brandon Moore, Cam Robinson, ArDarius Stewart, Dalvin Tomlinson and Tim Williams.
The day began at 11 a.m. CT with heights, weights and measurements in the weight room. The players then followed with vertical and broad jumps, along with bench press for those who chose to participate in the particular tests. The Crimson Tide athletes then moved to the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility to test in the 40-yard dash, agility drills and position-specific drills for each respective player.
The 2017 NFL Draft will run from April 27 through April 29 and will take place at the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Philadelphia, Pa.COURTESY ALABAMA SPORTS INFORMATION ALABAMA PRO DAY QUOTES
Head Coach Nick Saban
“First of all, let me say that I appreciate you guys coming to watch our players work. These players have done a fantastic job for us over the three or four years that they’ve been here. It benefits them and our program when they do extremely well in times like these so that they get the opportunity to play at the next level and get drafted as high as possible. We’re hopeful that each one of those guys will be able to represent themselves in a way that will allow them to do that.”
On the importance of Pro Day:
“It’s an opportunity for a player to be able to work out in a more relaxed environment. The combine can be a little bit overwhelming because there’s so much going on in terms of the multitude of interviews that you have along with medical tests and all those things. Here, it’s a little more relaxed. We’ll have another Pro Day on March 29, which will be three weeks from now. We always like to have a second day so that the players can all prepare for that. It helps some of the injured guys, like it did Eddie Lacy a few years ago, and it will for Eddie Jackson this year. They’ll be more ready and be able to be their old selves after healing the injuries that they’re overcoming, and I think that they’ll be themselves and perform well. A lot of the guys that we have are really good players.”
Gehrig DieterOn his workout today:
“I thought I did well. It was a fun day. It was definitely exhausting, being one of the guys that did every single part of it. All in all, I think it really well.”
On his experience at Alabama:
“There’s so many great players here and everybody works hard. Just being around that and these coaches, you get the chance to learn everything about football over and over again. My experience was great at Alabama. Obviously, we didn’t end the way we wanted to, but you live and you learn.”
On the biggest thing he wanted to showcase:
“I wanted to show scouts that I can run every single route in the route tree. I didn’t really have the opportunity to run every route during the season, so coming out here and making sure I ran every single route I felt like I needed to run was the biggest thing.”
O.J. HowardOn what it’s it like to showcase his talent:
“It’s very good and this process has been very encouraging for me. It’s really good to be consistent and put that in people’s minds along with putting on tape and film. That was my mindset coming into this whole process.”
On the feedback from scouts and coaches:
“They were really impressed with the way I improved as a run blocker. They thought it was the right decision to come back to school because it really helped out a lot, and I agree with that. That’s really been most of the talk with how much they respect me blocking in the run game.”
Marlon HumphreyOn the draft process:
“It’s different than I thought it would be. People tell you how it will go, but you never really know until you’re actually doing it.”
On his interactions with teams and scouts:
“I just want teams to know that I’m a guy that’s ready to work. I’m a physical corner, and I see myself being great, so I’m going to keep working until I’m that corner. All the interactions with teams have been good. Every time I walk into a different room and I shake the head coach’s or GM’s hand, it’s just always unreal that I have this opportunity where I can walk in and share my name with these guys and show my case for why I think I should be one of the top corners in this class.”
Cam RobinsonOn his NFL combine experience:
“It was long. The only part that gets televised is when you go out there and do the field drills on the last day, but it’s a lot more to it than that. It’s a lot of off-the-field stuff, and I think if you don’t go into it with the right mindset, then it can be kind of strenuous on you.”
On what he brings to a team:
”First and foremost, I just try to bring the right attitude. I bring leadership and hard work. Ultimately, those are the three main things that I bring to a team.”