Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Key takeaways from Alabama’s 2024 pro day

Courtesy of UA Athletics
Alabama defensive back Kool-Aid McKinstry (#1) during Pro Day at Hank Crisp Indoor Facility in Tuscaloosa, AL on Wednesday, Mar 20, 2024.

The University of Alabama hosted its annual NFL draft pro day on Wednesday. The workout session showcased 12 former Alabama players and one invitee, Alabama State defensive back Mikey Victor, all prospects in the 2024 NFL draft. NFL coaches and scouts from all 32 teams attended the session, where the players participated in workouts and field drills to showcase their abilities. Here are the top takeaways from the 2024 Alabama pro day. 

McKinstry works out and impresses

In February, one of the biggest takeaways, if not the biggest, of the 2024 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana, was the unexpected and unfortunate news concerning Kool-Aid McKinstry. 

McKinstry, a three-year starter for the Crimson Tide, came into the combine as one of the premier cornerback prospects and was slated to participate in drills like the 40-yard dash, broad jump and vertical jump.  

Unfortunately for McKinstry, doctors discovered a Jones fracture in his right foot during medical examinations, forcing the Pinson, Alabama, native to miss the workouts. 

Three weeks later, like many times in his college career, all eyes were on McKinstry in Tuscaloosa. 

Starting with the vertical jump, McKinstry finished with a solid leap of 34.5 inches. He then moved on to the broad jump and was credited with a hop of 10 feet, 1 inch. 

After the first two drills for McKinstry, it was time for the main event: the 40-yard dash. McKinstry ran last in the order of his teammates, but the wait was worth it for the scouts, coaches, teammates and media watching. 

According to SEC Network, McKinstry’s first run clocked in at a sharp 4.47 seconds. 

McKinstry elected to run a second 40-yard dash, and scouts watching concurred that he once again hit the mark in the high 4.4s or low 4.5s. 

McKinstry, who may have solidified his stock as a first-round pick, said his pro day was successful. 

“It was very important for me to come out here and compete today,” McKinstry said. “It was tough for me to find out the news at the combine, but I was still able to show what I’ve got, and I feel good about it.” 

McKinstry’s former teammate, Terrion Arnold, who is also a projected first-round draft pick, gave his pitch to NFL teams to draft the cornerback. 

“Most people don’t know this about him: The guy is a smart football player, and more importantly, he’s a better individual,” Arnold said. “When we came here, we made a pact with each other saying we were going to motivate each other and push each other to come better, and we did that.”  

According to the consensus big board, McKinstry is currently ranked 26th overall in the NFL draft, and NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah has him mocked to the Detroit Lions as the 29th pick.  

 Braswell shines as a diamond in the rough 

In theory, it’s impossible to be a diamond in the rough as a prospect from a school like Alabama; however, Chris Braswell has shined outside the spotlight. 

 Much of the draft dialogue surrounding Alabama prospects has been about Braswell’s teammates. Whether it’s Dallas Turner and JC Latham being projected to go in the top 15 or McKinstry’s injury, Braswell has remained low-key throughout the draft process.  

Despite not being in the constant limelight, Braswell is very confident in his abilities on the field.  

 “I can play ball too; I can play just as well as anybody,” Braswell said. “I can play edge or outside linebacker. I can play whatever they [an NFL team] need me to play.” 

 Braswell had a solid 2023 campaign for the Crimson Tide, finishing with eight sacks and five quarterback hurries in his senior season; Braswell was named second team All-SEC. 

Braswell shined in Indianapolis at the scouting combine, finishing his week with a relative athletic score in the 86th percentile.  

 The Baltimore, Maryland, native elected not to participate in workouts and only partook in the on-field drills at Alabama’s pro day.  

 The most impressive part of Braswell’s pro day wasn’t his showcase in the on-field drills.  

When talking to the media after wrapping up on-field drills, Braswell revealed that he was fasting for Ramadan and hadn’t eaten all day. Even though Braswell remarked,“It’s not that difficult” to work out while fasting, comparing his deck of cards to those of his fellow teammates and draft prospects, his ability to participate in workouts without anything in his system is exceptional.  

 Leaders reflect on a wild, wild offseason  

It feels like an entire offseason has gone by since former Washington head coach Kalen DeBoer landed in Tuscaloosa. 

 Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe’s perspective is different. The 2023 team captain has taken on a much more significant leadership role after Nick Saban’s departure.  

 During an interview with SEC network reporter Cole Cubelic at pro day, Milroe said his goal is to keep Alabama the same as Alabama.  

 “The biggest thing about this is the standard is the standard, no matter what,” Milroe said. “Circumstances that may take place externally, outside of what we can control. The standard is the standard.” 

 Milroe and many of his teammates were in attendance to support prospects working out.  

Graduate student and safety Malachi Moore was at the pro day and reflected on DeBoer’s arrival in Tuscaloosa.  

 “Coach Saban left a great legacy here, but coach DeBoer is coming here and being brave enough to come up here after coach Saban and kind of take on the job head-on. It’s been really great,” Moore said. “He’s been bringing a lot of great new energy into the atmosphere and a lot of new ideas.” 

 Well, for many fans and others around the program, it is hard to believe that DeBoer has only been Alabama’s head coach for just over two months, but with the team’s leaders, the transition has been seamless. 

More to Discover