Alabama Pro Day takeaway


Courtesy of UA Athletics

Former Alabama running back Brian Robinson Jr. completes the 20 yard shuttle drill during Alabama’s Pro Day on Wednesday.

Ashlee Woods | @ashleemwoods, Sports Editor

Alabama football hosted their annual Pro Day workout at the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility Wednesday. Nine of Alabama’s draft hopefuls worked out with NFL scouts and coaches today. 

For all 11 former Crimson Tide players, this is the last thing checked off of their pre-draft checklist. 

All 32 NFL teams had a representative in Tuscaloosa on Wednesday. 

Some of the marquee attendees included New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, Dallas Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy and defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, and Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert. 

“This is a great opportunity for people in the National Football League, who we open our arms to, to come and have a chance to look at and evaluate our players,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “Lots of players here want to get an invitation, and we do the best we can to create a platform for them to be successful in that regard.”

The coaches didn’t shy away from being hands-on with the players, either. During position drills, Cincinnati Bengals defensive line coach Marion Hobby ran drills with defensive linemen Phidarian Mathis and LaBryan Ray. 

“I feel like they went good,” offensive lineman Evan Neal said. “I feel like I came out and executed. I feel like I came out and checked all the boxes, so I’m pleased with my performance.” 

It’s as much of a mental journey to reach the NFL as it is a physical journey. 

Alabama is less than three months removed from a national championship appearance. There has been little time for the players to recharge and reset after a long season. 

But with the 2022 Senior Bowl, NFL scouting combine and Pro Day out of the way, players will now turn their attention to preparing their minds for the journey ahead. 

“Now I’m about to kick in and focus on the mental part of the game,” Mathis said. 

The preparation for the NFL Draft is much different than preparing for packed college stadiums every Saturday. With no more games on the schedule, players now have to get ready to be mentally challenged by the bright lights of the NFL. 

Players will also spend the time between Pro Day and the draft to focus on their technique and nutrition. 

“I view it [the offseason] as a time to heal your body and get stronger,” Neal said. 

The 2022 NFL Draft will be held from Thursday, April 28, to Saturday, April 30, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The draft will be broadcast on ESPN, NFL Network and ABC.

Questions? Email the sports desk at [email protected].