March 9, 2016
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The University of Alabama hosted its annual Pro Day Wednesday afternoon with 19 draft-eligible Crimson Tide athletes participating in front of attendees from all 32 NFL teams.
There were numerous general managers, head coaches, assistant coaches and scouts in attendance at today’s event. The list was highlighted by New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley, Indianapolis Colts general manager Ryan Grigson and Colts head coach Chuck Pagano.
“I am just very pleased and happy that we have a great turn out here today to take a look at some of our players,” said Alabama head coach Nick Saban. “This is a goal that a lot of our players have that they would like to have the opportunity to play at the next level someday. I know they’ve worked hard, they’ve done a great job for us, and we certainly want to do the best job that we can to help them fulfill some of those goals and aspirations after they did a fantastic job here at Alabama.”
Draft-eligible players that participated in the day’s events included: Jake Coker, Denzel Devall, Kenyan Drake (weigh-in only), TY Flournoy-Smith, Derrick Henry, Dominick Jackson, Cyrus Jones, Darren Lake, Dillon Lee, Geno Matias-Smith, Richard Mullaney, Michael Nysewander, D.J. Pettway, Reggie Ragland, Jarran Reed, A’Shawn Robinson, Bradley Sylve and Jabriel Washington,
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 2016 NFL Draft will run from April 28 until April 30 and will take place at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, Ill.
Get all the latest information on the team by following @AlabamaFTBL on Twitter and Facebook and AlabamaFBL on Instagram. General athletic news can also be found at UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and AlabamaAthletics on Facebook.
ALABAMA PRO DAY QUOTES
Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban
On Reed and Robinson’s scramble to get “on top of the other guys” in the draft:
“Well, I don’t really know who those other guys are, and I can’t compare our guys to other guys. I know the two players we have are really, really good players. They’ve played on one of the best defenses in the country, and they were both bell cows and great leaders. They affected other guys on the team in a positive way. I think they have tremendous size and ability, and I think whoever gets them, wherever they get picked, they are going to have a great career.”
On his views of Reggie Ragland, as if he were scouting him:
“I think Reggie is a really good athlete, and he’s got great size. He’s got a lot of lower-body explosion and power, but yet, he’s a good player in space. He’s very athletic, and very instinctive. He does have some pass rush abilities, which we didn’t really develop here because he didn’t play that position for us, and we had other guys that sort of did it pretty well for us. I think that’s an area where people will be surprised and how they will be able to develop him as a pass rusher as well.”
On Jake Coker not being invited to the Combine and his outlook as an NFL quarterback:
“I think Jake has a lot of upside. Jake only has one year where he played and was really `the man’. I think the reason Jake didn’t get invited to the combine wasn’t because of Jake; I think it’s because there were 97 juniors that came out. I think that’s an issue and a problem that we need to address with the NFL, because it’s unfair to some of the seniors that all those guys get invited, and some of them aren’t ranked as highly as the seniors who they know more about. I think Jake is going to do just fine. He is going to need to continue to develop. He’s got a great arm that can make all the throws. For his size, he’s very athletic, and I think people are going to like that.”
On Ryan Kelly:
“Ryan Kelly has a really good future, in my opinion. He’s a center. He’s very smart. He’s got quickness, and he plays with enough power. He’s a good pass protector, and he’s a great person and leader. If you’re looking for a great teammate and a productive guy at his position that could be outstanding, I think he fits the build.”
On if Ryan Kelly has played guard:
“He has played other positions here, and he probably could [play guard]. I think that diversity is important because you usually only have eight guys active for a game on an offensive line, so guys being able to play multiple positions is really important.”
On Dillon Lee’s ability to play different positions:
“Dillon did a really good job for us playing outside backer. He’s got a lot of toughness, and he can run. He’s a smart player, especially a special teams player. So if you’re looking for a guy on your team to be a backup special teams player that you could develop into a potential starter one day, especially in regular, he could be a great candidate for that. He played a lot of roles here for us, and he did a great job.”
On what his experience was like:
“It was very good. I got here and got to watch all my teammates out here compete, all of us out here competing and putting on a show for the scouts and all the teams. It was good.”
On how he felt like he did in the drills with Jake Coker:
“I felt pretty good, I just wanted to come out here and catch balls. I was just doing what I’ve been doing and showing scouts that I can catch, so it was a good day.”
On how he feels and about his performance:
“Tired, but I feel good. I guess you could say I did pretty well. I think I did well with position work, and I ran pretty well. But I am exhausted from all of it, back to back like that.”
On if he hit his numbers:
“There were a couple things that I want to do a little bit better on, but overall I think I did well.”
On what the experience is like for him:
“It’s a great experience. Coming out here to live out my dream that I’ve had ever since I was a kid, I wanted this moment. Being able to talk to all those coaches…I’m just very thankful and blessed to have this opportunity.”
On what sort of drills he did when he was training that he saw today:
“A couple of dip and lean drills, picking up tennis balls, coming through with the closing drill that we had to do toward the end, the read and redirect drill, but everything else we saw at the Combine.”
On Jarran Reed:
“He came in going into my sophomore year, and we are pushing each other to be the best in the country. We came out here, and the coaches saw that we did everything. We showed explosive quickness off the ball, and we both gave great effort. I thought we did a great job out here.”
On if he would be surprised if Jarran Reed and he didn’t get drafted in the first round:
“It is what it is because it’s determined by what the team needs. We don’t get to decide where we will be going and everything. All these mock drafts don’t really mean anything because the team needs to pick us. We don’t know where we are going or what round we will be going, so honestly it doesn’t matter. We are just trying to play football.”