Alabama held their Pro Day yesterday for all of the Crimson Tide NFL prospects to work out for any NFL scouts in attendance. Najee Harris made news first thing yesterday morning when it was revealed he drove all the way from Dallas to make it in time since a flight was delayed for weather. And he was only going to support his teammates.
And while we’re speaking of great personalities in the Tide’s 2021 draft class, check out Landon Dickerson:
If you’re willing to believe Alabama’s staff on their measurements, Mac Jones absolutely blew all of the athletic tests out of the water compared to what many expected from him:
Mac Jones' 40 times that were submitted to NFL:— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) March 23, 2021
A 4.68 forty and a 32” vertical?? I’ve seen some Alabama defensive backs not put up numbers that good, let alone a QB with a bad case of the dad-bod.
Even if those forty times are hand-timed instead of the laser like is used at the Combine, you can add 0.1 or so to his time, and he’s still well under 5.0, which is absolutely all anyone would have wanted to use a checkbox.
For some notes on the other prospects:
— Defensive tackle Christian Barmore (6-foot-4, 310 pounds): 4.99 40-yard dash
— Offensive lineman Deonte Brown (6-foot-3, 344 pounds): 5.45 40-yard dash
— Long snapper Thomas Fletcher (6-foot-1, 235 pounds): 4.92 40-yard dash, 13 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press
— Tight end Miller Forristall (6-foot-5, 241 pounds): 4.80 40-yard dash, 20 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press
— Quarterback Mac Jones (6-foot-3, 217 pounds): 4.75 40-yard dash, 32-inch vertical jump
— Offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood (6-foot-5, 312 pounds): 4.95 40-yard dash, 9-foot, 10-inch broad jump, 34.5-inch vertical jump
— Linebacker Joshua McMillon (6-foot-3, 236 pounds): 4.95 40-yard dash, 13 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press
— Cornerback Patrick Surtain (6-foot-2, 208 pounds): 4.41 40-yard dash, 10-foot, 11-inch broad jump, 39-inch vertical jump, 18 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press
Surtain’s numbers are absolutely ridiculous for a nearly 210-lb cornerback. He’s made himself some extra money today. Leatherwood going sub-5.0 on his forty combined with wide receiver-like jumping numbers is also impressive.
So is the 310-lb Barmore cracking the 5.0 forty mark.
“It was a little different than a typical pro-day script just because of the people we had out there,” Jones told Greg McElroy of the SEC Network. “We had to use two underclassmen, and obviously, Miller, Carl and Josh did a great job. But I definitely feel like I could have thrown it better, but it is what it is. I have one more pro day, gotta come out and show what I got.
“We went a little bit over. I just didn’t wanna leave any team shorthanded, and I just wanted to show however many balls, I’ll throw to Pat after I’m done, it doesn’t really matter. I just wanted to show that I can compete, and I really don’t think it was as good as I probably want it to be. I’ll probably be pissed about it for about 20 minutes, but I’ll be good after that.”
“I think we really did a good job of showing a little bit of everything,” Jones said. “Obviously, we had the young guys out here, so hopefully we can get at least one of the receivers that we have coming out to come out. But I’ll have Najee out here, so I wanna highlight some of his stuff out of the backfield, also from out wide. I feel like I missed on a little bit of deep throws, so maybe hit some of those. That’s my best thing that I do, so hopefully I can show that.”
Mac Jones got the bulk of the TV coverage, as all eyes were on him as he threw to a group of underclassmen, TEs, and a linebacker as his receiving targets while DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, Najee Harris, and John Metchie all are still recovering from injuries.
If you spend very long on Twitter, you’ll find “experts” talking about how he was absolutely awful, and some who watched the exact same thing and thought he was phenomenal.
No wonder NFL teams can’t ever draft QBs correctly.
“Pat’s got great physical ability. He’s got great length,” Saban said. “But he’s smart and very, very instinctive. So he always plays faster in the game. Because he is smart, he does a great job of preparing. We do this thing where each player has an assignment in terms of scouting report. I mean he gives a better scouting report than I would give for what his part of it is, and I think that’s really important when you’re a pro player because preparation is really important because you know you’re always gonna play against a great player.
“Pat’s gonna have a great career.”
He’s got the athletic tests now. He’s got the well-known last name. He’s got the stats. He’s got the accolades. And now he’s got the best coach of all time talking up his intelligence and dedication to scouting opponents?
Yeah, Pat Surtain II is gonna go in the top 10.
LSU clearly outpaces the conference at more than two standard deviations better than the SEC average. Loaded Georgia and Alabama round out the top class of the conference. The SEC’s second tier could be interesting, though, as 2020 East division champion Florida got slightly worse on net, and upstart programs Ole Miss (with a Very Fun Offense), Mississippi State, and Arkansas all improve on promising seasons. Texas A&M, perhaps the best non-Alabama SEC team, loses a quarterback and some serious weapons, yet improves in 2021. They highlight another fun facet of the RTI: many teams are “a quarterback away,” which we know in college football can be very far. The Aggies improved, but they’ll have to fill Kellen Mond’s shoes to compete.
South Carolina, Tennesse, and Vanderbilt all get new coaches, and turnover is to be expected, although it’s worth noting that Shane Beamer has a lot of work to do. Missouri and Kentucky took a step backwards in talent, and they both may be a couple of cycles away from their peaks. All in all, the SEC is still Alabama’s conference, although Georgia, LSU, and a few interesting Tier 2 teams look to challenge that this season.
This is a really cool metric developed by Football Outsiders. Note that it doesn’t mean LSU is returning more talent than Alabama, just that they are bringing in more expected improvement compared to where they were last season compared to other teams.
And, uhhh, South Carolina... What is you doin’?
Finally, while the football, men’s basketball, and gymnastics, and track & field are all winning titles for Alabama, the debate team decided to join in the fun:
Congrats to @BamaForensics on their NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS this past weekend! The AFC won both the team national championship for individual events (speech) and the overall team national championship (speech & debate) at the Pi Kappa Delta National Comprehensive Tournament! pic.twitter.com/XIfLb2vozx— UA College of C&IS (@UACCIS) March 23, 2021
Finally, Kareem Jackson got yet another big payday:
11 years in the league, and Jackson has been quietly getting paid like a top-ten defensive back for pretty much his entire career. His nearly $70M career earnings puts him behind only Julio Jones for total career money among active Alabama players, and he’s the 20th highest paid defensive back of all time.
Roll Tide to that!