The Alabama Pro Day is always a must-stop on the pre-draft tour. Certainly, 2021 will be no different, thanks to Alabama’s plethora of elite NFL Draft prospects attending their pro day. The absence of the NFL Scouting Combine puts a significant onus on pro days for athletes and organizations alike. The Crimson Tide has eight prospects in the top 50 on Pro Football Network Chief Draft Analyst Tony Pauline’s big board. It should be another strong year for a program that has more players in the NFL than any other college.
When is Alabama’s Pro Day in 2021?
The second pro day for the Alabama Crimson Tide will take place on March 30. They also had a pro day on March 23.
At Alabama’s first pro day, Mac Jones was present for on-field drills. Of the skill position players on offense, he was the only one on show. DeVonta Smith did not partake in any part of the pro day. In an interview, he discussed how he would likely be doing something on his own during April. Therefore, it is unlikely we see him perform on the second pro day.
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However, we could see both Najee Harris and Jaylen Waddle at Alabama’s second pro day. In a media session Monday, Jones revealed that Harris will partake in the pro day. Although, according to Jones, it remained up in the air as to whether Waddle would also be on the field. Waddle discussed running the 40 at the second pro day but has not committed to taking part in on-field drills.
Despite a strong outing in his first pro day, Jones is expected to take to the field again. It will be interesting to see how he performs, with Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch expected to be present. Following their move up to the No. 3 spot, the 49ers’ plans remain very much up in the air heading into April.
Top Alabama prospects working out at pro day
DeVonta Smith is in contention to be the first wide receiver taken in the 2021 NFL Draft. Pauline ranked the Heisman Trophy winner sixth overall and WR2 behind Ja’Marr Chase. While concerns have been raised around Smith’s weight, he is still considered to be one of the best receivers to come out of Alabama in the recent past.
In his scouting report, Pauline explained, “Smith was incredibly productive for Alabama and is a complete receiver with a polished game for the next level. The lack of size will scare some teams off, and Smith is a scheme-specific wideout. If properly used in the slot or off the line of scrimmage, I believe Smith will be very productive at the next level.”
Patrick Surtain II
Patrick Surtain II is the top cornerback on Pauline’s big board. He currently has him as the seventh-best player in the draft and second among 2021 Alabama prospects. With Caleb Farley’s stock falling, Surtain looks set to be the first cornerback selected in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Pauline believes, “Surtain was a terrific cornerback for Alabama the past three seasons. He comes with the size, play speed, and ball skills to start in the NFL. Though lacking polished ball skills, his physical skills and bloodlines lend me to believe Surtain will develop into an outstanding NFL cornerback in the near future.”
Jaylen Waddle was Smith’s running mate at wide receiver. He will likely join the ever-growing list of Alabama WR prospects selected in the first round. Pauline currently has him ranked ninth on his big board.
Pauline’s evaluation states, “Waddle is an explosive skill player and a lethal force any time the ball is in his hands. He was well on his way to developing his game before sustaining an ankle injury last season, yet he still showed great progress on the field. The lack of size may be a limiting factor, but the speed and pass-catching skill displayed the past two years will lead anyone to the conclusion that Waddle offers big-time potential at the next level.”
Najee Harris is Pauline’s top-ranked running back and is currently 17th on his big board. Harris is generally viewed as a first-round talent in mock drafts as it stands. However, a strong pro day performance could solidify his first-round potential, as well as making him the first running back selected. In Nick Farabuagh’s most recent mock draft, Harris was selected 18th overall by the Miami Dolphins.
Pauline noted, “Harris is a tremendous ball carrier with a three-down game. Though not overly elusive or creative, he has feature-runner potential at the next level. If your offense likes to keep it between the numbers and not run on the perimeter, Harris is a running back for you.”
Mac Jones didn’t miss a step in his year as a starter after taking over from Tua Tagovailoa. The Heisman Trophy finalist played his way into the QB5 discussion this season. With such an impressive group of 2021 NFL Draft prospects, though, the Alabama QB is 20th on Pauline’s board. Jones will aim to showcase his ability at the second Alabama Pro Day.
Pauline sees Jones as “a traditional pocket passer with a great feel for what’s happening on the field who does an outstanding job protecting the ball.”
Dylan Moses is the latest Alabama linebacker in line to be an early-round draft pick. He currently ranks 26th on Pauline’s big board.
Pauline reports, “Moses was often criticized last year for not being a big playmaker, yet he was a disciplined defender with a great head for the football. He does not make many ‘wow!’ plays, rather Moses is consistently productive against the run and in coverage. I expect him to be under drafted in April, but I feel Moses has starting potential at the next level in a variety of schemes.”
Alex Leatherwood hopes to follow former teammate Jedrick Wills’ footsteps and become another highly-drafted offensive tackle out of Alabama. Leatherwood comes in as Pauline’s 38th-ranked prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Pauline stated, “Leatherwood showed flashes of dominance in 2019, but I was disappointed he did not progress at the rate I thought possible last season. He’s a natural left tackle with the footwork and movement skills to be used in a zone-blocking system, but Leatherwood must get stronger and compete to finish blocks on every down.”
Christian Barmore is the highest-ranked defensive tackle on Pauline’s board at 48. However, Barmore is widely regarded as a potential first-round selection. Generally viewed as the top defensive tackle in this class, Barmore should have a plentiful market in the back half of the first round.
Pauline assesses that “Barmore displayed consistent progress in his game the past two seasons and is a conventional tackle in a four-man line with growth potential. He should only improve as he adds bulk to his frame, though Barmore may struggle early in his NFL career.”
While they’re the highest-ranked on Pauline’s big board, these players aren’t the only prospects at the 2021 Alabama Pro Day. Landon Dickerson, Deonte Brown, Miller Forristall, Carl Tucker, and Joshua McMillon hope to hear their names.
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