- Alex Scarborough, ESPN Staff Writer
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Courtney Upshaw took part in Alabama’s second pro day and participated in every drill but the bench press.
The 6-foot-2, 275-pound hybrid linebacker ran an unofficial 4.77 40-yard dash and looked smooth in agility drills.
“It felt good to be out there with them and going through the whole training process with those guys,” Upshaw said of him and his teammates. “We work hard every day in Arizona. I felt like it paid off today.”
Facing questions concerning Upshaw’s ability to play as a standup linebacker in a 4-3 scheme, Alabama coach Nick Saban said he felt his former linebacker did enough to show his speed in coverage. At Alabama, Upshaw played in a 3-4 defense, a point of concern that Saban feels is unwarranted.
“He weighed 280 pounds today and ran a 4.7-something so I think he probably could,” Saban said of Upshaw playing in either defensive scheme. “He played both here. I know a lot of people say, ‘Hey, you play a 3-4.' But we only play a 3-4 20 percent of the time and the rest we’re in some kind of 4-3 defense and he always played defensive end and did a great job.
“He’s hard to block. He’s heavy-handed. He’s got good leverage and strength, and he’s a good pass-rusher. I actually think he could play either position.”
Barron runs well after injury
Saban said he didn’t think Mark Barron was anywhere near 100 percent at pro day after a double hernia operation, but felt his former safety was close enough for NFL personnel to get an idea of what they’d be getting if they drafted him.
Barron, who said he wanted to show he was getting healthier every day, ran an unofficial 4.51 40-yard dash and moved well in defensive back drills. He said he was around 85 percent, but was pleased with his results.
“I think most people pretty much know I played this whole season injured,” Barron said. “They know I’m tough. They know I’m a tough guy that can play through injuries.”
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