Monday, February 25, 2013
Tracking the Tide at the NFL combine
By Alex Scarborough
With two days of testing down and two more to go, many of Alabama's 10 representatives at the NFL combine in Indianapolis have already been put through the ringer. The early results for some are in, but check back throughout the day for the latest.
Eddie Lacy won't partake in drills at the NFL combine, but will perform at Alabama's pro day.
RB Eddie Lacy Combine results: N/A
The latest: For the next week or so until Alabama holds its pro day, NFL general managers and scouts will have to rely on game film when breaking down the top-rated running back in the draft. A small tear of the hamstring kept Lacy from participating in drills in Indianapolis, but he made the trip all the same to weigh in and take part in team interviews. ESPN's John Clayton believes there wasn't a first-round running back on the field Sunday, which could be good news for Lacy. A strong pro day -- tentatively set for March 13 -- could be the final push Lacy needs to separate himself from the rest of the class and solidify his first-round status.
OT D.J. Fluker Combine results: 5.31 second 40-yard dash, 21 bench press reps
The latest: Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago says Fluker could be a target for the Bears with the 20th overall pick. That's how far the former Alabama right tackle has come since concerns about his weight and athleticism. Coming in at a trim 6-foot-4 and 339 pounds in Indianapolis helped nearly as much as his performance during on-field workouts. While it's still not clear whether he ends up at tackle or guard, teams are clearly interested.
OG Chance Warmack Combine results: 5.49 second 40-yard dash, 110.0 inch broad jump
The latest: Even though Warmack measured in at an uninspiring 6-foot-2, he still stands a legitimate chance at becoming the first guard taken among the top seven picks since 1986 when the Kansas City Chiefs took Brian Jozwiak out of West Virginia. He may not be the biggest or most athletic, but what he's accomplished on tape should outweigh most of the minor concerns about his measureables. While reports vary about the success of his on-field workouts over the weekend, it seems clear that his work at the combine won't hurt his draft stock.
C Barrett Jones Combine results: N/A
The latest: Much like Lacy, Jones' appearance at the NFL combine was for face value. Still healing from surgery on his foot, the former Alabama center, guard and tackle showed up in Indianapolis to get one-on-one time with NFL personnel. Jones told reporters he's only six weeks into a four-month recovery timetable, so don't expect him to do more than bench press during his pro day.
DL Jesse Williams Combine results: 30 bench press reps
The latest: So Williams didn't end up breaking the bench press record of 51 reps? So what if he didn't come close? There's still a record of him bench pressing 600 pounds out there on the internet if anyone is truly concerned about the former Alabama nose guard's strength. While it's true Williams didn't do much to help his cause in Indianapolis by not running the 40-yard dash (knee injury), he didn't do much to hurt his case either.
CB Dee Milliner Combine results: 4.31 second 40-yard dash
The latest: A torn labrum in his shoulder will need surgery, but it's not keeping the top-rated cornerback from running in the combine. He knows the knocks on him -- a lack of athleticism and pure cover skills -- and he hopes to prove some skeptics wrong in Indianapolis. While there's not much movement for him to make -- he's a target for Oakland at No. 3 and Philadelphia at No. 4 overall -- a strong 40-yard dash would solidify his standing and possibly entice teams to trade up to get him. If he does fall, don't expect it to be beyond the 12th pick where the Dolphins would be happy to scoop him up.
S Robert Lester Combine results: 4.68 second 40-yard dash
The latest: Lester has a leg up on his former Alabama teammates in at least one respect -- he's healthy. Of the 10 players invited from UA, Lester is the only one not to have been affected by an injury since the national championship game. He measured in at 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds. He will take part in psychological testing, bench press and interviews on Monday before his on-field workout Tuesday.