Alabama Crimson Tide: 2013 NFL draft

Video: Eddie Lacy, Home And Away

April, 23, 2013

Jeffri Chadiha profiles former Alabama star Eddie Lacy as he heads toward the NFL draft. Lacy's family was driven from home by Hurricane Katrina.

Video: Dee Milliner on draft, Saban 

April, 12, 2013

Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless talk with Dee Milliner about the NFL draft and playing for Nick Saban.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Much like the Crimson Tide's showing at the NFL combine last month, Wednesday's pro day on the University of Alabama campus will have a distinctly limited feel as many of its participants are still battling injuries sustained during the season.

The biggest setback to the event -- which will air live on ESPN3 at 10:30 a.m. CT -- came on Sunday night when ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that Eddie Lacy will not participate in the workout because of a lingering hamstring injury. The running back, widely considered to be most valuable at his position in the draft, will instead wait for the soreness to subside and perform for scouts at a later date, according to the report.

Like many of his teammates, Lacy will have to watch the drills from afar. Center Barrett Jones said he will attend but will only participate in the bench press portion of the event. Cornerback Dee Milliner, who is the No. 2 player on Mel Kiper Jr.'s Big Board and a likely top-five selection, won't work out either. He was scheduled to have surgery on a torn labrum today.

Nonetheless, the program must go on, even with some of its headliners sidelined. For those expected to participate, the chance to make a final positive impression on NFL personnel is at stake. A bad combine? A poor interview? So-so tape? All that could be put aside with a solid showing tomorrow. With the help of ESPN college football and NFL draft analyst Kevin Weidl, here are TideNation's top three players with the most to gain from Alabama's pro day:

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MOBILE, Ala. -- Winning 49 games and three national championships only got Nico Johnson so far. The former Alabama linebacker enters the thick of Senior Bowl practice this week with plenty of questions about his game.

Is he fast enough to play in the NFL? Is he a guy who can stay on the field in running and passing situations? Is it worth it to use a draft pick on him?

Johnson is ranked the No. 8 inside linebacker according to Scouts Inc., so the question of whether he'll be taken in April's draft is likely to be answered in the affirmative. How high, however, is another question. At 6-foot-2 and 249 pounds, he has the size to play at the next level, but as pointed out in his Scouts Inc. profile, he's not an elite athlete and seems to lack the closing burst.

But Johnson isn't out to prove the skeptics wrong all at once. He's taking the laid back approach. Having played at Alabama, he's used to practicing under the watchful eye of scouts and knows that pushing too hard can get a player in trouble.

As he said, "Pressure busts pipes."

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SEC players featured on Kiper's Big Board
Mel Kiper Jr. discusses SEC players and their NFL combine performances.