Alabama Pro Day 2 Recap: Mac Jones Drives the Conversation
The Alabama Crimson Tide football program hosted NFL scouts and coaches for a second pro day Tuesday, showcasing its top prospects for the 2021 NFL Draft inside the Mal Moore practice facility.
The most notable participant was quarterback Mac Jones, who threw for a second group of NFL staffers in hopes of continuing to solidify his stock as a top-10 pick.
While social media wasn't overwhelmingly impressed with Jones's second go, reports from NFL media continue to indicate teams are pleased with Jones as a professional passer.
"It sounded like it went well," NFL insider told Pat McAfee when asked if Jones's stock actually took a dip today. "What most people look for is how does the ball come out of his hand and how do his teammates react around him? Like, that kind of stuff you can see in person, you can't really see on film."
Jones was able to persuade 2020 Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith to catch a few passes today and also had the opportunity to send a few towards running back Najee Harris.
For Jones, he told NFL Network's James Palmer two of his goals today were to show off his arm strength and mobility, both of which are his most criticized traits as a prospect. As such, Jones made an effort to have off balance throws and incorporated several deep patterns into the script.
While Jones won't be leapfrogging Justin Fields or Zach Wilson on draft boards because of his "limitations" in both areas, it is likely he could be drafted before one of them after the San Francisco 49ers traded with the Miami Dolphins for the third overall pick. Speculation that Jones could head to the Bay Area in April has been high since the trade as many analysts suggest Jones fits the mold of previous quarterbacks in head coach Kyle Shanahan's scheme.
DeVonta Smith did catch several passes from Jones Tuesday in an effort to support his quarterback and silence any questions about the right hand injury he sustained in the national championship game against Ohio State. He didn't participate in any other drills Tuesday and whether he still plans to hold his own personal pro day hasn't been made completely clear.
Najee Harris also got in on the action, running routes and staying active throughout the day. He did run through a few agility drills to close the day, though he still decided to forgo a 40-yard dash.
Though Landon Dickerson remains a non-participant athletically due to his ACL tear in the SEC Championship game against Florida, he made his presence felt once again by trolling his quarterback during a live interview.
It's probably safe to say Dickerson's rehab is going well.
Neither of the healthy defensive prospects, cornerback Patrick Surtain or defensive lineman Christian Barmore, nor the offensive linemen, Alex Leatherwood or Deonte Brown, made an appearance athletically Tuesday. They as well as injured stars linebacker Dylan Moses and Jaylen Waddle appear to have shown as much athletically as they can before the NFL Draft April 29, though speculation that Waddle could run his own pro day is certainly a possibility.