Alabama hosts Pro Day

Jason Galloway

Eighteen former Alabama players participated in the Crimson Tide’s Pro Day Wednesday.

All 32 NFL teams were represented in Alabama’s indoor practice facility, including three head coaches: Rex Ryan of the New York Jets, Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants and John Fox of the Carolina Panthers.

“We’re excited about this many people coming to Pro Day,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said. “It’s great that our players get that kind of exposure. I’m real pleased about it.”

The first highlight of the day came during weigh-ins, when defensive tackle Terrence Cody weighed in a 348 pounds, which was 22 pounds less than what he weighed at the Senior Bowl.

The first event in the practice facility after weigh-ins and bench press was the 40-yard dash. At the NFL Scouting Combine last week, Alabama cornerback Kareem Jackson put himself into consideration for a first-round selection in next month’s NFL draft by running a 4.41, and the early entrant held onto that time by not running the 40 Wednesday.

“I think that was the biggest question about me,” Jackson said. “I was able to go to the combine and prove my speed. I feel real good about that.”

Jackson participated in defensive back drills later in the day. Alabama’s other starting cornerback from last season, Javier Arenas, did not participate in any drills because of a hamstring injury.

“I’m doing all I can,” Arenas said. “I’m getting a little healthier. Some teams might not need to see anything else, some teams might want to see something else, but the fact of the matter is, when my hamstring is fully healed is when I can go participate.”

Linebacker Rolando McClain, who looks to be the highest Tide player taken in this year’s draft, said he ran in the 4.6 range Wednesday, McClain also said he knows he can run a 4.5, but that he is still not 100 percent from a hamstring issue that has bothered him since this past season’s Tennessee game.

“My teammates never knew about it and I never missed a practice or a game, but I wasn’t 100 percent,” said McClain, who has also been battling affects of Chron’s disease the past few days, something he has had since his freshman year of high school. “I’m still not quite 100 percent, but there’s 32 teams here. I wanted to show them I could run.”

After the regularly scheduled drills, NFL teams were allowed to put players individually through drills of their own. A representative from the St. Louis Rams ran offensive lineman Mike Johnson through center drills, having him snap balls from under center and from the shotgun formation, while a Giants representative also evaluated.

“I’ve been practicing [snapping] a little bit,” Johnson said. “A lot of people think I project well at the next level as a center. I’ve played all four exterior positions [at Alabama], so I was just trying to do whatever they want me to and give them what they want to see.”

Alabama has set up two more days for NFL scouts to evaluate talent in Tuscaloosa on March 23 and 30.