Alabama players impress at NFL scouting Combine
By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Jeremy Bryant
The NFL Combine proceeded as planned over the weekend, including a few familiar Crimson Tide faces putting their athletic skills to the test. The Combine is where some of the best college prospects come to the Indianapolis Colts home stadium and show off their natural gifts with all 32 NFL teams watching. The athletes from Alabama football came into this year’s edition and showed they are just as valuable as anyone.
Here’s a rundown of how all the former Crimson Tide players performed:
Multiple players from the school did not participate in the annual event. Evan Neal is projected to go Top-5 in the draft, so there was no need for him to try to raise his stock any higher. Jameson Williams and John Metchie did not participate because they are recovering from torn ACL injuries. Josh Jobe and LaBryan Ray also did not join in, but it may be possible that they participate at the Alabama pro day, which is typically run the same as the combine, just run with only the school’s players.
Slade Bolden, Wide Receiver
Bolden had the most to gain at the Combine considering he was always in the shadow of better receivers throughout his Alabama career. Bolden certainly displayed a glimpse of NFL talent once the whistles started to blow. In the most anticipated part of the draft process for fans, the 40-yard dash, Bolden ran an official time of 4.66 seconds which is on the slower side for a wide receiver.
The catching drills is where Bolden rose his draft stock of possibly being a solid slot receiver. He displayed smooth transitions out of his breaks on the out-route drills towards the sidelines. He also presented his ability to be a threat downfield with over-the-shoulder catches.
Phadarian Mathis, Defensive Lineman
Mathis enjoyed his best season with the Crimson Tide in 2021 after more than tripling his sack total in 2021. He came into the combine and opened a few eyes with intensity in the pash rush drills.
Mathis showed that he came explode at the point of attack in the rip and swim drills. He also appeared to show his flexibility in the figure eight drill, where players run around two hoops while picking up and dropping two objects to see a player’s ability to bend.
Harris had the best performance of all Alabama players, and maybe of all the linebackers too. Christian was already projected as a late first-rounder or early second-rounder in the draft, but his services may be asked of a little sooner after the showing he put on in Lucas Oil Stadium.
Harris ran his first attempt in the 40-yard dash in 4.44 seconds, which is blazing for the linebacker group. His unofficial time got social media buzzing about his rising stock before he even got into the on-field drills.
Once the linebacker group hit the field drills, Harris solidified his solid talent. He exhibited great sideline-to-sideline ability and soft hands in the back pedal and react drill with feet that never stop moving in space.
Jalyn Armour-Davis, Defensive Back
Armour-Davis came into Indy being one of the forgotten names coming out of Alabama. He has a track and field background and it became evident after he found himself just outside one of the Top-10 fastest times in the 40-yard dash at 4.39 seconds.
His 40-time ended up being the highlight of his showing, but he did show some other good traits other than speed. In the field drills Armour-Davis appeared to have fluid hip when asked to turn in coverage. The 90-degree break drill gave scouts a glimpse at his ability to explode through the ball to jump a receiver’s route for an interception.
Brian Robinson Jr., Running Back
Robinson ran an official time of 4.53 in the 40-yard dash, which is pretty decent for a running back who is more of a bulldozer than a speedster. It appeared that he suffered an injury after his first run attempt. Robinson did run the second attempt but decided to call it a day and not participate in the rest of the drills.
The combine would have been vital for Robinson in getting more looks from teams, but his performance throughout the week of the Senior Bowl is probably enough to sustain interest for now.
Next up for the players is the school’s Pro Day, where they will have another chance to run drills and get a closer look from NFL teams as the NFL draft approaches. The NFL draft will be held April 28-April 30.