Bull-strong defensive tackle Jesse Williams set many pens to paper at Alabama’s pro day Wednesday in Tuscaloosa.
A star attraction at the combine — he did 30 reps of 225 when many were projecting as many as 50 — Williams stood out again in the presence of dozens of scouts Wednesday, when all 32 teams were represented.
Williams posted a 40-yard dash in the range of 4.84-4.92 and 7.69 three-cone time at 6-3, 326 pounds, displaying for NFL types how exactly he earned his nickname “Monster.”
“I feel more comfortable being here because I played here and we practiced out here every day,” Williams said. “It is always good to come back here and show everyone what I got.”
Alabama had four first-round picks in 2012, and four in 2011. The Crimson Tide could match that number in April. Or possibly exceed it.
Cornerback Dee Milliner, offensive guard Chance Warmack, offensive tackle D.J. Fluker, Williams and running back Eddie Lacy are candidates to go in the first round on April 25.
Milliner, the No. 1-ranked cornerback in the draft, is recovering from shoulder surgery and his All-Pro junior season, combined with a stellar combine workout left him nothing to prove to evaluators. He had his arm in a sling after surgery to repair a torn labrum.
Warmack and Fluker worked themselves into a full lather from competing in position drills. Each held a blocking pad for the other and held nothing back, performing with top effort on a day when neither had much — if anything — to gain.
“I ain’t scared of nobody,” said the loquacious Fluker. “Work day, baby. That’s how we do it. It’s the Bama way.”
Warmack has several private team visits arranged but did not want to disclose specifics regarding his March itinerary. Head coach Nick Saban said it didn’t much matter where Warmack winds up — he’ll make that team better from Day One.
“He’s very powerful, he’s athletic, he’s got good feet, he can pass block and he can get moving in the run game,” Saban said. “I think people that have his kind of balance and body control and the kind of athleticism that he has at his size are rare commodities. Everybody knows that those guys play 12, 14, 15 years. I think Chance has a chance to have that kind of career.”
Lacy faces the most doubt, if only because he was again unable to display his ability to scouts who’ll now have to return to Alabama for a future pro day that isn’t yet scheduled. If he wants to be the third Crimson Tide running back drafted in three years, following Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson, Lacy must display his competitiveness and ability for scouts in a workout setting.
“I’m not concerned about it at all,” Lacy said. “NFL coaches like you because of what you do in games and what you do in big stadiums. … This is just something that you want to receive glowing evaluations, but at the end of the day somebody takes you.”