There are players for whom Pro Day has little importance. Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry and All-America linebacker Reggie Ragland had very good performances at the NFL Combine. They were not seen in the 40-yard dash exhibition when Alabama hosted Pro Day Wednesday for all 32 National Football League teams.
But a man who hasn’t been invited to the combine and who wasn’t All-America, “It was a really big day,” said Dillon Lee. Lee is one of 18 men who were members of Alabama’s 2015 national championship team, a starter at strongside linebacker who also played inside in nickel situations.
“I didn’t go to the combine, so it’s kind of all-in on this one day,” said Lee. “So I was kind of nervous. But once I did my vert (vertical jump on which he got 31 inches), my broad (9-feet-5-inches), and my bench (20 reps) back-to-back real quick, it was just kind of another day after that. Do what I’ve been doing for a while.”
Lee, 6-3, 240, said that he was tired after the workout, but thought he did “pretty good. Did good on position work. I ran pretty well. There were a couple of things I wanted to do a little better on, but overall I did good.”
He said he got “good feedback” from scouts. “They liked what they saw overall, how well I performed across the board. Nothing in particular. Some people said I was moving good (in his 40-yard dash).”
Mike Mayok, NFL Network analyst, was asked if anyone had helped himself. Mayock said, “It’s hard to say someone is helping themselves out here, but I think, for instance, a kid (Dillon Lee), who didn’t get a combine invite. He comes out here and runs a 4.78. He’s a big athletic kid. Special teams coaches are here taking note of it. To me, those kinds of things are more important than whether Derrick Henry is going to do whatever he’s going to do.”
Lee said Wednesday’s opportunity was to show “that I would come out here and compete, just put on display my overall athleticism.”
He added that he could play both inside and outside linebacker, “and they like to know guys who are willing to play special teams and can do it well.”
Alabama Coach Nick Saban said, “Dillon did a really good job for us playing outside ’backer in regular. He’s got a lot of toughness. He can run. Smart player and great special teams player. So if you’re looking for a guy on your team to be a backup/special teams player that you could develop into a potential starter some day, especially in regular, he would be a great candidate for that. He played a lot of roles here for us and did a really good job.”