(Above left) Tyler Watts throws for the scouts. No surprise to Bama fans, Watts showed very good athleticism and a solid if not great arm. After finishing his Crimson Tide career Watts was determined to give pro football his best shot.
Kenny King shows agility on the shuttle run. Considered a lock to be drafted, King hasn't shied away from attending and participating in various combines and all-star games, giving the scouts plenty of chances to see what he can do. King will be something of a 'tweener on the defensive line, but that's not necessarily bad in the NFL where small rosters make versatile athletes capable of playing more than just one position become valuable commodities.
Santonio Beard takes off at the start of the 40-yard dash. Only a junior last season, Beard told reporters Thursday that with yet another new coaching staff and the transition to a more pass-oriented offense, he thought it was the right time for him to declare for the NFL draft. Beard brings some baggage to the draft, but his combination of size (6-0 plus and 220 plus pounds) and speed (he ran a 4.56 at the Indianapolis combine) will guarantee him a shot at pro ball.
Several former Tide players were also on hand, taking advantage of the chance to work out for the assembled NFL scouts. Here Marvin Brown works on a hand/eye coordination drill. Down to a rock-solid 236 pounds, Brown told BamaMag.com that he was most recently affiliated with the Cleveland Browns but was also receiving interest from the New York Jets.
Bama fans will remember David Daniel as one of the stalwarts of the Tide D-Line during the tough 2001 season. A native of the Tuscaloosa area (David's father pastors a church in town), Daniel was in excellent shape for Thursday's workout. His 28 reps were tops for all participants on the bench press. Here he prepares to be timed in the 40-yard dash.
Another of Bama's three defensive linemen almost certain to be drafted, Jarret Johnson shows some explosion on the shuttle run. In the weight room Johnson shared a laugh with the New Orleans Saints scout--the one that accused Johnson (and all Tide athletes) of being "soft" during the personal interview at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, prodding to see if he could get a rise out of Jarret. He did.
There are as many measures of football skills out there as there are NFL scouts, but the 40-yard dash remains the most widely used method of checking an athlete's straight-ahead speed. With the scouts waiting with their stop watches, Waine Bacon approaches the finish line.