Patriots Draft: Scouting Alabama

The last big day for Alabama's NFL draft eligible seniors was held Wednesday in Tuscaloosa, as scores of professional scouts and some coaches traveled to Tuscaloosa to check out the departed Alabama class. A number of teams, including the Patriots, were there to get a closer look at the Tide's defensive players, DeMeco Ryans, Mark Anderson and Freddie Roach. This is an area the Pats are looking at closely in the draft considering the players are projected as first-day even first-round prospects.

Working out for the scouts were: Mark Anderson, Rudy Griffin Roman Harper, Victor Horn, Ray Hudson, Juke King, Canary Knight, Drew Lane, Anthony Madison, Charlie Peprah, Freddie Roach and Ryan Saxby.

Anderson, who was working drills with the linebackers was happy with his NFL combine time and did not run the 40-yard dash Wednesday, but Roach and Ryans both tried - and apparently succeeded - at improving their times.

"The only thing I did here (besides position drills) was the 40. I let them go off the combine for everything else," Ryans said. "I ran better. I don't know specifically, some people had me at 4.59 and some people had me at 4.61."

Roach also suspected he improved his run, breaking below the 4.7 mark by at least one hand timing.

Ray Hudson said some of the scouts had him at 4.4 in the 40. Each player was given two runs.

Representatives from the Lions, Raiders, Giants, Jets, Seahawks, Redskins, Colts, Titans, Ravens, Packers, Browns, Bengals, Buccaneers, Texans, Steelers, Patriots, Bears, Vikings and Chargers were all spotted at Wednesday's workout.

Chuck Bresnahan, the defensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals attended.

Ryans, who benched 225 pounds 23 times at the combine, said he's looking forward to being in Tuscaloosa for the April 1st A-Day game to get his hand and cleat print sealed in cement as a part of the captains' ceremonies.

"I've got to put my hand in," he said. "I'm looking forward to that. It's a big accomplishment. When I first set foot on the campus I wanted to be a part of it and my last year to have a chance to do it is great."

As for further draft preparation, Ryans said he's now focusing on getting better at the drills since his times are in. He said he weighed 240 pounds Wednesday, the heaviest he has been.

Ryans wasn't about to speculate on where he might be drafted or by whom.

"I could have my opinion about who's going where but it doesn't matter because you never know what the teams are going to do," he said. "They (outside experts) don't know who's on their draft boards. It's just going off of opinions. Everybody has opinions about the draft just like they have an opinion about the NCAA tournament. You never know what they're going to do."

Croyle was happy about how throwing in front of the scouts to some of his old teammates went.

"I felt really, really good about today," he said. "I threw the ball the best I've thrown it. I think we missed one ball on the whole day so I feel pretty good going into the draft. It's pretty much down time right now."

Croyle has been working with Zeke Bratkowski, a former NFL quarterback and personal coach.

Brodie: "He's helped out a lot, especially coming down here organizing all this making sure we had everybody here," Croyle said. "We went through that workout a couple of times and it paid off for us today. I think we missed one day."

Croyle also declined to guess on where he might go in the draft.

"As soon as you think you're going somewhere they end up getting a quarterback the next day."

The Chargers talked to Croye after practice, and it should be noted that this is the third time they have had discussions of some kind with the 'Bama QB.

Croyle, of course, will also be at the A-Day game to put his hand and cleat print in the cement. He is looking forward to the event and said the interaction he's had with Alabama fans since the Cotton Bowl has been incredible.

"It's been awesome. You couldn't ask for better," he said. "Alabama fans are the best. Us going out the way we went out in the Cotton Bowl made our legacy that much sweeter and it's been a blast. I don't have one regret about coming to this school and never will."


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