(Throughout the spring, DallasCowboys.com will be providing live reports from NFL Pro Days at college campuses around the country. Tyler Waldrep, sports editor of the Alabama Crimson White, was on hand, where Derrick Henry and the Crimson Tide's high-profile defenders were once again in the spotlight.)
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Another NFL Pro Day has come and gone for the Alabama Crimson Tide. As has become the norm, every NFL team was on hand -- in some form or another -- to watch some of the athletes that brought home a national championship only two months ago work out.
For some this was their one shot to impress scouts and hopefully earn a spot on an NFL roster. Others didn't have as much to prove after last month's NFL Combine in Indianapolis.
Most notably, running back Derrick Henry came out and supported his former teammates, but he didn't have much to show the scouts on hand. That's understandable, given a Combine performance that saw him post a 4.54-second 40-yard dash and a 37-inch vertical, among other highlights.
Henry did want to show off his skills as a pass-catcher, however.
"I just wanted to catch the ball," Henry said. "RB drills, we do them all the time and did them at the Combine. So I just wanted to catch the ball and show that I could catch."
Henry ran a variety of routes, including wheel routes and lining up out wide for quarterback Jake Coker, and caught a majority of passes thrown his way with ease.
Henry's name has been linked with the Cowboys because of his running style, and he's publicly mentioned Dallas as a team he would like to play for in the future.
Possible Cowboys Fits:
Jarran Reed (DL) --Reed finished the season with 14.5 tackles for loss and 12 total sacks. He has the chance to be an immediate impact player for whichever team drafts him, but he probably won't be available long.
A'Shawn Robinson (DL) --Robinson's numbers (7.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks) don't jump off the chart like Reed's do, but the 312-pound, 6-foot-3 defensive lineman makes up for it with playmaking ability that forces opponents to scheme around him. He also could be taken early. Before he made his decision to declare for the draft, Alabama coach Nick Saban informed him that NFL teams were projecting him as mid-to-late first round pick.
Cyrus Jones (CB)-Jones is the best cornerback leaving Alabama this season and teams looking to pick up a corner in the middle of the draft might consider him. His skills on special teams, particularly as a return man could also get him some second looks as the draft plays itself out.
What others had to say:
Saban on Reed and Robinson:
"They played on one of the best defenses in the country; and they were both bellcows and great leaders and affected other guys on the team in a positive way; and I think they have tremendous size, tremendous ability. I think whoever gets them, wherever they get picked, they are going to have a great career."
Mike Mayock- NFL Network Draft Analyst on Reed and Robinson:
"I love them. They're both in my top five. It's the best interior line class I've ever seen, and both of those kids are going to play early and often and play for 10 years."
Mayock on what Reed and Robinson have to do to separate themselves from the competition:
"Reed goes to the Senior Bowl and every day, every snap he plays his tail off. You don't really have to worry about the ups and downs of guys that come out of this process of Nick Saban."
Saban on whether a team's blocking scheme should affect Henry's draft stock:
"I don't really know. I think when you look at Derrick Henry you have to get past the style points and style issue. He's a unique guy with a unique style. He's got great length, he's got a great stiff arm, he's really hard to tackle, and he's really, really fast."
What they said:
Henry on if he needs a certain blocking scheme to succeed in the NFL:
"All I need is a line, and I'm good."
Robinson on his relationship with Reed:
"We push each other day in, day in. Coach Bo (Davis) took nothing less from us. Us two being side-by-side, we've been the two best players in the country since he (Reed) came in before my sophomore year. We always push each other to be the best in the country."
Robinson on the pre-draft experience:
"It's a blessing, honestly. Being able to come out here in front of all of these NFL teams, and showing what we can do. Showing we're not just gap fillers, we actually can move and stuff. It was great to be able to show those guys, and it's just a blessing to be out here."
Jones on if the pre-draft experience is fun or stressful:
"A little bit of both. Obviously this is something that all of us have worked for our whole lives, it's probably the biggest dreams that we've had to this point. So you're blessed to be in this position but it can be stressful at times. You just have to take it in stride, remain humble and be thankful that even got this opportunity. It's no time to complain because there are people out there who would die just to have this opportunity."
Tyler Waldrep (@tylerwaldrep) covers Alabama athletics for The Crimson White