Surtain shows off speed on Alabama’s competitive pro day

Patrick Surtain II used Alabama’s first of two pro days on Tuesday to show he deserves to be considered at the top of his school’s extremely competitive class of draft picks.

Rated as the top cornerback in the draft, Surtain posted unofficial times of 4.42 and 4.44 seconds in the 40-yard dash before NFL scouts and coaches at Alabama’s indoor practice facility.

Surtain (6-foot-2, 208 pounds) also was impressive with 18 repetitions of 225 pounds on the bench press and his vertical leap of 39 inches. His size, speed, strength, leaping ability and ball skills on the field should serve to bolster his first-round standing.

While wide receivers DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle and running back Najee Harris were observers for the workout, Surtain and quarterback Mac Jones were busy.

Jones expected to show off his passing accuracy to scouts after completing 77.4 percent of his passes in 2020. He wasn’t satisfied with Tuesday’s workout after overthrowing his receivers on some long passes.

“I feel I could have thrown it better,” Jones told the SEC Network. “It is what it is. I have one more pro day. I’ve got to come out here and show what I’ve got.”

Among other highly rated draft prospects participating in the pro day were defensive tackle Christian Barmore, linebacker Dylan Moses, and offensive linemen Landon Dickerson, Alex Leatherwood and Deonte Brown.

Smith was the Heisman Trophy winner, and Jones was a Heisman finalist from Alabama’s national championship team. Harris, Leatherwood, Dickerson and Surtain joined Smith and Jones as first-team All-America selections by The Associated Press.

Smith was the first wide receiver to be chosen AP’s college football player of the year since it was established in 1998. He was listed at 175 pounds in the 2020 season. He said Monday he weighs 170 and isn’t concerned he’ll be too light to be effective in the NFL.

“I feel like it’s not going to be no different than college,” Smith said. “I played against some of the best in college. I played in the SEC. I feel like it’s the toughest conference there is. I know a lot of people bigger than me have more problems than me, so I’m not worried about it at all.”

Alabama has so many players who could be selected in the first three rounds of the NFL draft that one workout day was not enough for scouts. NFL teams will return to the Alabama campus on March 30 for a second pro day.

Smith said Tuesday he doesn’t plan to participate in the second pro day but may have a private workout for scouts.

Alabama is expected to challenge the record for most first-round picks in a draft. Miami had six first-rounders in 2004. Smith, Waddle, Surtain and Jones could be selected in the first half of the first round on April 29. Barmore, Harris and Dickerson also could be picked in the first round.

Dickerson is recovering from a torn ACL in his left knee suffered in Alabama’s Southeastern Conference championship game win over Florida. He wore a brace on his left knee as he snapped the ball to Jones during the quarterback’s passing drills.

The mobility demonstrated by Dickerson may have been as important to scouts as the passes thrown by Jones, including a few on rollouts.

“Really, reassuring teams doesn’t need to come from what I do on the field,” Dickerson said Monday. “They can watch the film and see if they want me or not. They can also talk to our trainers and doctors if they want to figure out more details.”

Jones hurt his ankle the week of the Senior Bowl in January, limiting his ability to perform, and said he plans to throw again on the second pro day next week.

The 6-4 Brown might have helped his draft outlook simply by stepping on the scales. He was listed at 350 pounds for his senior season. He said Monday he weighed 364 pounds at the Senior Bowl, and most questions from NFL teams were about his ability to maintain his weight. He weighed 344 pounds on Tuesday.

“That showed a lot of discipline,” he said Monday.

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