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Pro Day Watch: Alabama, Purdue, more

The reigning national champions headline today’s scouting

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 11 CFP National Championship - Alabama v Ohio State Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In the wake of the cancellation of the NFL Scouting Combine, the focus has turned to college “pro days” for scouting for the 2021 NFL Draft. Here is a breakdown of Tuesday’s Pro Days.

Alabama

After dominating the college football season, members of the Crimson Tide are showing out at their Pro Day. However, a few big-name prospects (and potential options for the Giants 11th overall pick) will not be participating today due to injury concerns. But with Giants staff on hand, some other prospects who might not have had the same spotlight got to flash their potential today.

The first man up on the watch is defensive lineman Christian Barmore. Our own Chris Pflum did a scouting report on him, and this is what he had to say:

Barmore settles into a compact stance, timing the snap well before exploding into the blocker across from him. He has great play strength and initial quickness, with the ability to overwhelm unwary blockers with his explosive power. Barmore also features heavy, active hands as a rusher. Between his initial quickness, explosive power, and heavy hands, Barmore can be a real challenge for linemen to engage with and sustain blocks.

Barmore also has surprising lateral agility and is particularly effective in TEX (tackle end exchange) stunts in which he loops to the outside. Between his ability to penetrate inside and replace edge rushers attacking the C or D gaps, Barmore flashes significant disruption against both the run and the pass.

Another big name is cornerback Patrick Surtain II. A favorite of many of the BBV staffers, Surtain likely will not be going pick 11 to the Giants following the news of Adoree’ Jackson’s signing. Surtain is clearly talented and pro ready after playing in coach Nick Saban’s scheme for four years. And following the news that cornerback Caleb Farley will require spinal surgery, Surtain is almost undoubtedly the top corner in the draft.

With the Giants release of Kevin Zeitler, two Alabama lineman could be on their radar as early Day 2 options to replace him the the right guard position. Of the two, the versatile Alex Leatherwood is the best. The 2020 Outland Trophy winner (given to the best lineman in college) has played both right guard and left tackle in his time at Bama. In addition to demonstrating the coaching staff’s trust in him to protect guys like Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones, the 2020 First Team All-American showed that he can be trusted by coaches in the NFL to line up all over the line. For a Giants team with a need at right guard (and potentially questions about Andrew Thomas or Matt Peart at tackle down the stretch), Leatherwood makes for a great option for the Giants.

How about the guy who filled that right guard spot? That belongs to the behemoth Deonte Brown. Along with Leatherwood and center Landon Dickson (who didn’t participate at the pro day due do injury), Brown helped this unit win the Joe Moore Award for the best O-Line in college football. And playing at 6-foot-4 and 360 pounds, he is a mountain of a man who could easily plug in at right guard on Day 1 who could be drafted highly on Draft Day 2.

Purdue

Going into today, the notable name out of Big 10 Purdue was the speedy and explosive Rondale Moore. A human highlight tape as a freshman before an early injury knocked him out of 2019, Moore’s athleticism and tape speak for itself but questions surrounding his height were abundant. Coming in at 5-foot-7, how teams view and plan to use him might change. But the other measurables, including a 4.29 40 and a wild 42.5 inch vertical definitely help.

Interestingly, many scouts on hand at Purdue’s pro day were taken by linebacker Derick Barnes. Barnes posted some incredible numbers in the drills today, and many view him as a board-riser who definitely helped himself today.