Wednesday was one of the biggest days in the run-up to the 2022 NFL Draft, as the NFL gathered in Tuscaloosa for the Alabama pro day.
This might not be as big a deal as the Senior Bowl or NFL Scouting Combine, but the Crimson Tide’s pro day is still one of the biggest dates on the calendar. Alabama always boats many of the top prospects, and every team is eager to get a look at them.
So of course the New York Giants were in attendance. Neal said after working out that he has meetings scheduled with the Giants, New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Big man moving fast
Offensive tackle Evan Neal is obviously the prime attraction for the Giants. He is one of the players most frequently targeted for the Giants in the top 10, though whether he even falls to fifth overall is in question.
Neal is a massive player at 6-foot-7½ inches, 337 pounds, but moves like a much smaller lineman. Interestingly, he elected to not compete at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine, and this is the NFL’s first opportunity to see him in action since the College Football National Championship game.
Potential first overall selection Evan Neal in motion for the first time today— Mason Woods (@mawoods_) March 30, 2022
Representatives from the Jaguars and Jets seem to be leading the drills @Tide1009 pic.twitter.com/QxVYBaPOSj
Alabama OL Evan Neal’s pass sets. Possible top 5 pick. pic.twitter.com/cxne6weRVQ— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) March 30, 2022
Alabama OL Evan Neal drive blocking. Check out the footwork. Possible top 5 pick. No way he’s around when #Falcons pick 8th. pic.twitter.com/rPpS6pHDhy— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) March 30, 2022
LT Evan Neal going through drills here at Alabama’s Pro Day. He did not participate in drills at the Combine. pic.twitter.com/mXK186FflZ— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) March 30, 2022
Of course, Neal isn’t the only prospect on the field at Alabama’s pro day.
Linebacker Christian Harris is highly regarded and could bring a lot of athleticism to the middle of a defense — particularly for a team lacking it, like the Giants.
Alabama LB Christian Harris going through individual drills. Projected Day 2 pick with a lot of athleticism. pic.twitter.com/K5SUpSZYbc— Clint Lamb (@ClintRLamb) March 30, 2022
Unfortunately, two of the other top prospects from Alabama didn’t work out. Wide receivers Jameson Williams and John Metchie III could have been the first two receivers off the board in April, but both suffered very late season ACL tears.
Jameson and Metchie’s injuries put their draft stock in doubt, but at least Williams seems to be recovering well.
Former Alabama WR Jameson Williams, two months removed from surgery on his torn ACL, is not participating in Alabama’s Pro Day today. But here here he is last week, continuing to progress, with the expectation being that he’ll be running by the draft, per @Alliance_Sports. pic.twitter.com/Z4cP9J1mbR— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 30, 2022
.@AlabamaFTBL WR Jameson Williams tells @JamesPalmerTV he is “ahead of schedule” after his ACL injury and expects to be fully cleared physically before the start of training camp. pic.twitter.com/PT0H3ZIoel— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) March 30, 2022
“No distractions, just work. Rehab twice a day, work out twice a day … Getting after it.”— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) March 30, 2022
John Metchie III is locked in to preparing for the upcoming draft @AlabamaFTBL pic.twitter.com/iYc6QAHati
And in one final wrinkle, there was a prospect on the field at Alabama’s pro day who won’t be drafted in April, but teams were surely scouting thoroughly: quarterback Bryce Young.
As with C.J. Stroud at the Ohio State pro day, Bryce Young is a main attraction for teams, despite being a 2023 prospect.
Teams were reportedly impressed with Stroud’s work at the Ohio State pro day, and Young has a chance to match his competition for the first overall pick next year.
NFL teams getting an early look at QB Bryce Young at the Alabama pro day. Bryce is eligible for next years draft if he decides to declare early. pic.twitter.com/5LCnddXi4X— Andrew Groover (@APGroover) March 30, 2022
Brian Robinson, Jr. getting some work with Bryce Young at #BamaProDay pic.twitter.com/LvV4tcHjai— Mason Woods (@mawoods_) March 30, 2022
Bryce Young drops a dime to Slade Bolden at Alabama’s Pro Day— 247Sports (@247Sports) March 30, 2022