Alabama football had seven players drafted into the NFL this year.
Here’s an update on each one from organized team activities and minicamps.
OT Evan Neal, New York Giants
No one has a better view of Evan Neal’s performance in OTAs than guard Mark Glowinski.
The veteran guard is working next to Neal, who’s playing right tackle. Glowinski is impressed.
“Just dominant,” Glowinski said of Neal. “As long as he gets his hands on guys, that’s the end of the story. So, just making sure that we put him in the right place, make sure that he is doing the right things. He has come along drastically every day, learning more and more.”
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WR Jameson Williams, Detroit Lions
Williams is still recovering from the torn ACL he suffered in the College Football Playoff Championship, but he is working to get acclimated to Detroit and the Lions’ system even when he’s not on the field. Quarterback Jared Goff is playing a role in that, too, keeping Williams involved.
“I know they are going to make sure he is as healthy as possible,” Goff said, per the Detroit News. “I want him back as soon as possible, but he is staying engaged, and has the script in his hand, seeing his reads, and doing a good job. He is a great talent but a great part of our team. I expect him to grow into his role nicely.”
WR John Metchie III, Houston Texans
Metchie is also recovering from an ACL tear, but he suffered his a month earlier than Williams.
Metchie isn’t practicing with the Texans yet. When he was drafted, Metchie said he would be ready in July. Houston doesn’t seem to want to rush him back either.
“We’ll just keep getting him a little better each day and eventually he’ll be ready to go and we’ll put them out there then,” Texans coach Lovie Smith said, per Texans Daily.
Video was posted of Metchie working out in shorts and a shirt, now six months removed from his injury.
DL Phidarian Mathis, Washington Commanders
On the first day of OTAs, Mathis got a vote of confidence from a veteran teammate: former Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen.
“He’s going to fit in really well,” Allen said. “Playing from Bama, I know the mental toughness is there, and I feel like, for me, that’s the biggest part about a rookie. Mentally, can he handle all the things that are going to come his way his rookie year? And I know he can. He’s going to be just fine.”
LB Christian Harris, Houston Texans
New teammate Christian Kirksey called Harris a sponge, constantly soaking up knowledge while not saying much.
“I know that Nick Saban polished him well and got him ready to go,” Kirksey said, “but I’ve seen flashes of him being able to go out there and contribute. Now, you don’t see that all the time in a rookie, but he’s picking it up fast, and I’m happy that he’s here.
RB Brian Robinson Jr., Washington Commanders
Robinson is joining a backfield with Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic, and despite the competition for snaps that will ensue, Robinson said he appreciates the help they’ve provided.
“Just being in a room with them, they’re helping me pick up on the plays and just everything I need to do to get comfortable,” Robinson said.
No matter how he fares in that competition, Robinson has already won the staring contest it seems.
CB Jalyn Armour-Davis, Baltimore Ravens
Ravens coach John Harbaugh was asked about his two rookie cornerbacks, Armour-Davis and Pepe Williams. He said both are doing a great job.
“Those guys, very, very knowledgeable,” Harbaugh said. “Have a great feel for the game. Leverage. Spacing. Their eyes are in the right spot most of the time. Smart. They learn. They have good feet and they have good ball skills. They’ll play this year. They’ll play well.”