Jedrick Wills Jr. Impresses at NFL Combine; Alabama's DBs Talk a Good Game
The on-field drills continued at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis with the big men in the trenches, who protect the quarterback — the offensive line.
Only one former University of Alabama player participate in the on-field drills Friday and that was tackle Jedrick Wills, Jr. The former four-star recruit checked in at 6-foot-4 and 312 pounds on Tuesday.
His on-field workout started with the vertical jump where Wills showcased his hops of 34.2 inches, which was good for second among all offensive linemen.
Next up was the broad jump. Wills' 9-foot-5 jump was good enough to be tied for sixth among his position group.
Before the drills, Wills had his try at the 40-yard dash and he ran an unofficial 5.09 for his first attempt and an unofficial 5.04 his second time through. His 5.04 time was tied for sixth fastest out of the offensive line participants.
During his media session on Wednesday, Wills stated that he a "mauler" and enjoys the physical aspect of his game. Well, he go to showcase that strength in the on-field drills as shown here:
The big man certainly did not hurt his case to be the first offensive lineman taken in April's draft. He would become the seventh offensive lineman under coach Nick Saban since he arrived to Tuscaloosa in 2007, taken in the first round.
His counterpart on the defensive line, teammate Raekwon Davis, had his go at the bench press and he got off 24 reps of 225 pounds. His numbers were only second in his position group to Utah's Bradley Anae.
A trio of former Alabama players in the secondary wrapped up the media sessions for the combine — Xavier McKinney, Trevon Diggs, and Shyheim Carter.
McKinney, who recorded 59 solo tackles, four interceptions, forced four fumbles, and deflected five passes as a junior in 2019, spoke about his relationship with Saban.
"My freshman year it was rough," McKinney said. "I did not like he really liked me, but over the years it has become great. He has a lot of trust and faith in my ability."
NFL Network's draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah calls McKinney the "best safety" in this draft class. McKinney told reports that being at Alabama has prepared him for this moment.
"They [Alabama] have helped me in a big way," McKinney said. "The staff and support system there has been great. Just being around that great group of men has prepared me for all of this."
McKinney mentioned that he could see himself as a "good fit" in the Dallas Cowboys' system. He also revealed the had an interesting first meeting with the New England Patriots.
"That was one of the harder meetings that I had,” McKinney said. “It was a little tough, a little awkward. Just toward the end of it, I wasn’t sure if they enjoyed the meeting or if I did well. You kind of walk out of these meetings, kind of uncertain sometimes. But I think that’s just how it goes. You just try to do the best you can.”
Diggs is no stranger to the NFL spotlight, given that his brother, Stefon, is a star wideout for the Minnesota Vikings. Trevon shared some insight into the relationship he has with his brother since the death of their father, Aron, in 2008.
"He [Stefon] is like my dad, honestly," Diggs said. "He was there for me when my father passed, so he's always taken care of me. I've always asked him about everything, no matter what. At 2 o'clock in the morning, I'm asking him questions. I called him last night. I call him every day. I'm asking him about his experiences, his process, how he manages. There are a lot of things I ask him."
NFL.com analyst and former defensive back, Bucky Brooks, rates Diggs as the second best cornerback in this draft class.
Diggs was asked about the possibility of playing and covering his brother and his repsonse was great — "It would be easy."
Lastly, Carter had the chance to talk about what being apart of the fraternity that is playing in the Crimson Tide defensive backfield and what that means to him.
"The standard has been set high," Carter said. "Coming in behind guys like Minkah [Fitzpatrick], Eddie [Jackson], and Landon [Collins], they left a legacy at Alabama and that is what I tried to do. Now, I am going into the next level still trying to be myself and playing the game of football."