NFL scouts watch former Alabama linebacker Nico Johnson run a 5-10-5 running drill Wednesday during
NFL scouts watch former Alabama linebacker Nico Johnson run a 5-10-5 running drill Wednesday during

Here’s the drill

Published 12:00am Thursday, March 14, 2013

NICO’S NOT SATISFIED WITH PRO DAY SHOWING

TUSCALOOSA — Nico Johnson said he could’ve done better at his first pro day on Wednesday in Alabama’s indoor practice facility.

Johnson was one of a hand full of Crimson Tide players who got the chance to show their talents on the field in front of NFL scouts from across the country.

Wednesday’s pro day was Johnson’s first time running and jumping since he had sports hernia surgery about four weeks ago. The surgery came right after he played in the 2013 Senior Bowl in Mobile.

Players spent about 30 minutes in the university’s new weight room doing the broad and vertical jumps, along with a stint on the weights.

Nico runs a pass coverage rout during his pro day Wednesday.
Nico runs a pass coverage rout during his pro day Wednesday.

Afterward, players ran through the 40-yard dash, a few cone drills and individual position work.

Johnson participated in the 40-yard dash, the cone drills and two pass coverage drills at the tail end.

“I really didn’t have much time to prepare for something like this,” Johnson said. “The next pro day is April 2, so I’ll come back and pretty much do everything over. That sports hernia kind of held me back a little bit. I felt it today.”

When asked how he ran the 40-yard dash, Johnson said he didn’t know what time he had.

“I know I can run better,” he said. “As of that, I feel like I have a whole lot to improve on. I’m a perfectionist. I want everything to be good, so I’m going to come back and bust my butt.”

Each player who ran the 40-yard dash had two opportunities to run one of the most popular drills in football. After Johnson, former Alabama stand out Robert Lester ran his time. Then Kelly Johnson ran and so forth.

Johnson’s first blemish of the day came during the pass coverage drills.

The former Alabama senior linebacker followed where the ball was shifting in the instructor’s hands and dropped the first pass thrown to him. Johnson dropped the ball once more on a similar drill, where foot work is crucial.

After a brief moment to collect himself, Johnson continued his coverage exercise and was perfect the rest of the way.

Johnson has two more opportunities to show his stuff at Alabama’s two other pro days on April 2 and 11. Alabama running back Eddie Lacy won’t try out until April 11, Johnson said.

From now until then, Johnson said he’s going to focus on his start and run for the 40-yard dash, along with his vertical and broad jumps.

“I’m hoping to improve on everything,” he said. “I’m going to approach (April 2) like a game. This is my last go-around here, so I’m going to prepare my butt off for the weeks before, and go after it after that.”

Johnson said he was thankful for the opportunity to work out in front of the scouts on Wednesday, and that it’d be “something special” to be able to play in the NFL one day.

“Not everybody gets to play in the NFL, and to get that opportunity would be something special,” he said. “I’ll take advantage of it.”

Alabama’s final pro day is April 11.

The NFL Draft is April 25-27.

 

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