Pro Day II: The dash for cash
TUSCALOOSA | Trent Richardson, Mark Barron and Courtney Upshaw probably each made a pile of money Thursday, but it will be at least another month before any of them see a dime of it.
The University of Alabama trio held a Pro Day workout at the Crimson Tide's indoor athletic facility for dozens of NFL coaches and scouts, and although each were already projected to be drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft, their performances Thursday did nothing to hurt their standing.
Unofficial times for Richardson's two 40-yard dashes, reported on ESPNU, were both 4.58, while NFL Network's Bucky Brooks had the Crimson Tide's Heisman Trophy finalist at just under 4.5. He also bench pressed 225 pounds 25 times.
"I think he's probably the best running back in the draft this year. Probably one of the best players in the draft. I think that's based on his performance and his production and his consistency he's played with," said UA coach Nick Saban. "The personal characteristics he has in terms of psychological disposition to be successful, which is really A-plus. I know there are some people that have some concerns about taking a running back high but with the salary cap changes in the rookie pool, you're not investing as much in a guy as you used to."
Richardson certainly left an impression on Cleveland Browns running backs coach Gary Brown, who was knocked on his back by Richardson during a drill despite the benefit of holding a tackling dummy.
"(UA assistant coach Burton) Burns didn't try to go head up with us too many times when we were in practice, or we probably would have been trying to push them over too," Richardson said. "Any time someone's in my way, I'm going to try to knock them over. Either they're going to hit me or I'm going to hit them."
Richardson said he has private workouts scheduled with three NFL clubs before the draft -- the Cleveland Browns, the St. Louis Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Upshaw's 40-yard dash times were reported between 475 and 4.78, while Barron turned in an unofficial time of 4.54. Barron recorded a broad jump of 10'2", while Upshaw turned in a 9'1".
Upshaw was unhappy with his weight of 279 pounds, slightly heavier than the 272 he weighed at the Senior Bowl roughly two months ago. Barron, according to Saban, worked out at "85 to 90 percent" health after recovering from hernia surgery.
Reach Chase Goodbread at email@example.com or at 205-722-0196.
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