Alabama Football: Medical evaluations matter at NFL Combine

(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)
(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Alabama football’s best prospects have injury concerns.

Usually, the NFL Combine adds value for Alabama football players because of athletic testing. Star players run incredible 40 times or show agility in three-cone drills. This year, the Tide’s best players will be worried about a facet of the Combine that happens behind closed doors.

Plenty of the Tide’s best players were unable to finish the season due to injuries, and those will matter in the NFL as well. Jameson Williams is a prime example. Williams is a first-round prospect when he is healthy, but he can give NFL teams an update on how his rehabilitation is going.

John Metchie can also give an update. While he may not be able to do athletic testing, he can at least go through the medical evaluation process. Josh Jobe and Jalyn Armour-Davis both ended their seasons early, and they need a medical clearance to go on Day 2 in the NFL Draft.

Even players who finished the season need medical evaluations. LaBryan Ray had nagging injuries throughout his career with Alabama football, and Christian Harris had to miss some time with injuries as well. If they can prove that previous injuries won’t impact their ability to contribute in the NFL, they will boost their draft status.

This doesn’t mean that testing won’t matter. Players like Slade Bolden can make some money this week if they show more speed or athleticism than expected. Players can also prove that they are ready for the NFL when they interview with teams.

Every facet of the NFL Combine matters. It’s just that the medical evaluations will matter more for some of Alabama football’s best players. With Evan Neal waiting for his Pro Day to athletically test, the best players won’t do their best work on the field.

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We’ll have a better idea of what to expect after the NFL Combine, but look for updates on medical evaluations with your favorite Alabama football players.