TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WKRG) — All eyes were on Tuscaloosa Thursday as Alabama football hosted its annual Pro Day. Hundreds of NFL head coaches, general managers and scouts were at the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility to catch a glimpse of two potential top picks in the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft.
Heisman quarterback Bryce Young shined during his throwing session in a very quiet environment, under the watchful eyes of those in Tuscaloosa and on national television. The event was aired on SEC and NFL Networks.
The gravity of the moment was obvious. Among those in attendance, head coach Frank Reich of the Carolina Panthers who hold the number one overall pick. Young says the moment was certainly unique, but one he embraced.
“If it’s practice, you’re hearing yelling and screaming from coaches and in the game there’s a bunch of fans,” Young told the media. “So you know, it is a unique environment, but at the end of the day it’s still football. It’s still throwing routes with my guys and that’s something that I love to do.”
Young reiterated Pro Day is “still football” regardless of the “external factors.”
“This is a really fun and really cool experience,” added Young. “I always dreamed of having a Pro Day and to be able to have it and to come into fruition means a lot to me so it was a lot of fun.”
There is another potential top pick on the other side of the ball in Will Anderson Jr.. The All-American linebacker did not participate in drills Thursday. He mentioned he was content with his performance at the NFL Combine.
“It’s been super exciting,” said Anderson Jr. on the pre-draft process. “I’m super blessed and like just as a little kid growing up, seeing these coaches on TV and you actually get a chance to come talk to them and be around them and hang out with them. It is a dream come true.”
Anderson Jr. has had a busy pre-draft experience. He told the media he visited the Houston Texans and was able to re-connect with some of the “Bama family.”
Demeco Ryans, a former All-American linebacker for the Crimson Tide, is the head coach of the Texans. Linebacker Christian Harris and receiver John Metchie are also in Houston and former teammates of Anderson Jr..
“DeMeco Ryans great guy coaching staff is great,” added Anderson Jr. “All the players are great. Got a chance to catch up with Metchie and Christian Harris and they had a lot of good things to say about the program so it’s super exciting. No matter where I go or no matter what position they play me at, I’m going to go out there and do my best to give it all for the team I’m playing with.”
The 2023 NFL Draft begins April 27 in Kansas City.