TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Of all the Alabama players eligible for the draft, defensive end Marcell Dareus is projected to do the best in April.
His name is even entering discussions as a possible No. 1 overall pick.
The owner of that top pick, Carolina Panthers head coach Rob Rivera attended Alabama’s pro day and spoke with Dareus.
“He’s a real nice guy. He’s a real down to earth, humble kid,” Dareus said. “I really like him and he had really had nice things to say about me.”
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A midseason ankle injury that slowed him at times is no longer an issue, he said Wednesday. Dropping a little weight is the plan after tipping the scales at 319 at the pro scouting combine two weeks ago.
“I’d like to be 315, 310,” Dareus said. “I like playing a little heavy, but I can feel better, maneuver better and get into tight spaces.”
Julio on crutches
Julio Jones crutched in and out of the indoor football complex where the pro day workouts were held.
His broken right foot discovered two weeks ago in Indianapolis kept him from showing off for the scouts, so he will take his time rehabbing.
Playing through the broken bone and running a surprisingly fast 4.39-second 40-yard dash was never a question for Jones at the combine.
“I really can’t tell you how tough I am, but I can pretty much play with a lot of stuff that a lot of guys probably couldn’t play with,” Jones said.
McElroy and the Wonderlic
The legend of Greg McElroy’s Wonderlic score took another twist Wednesday afternoon.
Reports surfaced soon after the NFL pro scouting combine that Alabama’s brainy quarterback scored a 48 of a possible 50 on the cognitive ability test given in Indianapolis in late February.
Then earlier this week, Internet reports indicated the score was in fact a 43.
Either way, it’s incredibly high considering former first-round quarterback Vince Young reportedly scored a six in 2006.
“The day I left the combine I was told I got a 48 and that information kind of got leaked out,” said McElroy, a Rhodes Scholarship finalist. “I wasn’t going to turn that down or discredit it by any means. It was just false information that I thought was from a credible source. Going forward, I wish we didn’t make the 48 public.”
McElroy also faced questions Wednesday about a statement he made on a recent interview with the Dan Patrick radio show.
Regarding Auburn’s Cam Newton, McElroy told the radio audience that his experience in Alabama’s pro-style offense might give him a leg up when learning an NFL scheme.
“It’s always going to be turned into a ‘oh you think you’re better than him,’” McElroy said. “But that’s not what I said. If people look at the comments, I said I think I’m more prepared because of these reasons and those reasons being mostly because I played in a pro-style offense.”
Big names on hand
Among the 50-plus scouts on hand Wednesday was one of the NFL’s greatest quarterbacks. John Elway, the new executive vice president of football operations for the Denver Broncos attended but declined media interview requests.
Also attending was Broncos head coach John Fox, Cleveland Browns general manager Tom Heckert, San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke, Buffalo Bills general manager Buddy Nix, and Rivera of the Panthers.