Brooks: Richardson, Barron, Upshaw have bright futures

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Here are a few thoughts after checking out the action at Alabama’s pro day Thursday:

1. Trent Richardson is a special running back with outstanding feet and movement skills.

He is explosive and powerful when changing directions. Richardson is just an average pass-catcher and needs to work on running routes, but he is a quick learner who would be an excellent every-down back. For a comparable pro player, look to Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew.

2. Mark Barron will be a very good pro safety. He is smart and versatile, and can play deep in the middle or in the box. There is no problem with his ability to play in space. He could also play as a “big” nickel in sub packages. He is fast enough (unofficial 4.55 in the 40-yard dash) and has the tools to be a hybrid-type playmaker. He should go in the middle of the first round.

3. Linebacker Courtney Upshaw was heavier (279 pounds) than he was at the NFL Scouting Combine (272). He is rugged but not explosive and is uncomfortable playing in space, though he does play well on tape. He has demonstrated a good football IQ and has a knack for making plays. He is not a top-10 talent, but should go in the first round. He will make an impact as a rookie in the NFL.

Bucky Brooks

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