DESTIN, Fla. – NFL rookiehood is one powerful expertise.
There’s the adjustment to the velocity of the sport, new schemes to be taught, just a few totally different guidelines to be taught – and if all that weren’t sufficient, there’s the ever-present rookie razzing. Working favor errands for veterans, choosing up their stout dinner tabs and toting their shoulder pads on and off the sector in coaching camp can get outdated rapidly.
It is quite a bit for any rookie, however acquainted faces may help.
Former Alabama operating again Brian Robinson Jr., chosen by the Washington Commanders on Friday within the third spherical of the 2022 NFL Draft with the No. 98 general decide, will be part of ex-Crimson Tide defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis, whom the Commanders selected within the second spherical with the No. 47 general decide.
“I get to hyperlink up with Phil once more and we may help develop the tradition they need in that constructing, which they anticipate us to herald there anyway,” Robinson mentioned. “Me and Phil are fairly cool (pals). We got here in in the identical class, we have type of been locked in since we got here to Alabama.”
Locked in, and resilient.
Each gamers noticed little motion early of their school careers, solely to blossom as fifth-year seniors into draft prospects worthy of a Day 2 choice. At Alabama, Robinson performed behind present NFL operating backs from Damien Harris to Josh Jacobs to Najee Harris, lastly bursting by way of with 1,343 yards final season in his first and solely shot to be the starter. Like Robinson, Mathis’ taking part in time steadily elevated over his profession, nevertheless it was 2021 that carried his draft inventory, because of his improvement as a cross rusher to the tune of 9.5 sacks.
Now he and Robinson will play collectively once more, however they’re hardly the one ones.
Washington has despatched greater than its share of draft playing cards to the rostrum with an Alabama participant’s identify on it over time. Robinson and Mathis will make 5 Crimson Tide gamers on the Commanders roster, together with defensive linemen Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne, in addition to huge receiver Cam Sims.
“I am excited to go up in there and staff up with my guys and get again to it,” Robinson added. “Me and Jonathan Allen and D-Payne, I am near them as nicely. I did not get to play with Allen, however I had an opportunity to play with D-Payne and I’ve bought a pleasant relationship with him.”
Former Alabama defenders Ryan Anderson and Landon Collins logged time in Washington as nicely, although neither are nonetheless with the membership. Alabama’s profitable methods, nevertheless, haven’t precisely rubbed off on the Commanders. The membership has suffered 5 consecutive shedding seasons, and 7 in its final 9.
Nonetheless, Washington went again to the Alabama nicely on Friday, instances two.
It was that type of day for anybody making the leap from Alabama to the Sunday league. The Houston Texans paired Alabama’s different two Friday alternatives with second-round decide John Metchie III (No. 44 general) and third-round decide Christian Harris (No. 75 general). The Texans misplaced extra video games final 12 months (13) than Metchie and Harris misplaced of their total Alabama careers, so whereas Robinson hopes to foster a profitable tradition in Washington, the identical shall be badly wanted from Metchie and Harris in Houston.
There shall be a lot to be taught for all 4 rookies, and given their new groups’ struggles final season, contributions from them shall be anticipated rapidly.
However maybe just a few acquainted faces may help shorten the educational curve.
Attain Chase Goodbread @email@example.com. Comply with on Twitter @chasegoodbread.