When: Saturday, 1 p.m.
Where: Ladd-Peebles Stadium, Mobile
TV: NFL Network
Alabama participants: Christian Miller, Isaiah Buggs, Ross Pierschbacher
MOBILE — Offensive linemen aren’t usually the subject of attention. This week, though, former Alabama lineman Ross Pierschbacher knows he’s not flying under any radar at the Senior Bowl.
“It’s a big job interview,” Pierschbacher said. “The second you get off the plane, you’re being watched whether you know it or not. Big job interview. You have to be professional. That’s what they’re looking for, guys that are professional and want to go to work and love to play football.”
Pierschbacher hardly arrived in Mobile as an unknown. He was a four-year starter at Alabama and named a permanent team captain during the 2018 season. He started 57 games, including four straight national championship games.
There’s likely as much film for scouts to review on Pierschbacher as any other player in the 2019 NFL draft. He still felt like the Senior Bowl was an opportunity to prove something.
“I came here to compete against the best,” he said. “There are some guys who didn’t choose to come here and compete, but I wanted to be here and show what kind of player I am.”
Pierschbacher and defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs are the two Alabama players playing in this year’s Senior Bowl. Outside linebacker Christian Miller arrived in Mobile on Thursday to meet with teams but won’t practice or play as he continues to recover from the hamstring injury that ended his season against Oklahoma.
Pierschbacher will mostly play center in Mobile. That was his position at Alabama in 2018 after spending most of his first three seasons at left guard. He started briefly at right guard as well during his time at Alabama. Teams have talked to him about the value he brings with his ability to play multiple offensive line positions, though they thought his best play came at center this year.
“I think having started all three interior positions, playing the highest level possible in college, that I’m able to play all three,” Pierschbacher said. “But I think center is my best position.”
He said on Tuesday he’s met with all but a handful of NFL teams since arriving in Mobile. Teams come with a long list of questions about his home life, injury history, and his motivation for playing football.
He’s training for the draft in California with teammate Jonah Williams. Teams have also asked which teammate he would bring to the draft with him if given the choice; Williams was his first pick.
They aren’t together this week in Mobile, but that’s not the point of the Senior Bowl. For Pierschbacher and the rest of the players there, it’s one more chance to show your ability in an 11 on 11 setting before the draft.
“It’s a long week, but it really helps out a lot of guys, I think,” Pierschbacher said. “There are a lot of plusses to it. As far as getting in front of the scouts as much as you can and show them what kind of person you are, what kind of player you are, it’ll really benefit you.”
Reach Ben Jones at email@example.com or 205-722-0196.
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