Jarran Reed, Defensive Tackle

Round Projection: Mid Round 1/Late Round 1

Ceiling: Chicago Bears (#11 overall)

Floor: Denver Broncos (#31 overall)

Scheme Fit: 3-4 DE, 3-4 NT, 4-3 DT

Pro-Comparison: Bennie Logan, Philadelphia Eagles

 

Overview: This may come as a surprise to many Alabama fans, but the first Alabama player off the board could very well be Reed. His versatility along the defensive line is something that NFL teams will covet. A’Shawn Robinson got the recognition, but it was Reed who made the biggest impact on Alabama’s defensive line this past season. Like Bennie Logan for the Philadelphia Eagles, Reed is a little undersized for a 3-4 NT, but that might be his best fit. He seems like the type of player that Wade Phillips (defensive coordinator for the Broncos) would covet.

 

Reggie Ragland, Inside Linebacker

Round Projection: Mid Round 1/Late Round 1

Ceiling: Oakland Raiders (#14 overall)

Floor: Kansas City Chiefs (#28 overall)

Scheme Fit: 3-4 ILB, 4-3 MLB

Pro-Comparison: NaVorro Bowman, San Francisco 49ers

 

Overview: It’s known that Ragland didn’t have a great workout circuit this offseason. At his pro day, he seemed a little heavy and out of shape. With that said, I still don’t think it affects his draft status too much. I think Ragland could handle playing middle linebacker in a 4-3, but I think his best fit is in a 3-4 defense at the WILB position. Expect to hear Ragland’s name called during the first round on Thursday night.

 

A’Shawn Robinson, Defensive Tackle

Round Projection: Mid Round 1/Early Round 2

Ceiling: Tennessee Titans (#15 overall)

Floor: Buffalo Bills (#49 overall)

Scheme Fit: 3-4 DE, 3-4 NT, 4-3 DT

Pro-Comparison: Cedric Thorton, Dallas Cowboys

 

Overview: I’ve been hearing a wide range of opinions on Robinson since the season ended in January. I’ve heard people say he is a top 10 talent while I’ve also heard others say they view him as a late day two player. Personally, I believe he is a first round talent. It has been aggravating to see people view Nkemdiche as a guy who still has room to develop, but then turn around and say Robinson is a finished product. I think Robinson still has a lot of room to develop as a pass rusher, but a team can expect an elite two-down run stopper in the immediate term.

 

Ryan Kelly, Center

Round Projection: Mid Round 1/Late Round 1

Ceiling: Detroit Lions (#16 overall)

Floor: Arizona Cardinals (#29 overall)

Scheme Fit: ZBS, GBS, PBS

Pro-Comparison: Alex Mack, Atlanta Falcons

 

Overview: Ryan Kelly is the consensus top ranked center in this year’s draft and it’s not even close. I think Alabama fans started to get the idea of how important Kelly was to the offense when he suffered an injury versus Texas A&M and the offense proceeded to struggle for the remainder of the game. Kelly isn’t considering an elite athlete, but he more than makes up for it with his tenaciousness and technique. Outside of Reed, Kelly might be the “safest” bet as far as an Alabama player going in round one. One nugget: Kelly didn’t allow one sack the last two seasons at Alabama.

 

Cyrus Jones, Cornerback

Round Projection: Late Round 2/Early Round 3

Ceiling: New England Patriots (#60 overall)

Floor: Baltimore Ravens (#104 overall)

Scheme/Style Fit: Press CB, KR

Pro-Comparison: Jerraud Powers, Arizona Cardinals

 

Overview: Jones is going to make some team very happy. He is an instant starter at the nickel cornerback spot while also providing valuable contributions as a returner. He can make an impact in several ways, which includes being an above average run defender for a cornerback. Like Powers for the Cardinals, Jones does have size issues, but he can still bump out and play receivers on the outside as well. Look for a team like the Ravens or Patriots to see Jones’ value and take him some time on day 2.

 

Derrick Henry, Running Back

Round Projection: Late Round 2/Early Round 3

Ceiling: Dallas Cowboys (#34 overall)

Floor: Carolina Panthers (#92 overall)

Scheme Fit: ZBS, GBS, PBS

Pro-Comparison: Eddie George, Tennessee Titans (retired)

 

Overview: It’s really hard for me to evaluate Henry. I think his success in the NFL will heavily depend on which team drafts him. For a guy his size, he seems to go down too easily on first contact. He can definitely run through tackles, but there were numerous occasions where Henry was tackled by a shoe string. If he can learn to keep those knees high while maintaining his low pad level, he can be an above average running back in the NFL. It remains to be seen if he can make those corrections. Henry can be the next great running back in the NFL, or he can be the next Trent Richardson. The high variance makes drafting Henry a big risk.

 

Kenyan Drake, Running Back

Round Projection: Late Round 3/Early Round 4

Ceiling: New Orleans Saints (#78 overall)

Floor: San Francisco 49ers (#145 overall)

Scheme Fit: ZBS, GBS

Pro-Comparison: Charles Sims, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

 

Overview: There have been a lot of rumors flying around that NFL scouts prefer Drake over Derrick Henry. I don’t really buy that and I’ll tell you why: pass protection. Drake was rarely asked to pass protect while at Alabama, and his lack of experience shows. He is an explosive player who makes his living in the passing game, which is why he compares to Charles Sims. There is absolutely a place for Drake in the NFL, but I’m just not sure he will be drafted ahead of Henry. I’m sure there are some teams that have Drake higher on their draft board simply because he fits a different scheme than Henry. If Drake can improve his pass protection and add a little weight, he could, however, end up having the better career.

 

Jake Coker, Quarterback

Round Projection: Mid Round 6/Early Round 7

Ceiling: Baltimore Ravens (#182 overall)

Floor: Undrafted Free Agent

Scheme Fit: Vertical Offense

Pro-Comparison: Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

 

Overview: I’ll be interested to see how teams view Coker. He has all the physical tools, but he just doesn’t seem to have that “it” factor that NFL teams look for in quarterbacks. His arm will single-handily get him a shot with an NFL team, as Coker can make some throws that very few quarterbacks can. He is a project who will need several years to learn a team’s system well enough to feel confident executing it, but if he can be given that time, he can reward a team for spending a late round pick on him. I would think a team like the Arizona Cardinals would have a strong interest in Coker towards the end of the draft.

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