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Alabama WR Amari Cooper offers the Raiders "a good chance to double down" on a "high-floor" prospect after plucking Khalil Mack last year, postulates ESPN's Mel Kiper.

The Raiders pick No. 4, right in the range of where Cooper is expected to go. As you know, the prospect has been a popular mock draft destination in Oakland's slot. "He's sneaky explosive, is a brilliant route runner and has 'work ethic' tied to his name as much or more than any other great player in the draft," Kiper wrote. "I think he's your best bet to be a No. 1 wide receiver against seasoned NFL defensive backs early in his career as any wideout in this draft, and that's what Oakland needs." The venerable analyst sees the odds of this pairing coming to fruition as "pretty good": "Maybe they prefer Kevin White, but Cooper makes sense and deserves to land in this range."
Mar 31 - 1:32 AM

"Defenses knew he was coming, but there was nothing they could do," ESPN's Mel Kiper noted of Alabama WR Amari Cooper.

"Man him. Zone him. Bracket him. Press him. Do whatever you want -- yet Cooper has shown he can get open with short-area quickness, strength, and speed out of his breaks and over the top. He also recognizes what defenses are trying to do to him," Kiper wrote. "This guy caught 84 more passes than the next guy on his team last year. We've also seen in Cooper's workouts that concerns about his speed aren't just unfounded; Cooper is one of the fastest WR prospects in this draft." Cooper is ticketed for the top 10, and could go as high as No. 4 to the Raiders. He's ranked by Kiper and Todd McShay as the best WR in the draft, and he checks in as Scouts Inc.'s No. 3 overall player.
Mar 30 - 9:29 PM

Football Outsiders' Playmaker Score, a system for projecting wide receivers, ranks Alabama WR Amari Cooper as the class' best receiver.

When asked for similar historical prospects, the machine brought back Marvin Harrison and A.J. Green, nice company indeed. "Unlike many wide receiver prospects in this year's draft, Cooper did not play in the spread, and he faced some of the toughest defenses in the country," wrote FO's Nathan Forster. "Historically, Cooper probably best compares to Indianapolis Colts great Marvin Harrison as a prospect; Cooper was not quite as dominant as Harrison was at Syracuse, but the mid-'90s Big East wasn't a match for today's SEC, either." Cooper, who collected 124 receptions for 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns last season, is ranked by Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay as the best WR in the draft, and he checks in as Scouts Inc.'s No. 3 overall player.
Mar 29 - 4:41 PM

Alabama redshirt sophomore DL Jon Taylor, a Georgia transfer, was arrested on domestic violence III and criminal mischief charges.

The victim reportedly was Taylor's girlfriend and had "minor injuries to her neck from the assault," along with a hole being punched in the wall. Taylor was dismissed from Georgia after an aggravated assault/family violence charge and arrest, which followed a previous "theft by deception" charge.
Source: USA Today
Mar 29 - 9:40 AM

Alabama FS/CB Geno Smith was arrested for a DUI early Saturday morning, his second such arrest.

He was arrested and charged for a DUI in 2013 and was suspended for the season opener. Smith was expected to take over the school's starting free safety spot with Nick Perry departing for the NFL.
Source: AL.com
Mar 28 - 10:47 AM

NFL Media analyst Lance Zierlein calls Alabama S Landon Collins "a tempo-setter who can energize a defense with his downhill, aggressive style."

"He is at his best when he can attack rather than sit back in coverage and process," Zierlein wrote. "Collins' tackling, pursuit angles and speed to the sideline can help a defense shut down rushing attacks, but his inconsistencies in coverage will be tested by NFL offenses." The analyst compares Collins to Johnathan Cyprien. To Zierlein's point about aggresion, Collins finished with 103 tackles in 2014. As his colleague Charles Davis pointed out earlier today, Collins has "has more range than anticipated" and is "not just a box safety."
Source: NFL.com
Mar 27 - 9:53 PM

NFL Media analyst Charles Davis notes that Alabama S Landon Collins "has more range than anticipated."

"Went back and watched Alabama S Landon Collins in coverage and as I felt before, he has more range than anticipated. Not just a box Safety to me," Davis tweeted. The Alabama prospect is a versatile back-end defender, but should make his money playing close to the line of scrimmage. Collins is an explosive downhill tackler and racked up 103 tackles and three interceptions in 2014. Collins will be the first safety off the board in this year's draft.
Mar 27 - 2:40 PM

The Panthers are putting Alabama S Landon Collins through a private workout on Tuesday.

Collins has been mentioned with teams much higher up on the draft list, but recent buzz has linked him solely to a strong safety role. Due to Alabama's ambitious coverage, Collins played close to the line of scrimmage, in split safety looks and even rotated to a single high alignment. We wonder if teams might use Collins similar to what the Cardinals are doing with Deone Bucannon.
Mar 24 - 10:12 AM

Alabama WR Amari Cooper is the class' safest offensive player, according to NFL Media.

"Cooper comes from a pro-style offense and has experience running every sort of pass route he could be asked to run in the NFL," wrote College Football 24/7 writer Chase Goodbread. "He has the speed to get open deep downfield, the quickness to make the first tackler miss on screens and shorter throws, and the size and toughness to play in the middle of the field. Cooper also has as soft a pair of hands as there is in the draft. His work ethic and off-field behavior is unquestioned. "
Source: NFL.com
Mar 19 - 6:14 PM

NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks notes that several scouts/directors believe Alabama RB T.J. Yeldon is the "undervalued" RB in this years' class.

The 6-foot-2, 221-pound Yeldon has quietly lead Alabama in rushing for the second season in a row, and has also been a weapon on third-down in the passing game. Whether catching passes or providing sound pass-protection, Yeldon already has a leg up on some of his competition, with ability to block. Brooks added in another tweet, that multiple evaluators compared Yeldon's "playing style" (skills and traits) to "Pro Bowl RB Le'Veon Bell."
Mar 18 - 2:06 PM

There is a "bit of buzz" Alabama's T.J. Yeldon could be the second RB selected in the 2015 draft, according to Josh Norris.

Melvin Gordon is often linked in the same tier as Todd Gurley, but we have consistently said the latter is in a class of his own. Gordon will likely be viewed in the same group as Yeldon, Jay Ajayi, Ameer Abdullah and others. Yeldon is a one gear runner but consistently falls forward, is smooth and flashes explosion when the goal line is in sight.
Mar 18 - 10:03 AM

For now, Alabama HC Nick Saban plans to have true freshman RB Bo Scarbrough focus solely on the running back position, according to Al.com's Matt Zenitz.

"We're playing Bo right now at running back, and the one thing we try to do with young players is not move them around and try to teach them a bunch of different positions," Alabama HC Nick Saban said, later adding, "With Bo, we're going to try to teach him one thing, and that's how to play tailback right now." Initially, Nick Saban's plan was to utilize Scarbrough's diverse skill-set, and have the former five-star prospect line up and contribute in different spots. The 6-foot-2,235-pound freshman, shows a ton of explosiveness and is the definition of a downhill runner.
Source: Al.com
Mar 17 - 2:49 PM

Alabama QB/RB/WR Blake Sims is "an undersized, move quarterback who can make plays outside of the pocket," notes NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein.

"He has enough arm to threaten defenses over the top," Zierlein wrote. "Though up and down at times, Sims has demonstrated enough potential to warrant a look as an NFL backup in a draft class sorely lacking in quarterback prospects." The analyst ranks Sims as the seventh-best QB in the class, ahead of some popular developmental prospects such as Taylor Heinicke and Bryan Bennett.
Source: NFL.com
Mar 16 - 9:26 PM

New York Jets GM Mike Maccagnan and New York Giants GM Jerry Reese were on hand at Alabama's pro day.

"Probably checking out WR Amari Cooper," ESPN NFL Nation reporter Rich Cimini noted of Maccagnan. ESPN colleague Greg Ostendorf added that the Oakland Raiders (No. 4), Jets (No. 6) and Giants (No. 9) have all been linked to Cooper. If Marcus Mariota goes No. 2, and the Raiders take Kevin White at No. 4, Cooper would make all sorts of sense for the Jets. "I don't really care who I play for," Cooper said. "I just want to play ball. I respect every NFL team because it was a dream I've had since I was a little kid. I don't care who I play for." The 6-foot-1, 198-pound Cooper collected 124 receptions for 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns last season. "First of all, he's a very talented guy," Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban said. "He's got great quickness, great speed. He's got really good size, very good hands and he's got some running ability after the catch."
Source: ESPN.com
Mar 16 - 12:13 AM

NFL Media's Bucky Brooks believes NFL coaches prefer Alabama WR Amari Cooper while scouts prefer WVU's Kevin White.

"The different views make sense because Scouts/GMs think long-term potential; coaches are more inclined to like guys who are ready from Day 1," Brooks tweeted. We think both will make immediate impacts, but perhaps in different ways. White's tape and athleticism might lead many to conclude is a receiver who wins in the big and small games, while Cooper is much more of a movement receiver who makes his impact with separation and yards after catch skills.
Mar 15 - 10:19 AM


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