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CBS Sports' Rob Rang writes that Alabama redshirt senior DT Brandon Ivory "can surprise opponents with his initial surge upfield."

Ivory (6-foot-3 and 312 pounds) was named an Honorable Mention All-SEC selection last season after finishing with 24 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss. He spent most of his time at nose guard during his first campaign as a starter. "Ivory possesses the typical squatty, powerful frame of an interior defensive lineman and can surprise opponents with his initial surge upfield," Rang wrote. "He possesses only average lateral agility, balance and speed to the flanks, making him a bit of a one-trick pony as a block-eater."
Source: CBS Sports
Aug 10 - 7:39 PM

Alabama junior S Landon Collins is ranked by NFL.com as the No. 18 overall player in college football.

"A lot of people think Collins is better than a few of the Crimson Tide's past first-round safeties. It's easy to see why with his blend of speed, quickness and power on the backend," said Bryan Fischer. The athletic 6-foot, 215-pounder is Mel Kiper's No. 1 underclassman safety and projected by all as a Round 1 prospect. "He has the size to bang in the box and the athleticism to make plays from the backend," Daniel Jeremiah said. Collins was a five-star member of the 2012 recruiting class. "The best player on the nation's most consistently strong defense, Collins will step into more of a leadership role this fall. He's also the top safety in the country," Chase Goodbread said.
Source: NFL.com
Aug 10 - 6:26 PM

Alabama senior FB Jalston Fowler will be used as a traditional fullback this fall, reports CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

"Fowler signed with Alabama as a running back and has also seen time at H-back," Rang wrote. "New offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin is expected to use Fowler as a more traditional fullback in 2014 and it is a role that suits the bruiser well. Fowler showed no loss of quickness and power a season ago after missing much of 2012 with a torn ACL. Five of Fowler's seven receptions a year ago went for touchdowns." The 6-foot, 245-pound Fowler has had just 36 rushing attempts during his entire college career -- along with 47 receptions -- but he's a punishing lead blocker who has the NFL's attention.
Source: CBS Sports
Aug 10 - 6:12 PM

Alabama junior RB Kenyan Drake "doesn't look the part of a traditional running back," writes CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

"Like [teammate T.J.] Yeldon, Drake doesn't look the part of a traditional running back, sporting a relatively lean and high-cut frame," Rang wrote. "He's a naturally elusive runner with good stop-start quickness, agility and a spin move to complement impressive acceleration. Drake served as Yeldon's primary backup last season, rushing for 694 yards and eight touchdowns but he's been plagued by off-field issues (including an arrest July 5) that require further investigation from the NFL." Drake (6-foot, 201 pounds) runs a 4.52 forty. Though he'll never be a true No. 1 at Alabama, Drake will offer the NFL less wear on the tires than other comparable backs.
Source: CBS Sports
Aug 10 - 5:01 PM

Alabama redshirt junior C Ryan Kelly has the combination of "quickness, power and balance" necessary to play in the NFL, according to CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

"Kelly took over for Barrett Jones, the 2012 winner of the Rimington Trophy as the nation's best center, and performed well, showing the combination of quickness, power and balance necessary to one day join his former teammate in the NFL," Rang wrote. "Kelly missed four games last season due to recurring knee pain and has two more years of eligibility remaining." Kelly is a Rimington candidate and will help open holes for T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake this fall.
Source: CBS Sports
Aug 10 - 4:47 PM

A panel of NFL.com experts ranked Alabama junior RB T.J. Yeldon as the 20th-best player in college football.

"He runs a little upright but he can make defenders miss and he has the power to pull through tackles," Daniel Jeremiah said. Yeldon rushed for 1,235 rushing yards with 14 scores in 207 carries last year and leads a stacked Crimson Tide RB group that includes Derrick Henry, Kenyan Drake, Altee Tenpenny, Tyren Jones and Bo Scarbrough. "Yeldon is a collision runner who creates space for himself, and is at his best in big games," Charles Davis said. Added veteran analyst Gil Brandt: "He's a good straight-line back, but he benefits greatly from the line they have at Alabama. I'm not sure he's putting up those numbers if he's at Ole Miss."
Source: NFL.com
Aug 10 - 3:39 PM

Alabama senior ILB Trey DePriest projects as a Day Three selection, according to CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

With star CJ Mosley now in Baltimore, DePriest, a two-year starter coming off a career-high 65 tackle (7.5 for loss), looks poised to break out this fall. "DePriest is a classic 3-4 inside linebacker at his best attacking the line of scrimmage, shedding blockers in the hole and knocking down backs with forceful collisions," Rang wrote. "He possesses just average agility and speed for coverage responsibilities and therefore projects as a Day Three selection."
Source: CBS Sports
Aug 10 - 2:11 PM

Alabama redshirt senior OT Austin Shepherd "hasn't generated a great deal of national attention but he performed quite well taking over for D.J. Fluker at right tackle last season," notes CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

"[Shepherd] possesses a combination of size, power and surprisingly light feet," Rang wrote. "Shepherd carries too much weight around his middle and occasionally struggles with leverage to drive opponents off the ball in the running game but he shuffles well laterally and can anchor against bull rushers in pass protection." Shepherd, 6-foot-5 and 316 pounds, runs a 5.38 second forty.
Source: CBS Sports
Aug 10 - 1:24 PM

CBS Sports' Rob Rang compares Alabama junior WR to Amari Cooper to Marqise Lee, and stresses not all similarities are complimentary.

"Like Lee, Cooper has excellent quickness and balance to get a clean release against press coverage and to make defenders miss in space," Brugler wrote. "Each accelerates in a flash, generating the burst to gain separation from top cornerbacks. Both can make the spectacular reception look easy and are competitive blockers. Also like Lee, however, Cooper will freelance on his routes a bit and simply drops too many footballs." The 6-foot-1, 202-pound Cooper caught only 43 catches, 736 yards and four touchdowns in 2013 while battling injuries. "Cooper is noticeably thicker in his chest and thighs than Lee, which may make him more likely to remain durable," Rang wrote. "He'll need to be to earn the first-round pick that [Julio] Jones and [Roddy] White received."
Source: CBS Sports
Aug 9 - 11:13 PM

Alabama redshirt senior OG Arie Kouandjio is a year away from joining younger sibling Cyrus in the NFL, according to CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

"Like his younger brother, Arie certainly looks the part of an early round NFL draft pick, boasting broad shoulders, long arms and tree trunks for legs," Rang wrote. "He flashes impressive initial quickness and the power to simply shove defenders off the line of scrimmage. Kouandjio can simply maul opponents in the running game." Cyrus was the Bills' second round pick (No. 44 overall) in May. "Also like his brother, however, Arie comes with technical flaws and some medical questions," Rang wrote. "He is just as likely to be the last off the ball as the first, despite his athleticism. Kouandjio is overly reliant on his initial punch to knock defenders off balance, too often failing to latch on and keep his feet shuffling to truly mirror opponents. Further, he missed virtually all of the 2011 season with a knee injury. Though he played in 10 games in a reserve capacity in 2012, last season was Kouandjio's first as a starter."
Source: CBS Sports
Aug 9 - 10:38 PM

CBS Sports' Rob Rang thinks Alabama junior RB T.J. Yeldon "offers better lateral agility and straight-line speed than predecessors Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson."

"And if he can cure his fumbling problems," Rang added, "he could be the latest 'Bama back to join the first round party." Yeldon will enter the NFL with a little less wear on his tires than fellow elite backs, as Derrick Henry, Kenyan Drake, Altee Tenpenny, Tyren Jones and Bo Scarbrough are around to steal carries. "Yeldon has a taller, leaner build than most backs and his size may play a role in the deceptive speed and agility which makes him so successful," Rang wrote. "He's quick to the hole but shows good vision for cutback lanes, showing the ability to plant his foot into the ground and explode to ruin pursuit angles. Yeldon accelerates quickly and has good top-end speed for breakaways." Yeldon rushed for 1,235 rushing yards with 14 scores in 207 carries last year.
Source: CBS Sports
Aug 9 - 10:09 PM

Alabama junior S Landon Collins "projects as a first-round pick in large part because he should be able to handle either" free or strong safety in the NFL, observes CBS Sports' Rob Rang.

Collins finished last season with 70 tackles, two fumbles forced, two fumble recoveries and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Collins, a five-star member of the 2012 recruiting class, ranked as the sixth-best overall prospect in the nation that year. The athletic 6-foot, 215-pounder is Mel Kiper's No. 1 underclassman safety. "Collins' inexperience (and inconsistency at cornerback) led to some uncharacteristic lapses in coverage for the Tide last season," Brugler wrote. "The team missed Sunseri's instincts but Collins' athleticism and big hitting make him a better NFL prospect. Collins is a well-built athlete with light feet and fluid hips to change direction quickly. He's a forceful and reliable open-field tackler, who often rips at the ball aggressively as he's taking opponents to the ground."
Source: CBS Sports
Aug 9 - 9:40 PM

Alabama redshirt junior QB Jacob Coker was named ESPN's No. 1 breakout candidate.

Coker attempted only 36 passes last year at Florida State before transferring out of Jameis Winston's shadow. Now, he's the point man for a fellow championship contender. "He can be the best," FSU coach Jimbo Fisher, Nick Saban's former offensive coordinator at LSU, said last week. "He's talented. He's driven. He has all the tools. ... I don't say all that to put pressure on him. That's how much I think of him." Coker has NFL size and physical tools, standing 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds and wielding a high-octane right arm. With a ridiculously deep stable of running backs and Amari Cooper on the outside, Coker is a darkhorse Heisman candidate.
Aug 9 - 2:51 PM

Alabama sophomore DL A'Shawn Robinson is dealing with a sprained knee but it will not require surgery.

"It's probably going to take a few days before we get him back out there – maybe as much as a week or so," head coach Nick Saban said. Robinson has spent time as an end in an odd man front, however, he was seen predominantly playing nose tackle during open portions of spring activities. He's a very impressive talent.
Source: AL.com
Aug 8 - 8:12 AM

Alabama junior WR Amari Cooper said he needed an attitude adjustment last year.

"I think I was frustrated for a long time last year, long spans of time last year. I was having a negative attitude," he said. Cooper was down on himself for the way he allowed turf toe and other injuries to affect his playing time and production. "(It took) people talking to me, coaches talking to me, and me realizing that having a negative attitude will make anything worse," Cooper said. "It won't make anything better. ... All of them (injuries) were pretty nagging. I just felt like I couldn't be the best player I could be. But I had to realize injuries are part of football, and you have to give 100 percent of what you have when you are hurt."
Source: NFL.com
Aug 3 - 11:51 PM


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