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ESPN's Alex Scarborough believes the biggest question facing Alabama for 2017 will be their offense.

We concur. The Tide shuffled through three offensive coordinators (Lane Kiffin, Steve Sarkisian, just-hired Brian Daboll) in the space of a little over a month this winter. Writes Scarborough, "Now it's former Patriots assistant Brian Daboll at the helm, tasked with managing a crowded backfield and a young quarterback whose freshman season was wildly successful overall yet ended on a sour note." We are fascinated to see just how gunslinger Jalen Hurts develops this offseason -- he flashed major upside as a runner in 2016, but, at times, struggled to the extreme in the passing game. Whether Bama can make yet another run toward the championship could come down to whether Hurts is able to take a definitive step forward. It should be remembered that Hurts was considered a longshot to win the starting gig last spring and summer, whereas this time around, Daboll and company will have months to gear the offense around the dynamic youngster.
Source: ESPN.com
Feb 25 - 2:31 PM

Scout.com notes that Alabama freshman OLB Chris Allen "played linebacker and defensive end in high school and he may mix them up in college too."

Scout passes along that Allen has potential as a defensive hybrid due to his "combination of size, speed, and athleticism." The outlet writes that the 6-foot-5, 234-pounder plays with "a lot of fire." Tide HC Nick Saban reached into LSU's backyard to grab the Baton Rouge native, who ranked as Scout's No. 74 overall prospect in the 2017 cycle.
Source: Scout.com
Feb 23 - 7:16 PM

Pro Football Focus compared Alabama DL Jonathan Allen to New York Jets DL Sheldon Richardson.

"Allen has the potential to produce in a similar way [to Richardson]," explains the PFF analysis team, "providing a disruptive, playmaking presence against the run while creating pressure from the interior." The outlet passes along that the 6-foot-3, 291-pound Lombardi Award winner's "best fit on early downs may be as a base defensive end that is capable of setting a strong edge in the run game and creating mismatches against tight ends while working inside in nickel and dime situations." While Texas A&M universe-wrecker Myles Garrett is being viewed as the front-runner to be drafted first overall, Allen could receive some dark horse love from the Browns. Even if he can't ultimately climb the mountain to draft pole position, it would be a surprise if he sat around for long come Draft Day.
Feb 21 - 10:56 PM

Pro Football Focus compared Alabama LB Reuben Foster to former 49ers LB Patrick Willis.

"[Foster] has the top-end athleticism that Willis had," writes the PFF analysis team, "which allows him to play sideline-to-sideline and cover running backs, tight ends and slot receivers, as well as the strength and physicality needed to consistently take on and beat blocks on inside runs." Unfortunately, the standout Bama 'backer recently underwent surgery on his right shoulder (to repair the rotator cuff) and will not be a testing participant at next week's NFL Scouting Combine. A potential top-10 pick come this spring's draft, PFF views Foster as "among the elite players in this draft class." The outlet passes along that the 6-foot-1, 240-pounder led all FBS linebackers in run-stop percentage this past season.
Feb 21 - 7:10 PM

Alabama hired Philadelphia Eagles director of personnel operations Joe Pannunzio as tight ends and special teams coach.

The 57-year old Pannunzio was the Tide's director of football operations from 2011 to 2014. Pannunzio previously coached tight ends and special teams as a combination at TCU (1990-91), Minnesota (1992-94), Ole Miss (1995-98), Auburn (1999) and Miami (2006-10). He was the head coach at Murray State from 2000 to 2005. Pannunzio replaces Mario Cristobal as TE coach.
Source: AL.com
Feb 20 - 5:49 PM

In a Walter Football poll asking six NFL teams whether Alabama T Cam Robinson will slide into the late first-round, three said yes and three said no.

The three that answered in the affirmative are concerned that Robinson's "inconsistencies from his junior season could cause him to slide." They were also concerned that Robinson could slide due to off-the-field concerns, namely a gun arrest roughly a year ago (the charges were eventually dropped). On the other side of the debate, one team picking in the early teens didn't believe Robinson would be available when they got on the clock. A personnel director of a playoff team said: "For selfish reasons, I would love it if he did slide and was an option for us, but I just don't think it will happen." A director of college scouting for an AFC team picking in the top-20 said his team has a top-15 grade on Robinson as a Russell Okung- or Ryan Clady-type left tackle. "He is top 15 easily. Who else will go before? Bolles? Ramczyk? Not even close."
Feb 20 - 3:03 PM

NFL Draft analysts Charlie Campbell and Eric Galko have both written about off-field issues that could drop Alabama edge rusher Tim Williams into the second-round.

Campbell has written that "team sources believe that Williams could easily slip to the second day of the draft" because Williams has substance abuse issues "in the realm of Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy Gregory." Galko, meanwhile, wrote recently that he's "been told [that] alcohol abuse in the offseason leads the character concerns for Williams." Williams was arrested in September on marijuana and gun charges.
Feb 20 - 2:33 PM

According to multiple reports, Alabama will hire New England Patriots tight ends coach Brian Daboll as OC.

Daboll has served as an NFL offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns (2009-10), Miami Dolphins (2011) and Kansas City Chiefs (2012). The 41-year-old worked with the Patriots from 2000-2006 before returning to New England in 2013. Prior to the title game, Alabama promoted Steve Sarkisian to offensive coordinator to replace Lane Kiffin, who accepted the FAU HC gig. Sark recently left to become the Falcons' OC.
Source: CBS Boston
Feb 16 - 2:13 PM

Alabama four-star 2018 verbal WR Xavier Williams said that he was "shocked" by the departures of Tide assistants Mario Cristobal and Billy Napier.

While Alabama has gone through a number of staff changes this offseason, for the time being, Williams remains committed to the Tide. He has seen additional interest from the likes of Miami and Florida in the early going. The 6-foot, 180-pounder ranks as Scout.com's No. 86 overall prospect in the 2018 class. ESPN's Gerry Hamilton has referred to him as a "natural plucker" of the football.
Source: Scout.com
Feb 14 - 10:15 PM

ESPN's Todd McShay writes that Alabama TE O.J. Howard "should thrive in a more pass-heavy NFL system."

No arguments from us. Howard was criminally underutilized at Alabama. McShay would like to see him tighten up his routes, but is otherwise supremely high on the athletically gifted tight end. The analyst checks him into his latest Big Board at a lofty No. 10, writing that the 6-foot-6, 251-pounder "has a lot of upside as a big-play threat in the NFL." Howard and Miami TE David Njoku figure to be the first two tight ends off the board in some order. For reference's sake, McShay slots Njoku onto his Big Board at No. 16.
Feb 14 - 8:54 PM

FOX Sports' Bruce Feldman reports that Alabama will interview New England Patriots TE coach Brian Daboll for their open offensive-coordinating position.

Daboll, 41, has experience as an offensive coordinator at the NFL level, having served as OC for the Chiefs, Browns and Dolphins. He previously worked under Tide HC Nick Saban from 1998-1999, when Saban was at Michigan State. As for other options to fill in the vacancy left behind by Steve Sarkisian's jump to Atlanta, Feldman passes along that former Texans OC George Godsey has "emerged as a strong candidate." Feldman also name-checks current Alabama assistant Mike Locksley and current UCLA OC Jedd Fisch as possible Sarkisian replacements.
Source: FOX Sports
Feb 14 - 4:34 PM

NFL Network's Mike Mayock ranks Alabama's Cam Robinson as the No. 2 interior offensive lineman in the 2017 class.

This is the first time we have seen Robinson listed as an interior lineman and not a tackle. We have only seen Robinson play left tackle throughout his college career, so any other position is a complete projection. In terms of a round or pick prediction, Robinson's evaluation is very much in the air.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 14 - 11:39 AM

Colts beat writer Zak Keefer believes the No. 1 job of GM Chris Ballard is to add an edge rusher this offseason.

Luckily this is one of the better pass rushing classes in some time. The Colts will flip a coin to determine the No. 14 pick with the Philadelphia Eagles (via the Vikings). The Colts have missed on a number of edge rushers in recent years, both in free agency and in the draft. We think Alabama's Tim Williams would be an outstanding fit, but there is information teams must weigh, including a suspension for a half after an arrest. His game against the run is underrated.
Source: Indy Star
Feb 14 - 10:20 AM

Alabama junior OL Lester Cotton was arrested Friday on possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia charges.

Police found marijuana and paraphernalia in Cotton's vehicle following a traffic stop. Cotton was the starting left guard to open the year. He also started three games at right guard before moving into a reserve role behind Jonah Williams at right tackle. The Crimson Tide haven't yet commented on Cotton's legal troubles.
Feb 13 - 1:59 PM

Alabama LB Reuben Foster recently had surgery on his right shoulder to repair a rotator cuff, according to ESPN's Adam Caplan.

Caplan said teams have already been informed of the surgery. Caplan added Foster's timetable is four months. This eliminates him from NFL Combine activities. It also feeds into the "Alabama worn down prospects" label. Foster is an absolute missile at the second level who will stay on the field for all three downs. He appears to be a top 10 pick.
Feb 13 - 11:37 AM


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