Raekwon Davis, a four-star defensive end from Meridian (Miss.), told SEC Country last week that he was qualified to enroll at Alabama this summer. Davis appears to be well on his way to achieving that, especially after a recent bump in his ACT score, but he still is in the process of finishing the school year strong academically.
"He's working to be eligible," Meridian coach Calvin Hampton told AL.com. "He's on course to be eligible."
The 6'7" 320 pound behemoth that can play either on offense or defense has been on the red-flag list for being an academic casualty since he signed with the Crimson Tide. It looks like he managed to get his ACT score up to an acceptable level, so passing classes and getting a passable GPA is the only thing left in his way now. It would be huge to get this guy on campus. And no, I won't apologize for the pun.
He's absurdly strong (32-inch thighs... each!), possesses an anchor and ballast that you rarely see, and sounds like he was the alpha dog on a national championship team full of future NFL players at Alabama. When Richard Sherman says "we got some dogs" in reference to the Seahawks' defense, Reed seems like a dude that will fit in from the jump. It's likely he starts from day one, and it's going to be a lot of fun seeing Reed next to another unmovable force in Ahtyba Rubin. That's huge -- if Reed and Rubin are eating up blocks and waylay the offensive line from getting downfield, that means that Bobby Wagner, K.J. Wright, and Kam Chancellor are free to flow upfield and attack ball carriers. Big hits await.
The Seahawks value run defense maybe more than any other team -- it's where it all starts for Pete Carroll -- so this looks like a fantastic pick. I loved it immediately. John Schneider called him the best run defending interior lineman in the draft.
As many of you know, I am one of those fans that is split across the country between college and pros. So, you can imagine how ecstatic I was when Seattle traded up to draft Jarran Reed after his fall from the first round. Reed was one of my favorite players on the team the last couple of years - I loved his energy, motor, and general passion for playing the game. He will fit right in with the rest of the Seahawks defense, and looks to be a rotational contributor from day one.
Now it was real and Reed was about to be rich. A lightly recruited high school player, the NFL was a long way from Goldsboro, N.C. His senior project, however, foreshadowed this unlikely circumstance.
Before graduating from high school, Reed wrote a 20-page paper on the Ponzi schemes and other bad investments that lead to NFL stars going broke. Reed proudly says he got an A on the project. "I know a lot about it, man," he said the day before he slipped to the second round.
This is a decent article about the young Alabama NFL players being wary of becoming broke after being paid millions. Reed and Ragland give some sound advice about their plans, while A'Shawn Robinson says perhaps the most A'Shawn thing ever when it comes to saving money: "Don't spend it."
2. Alabama: Losing Cyrus Jones hurt, but the Crimson Tide have two All-SEC freshmen – Marlon Humphrey and Minkah Fitzpatrick – expected to start at the two cornerback spots. Fitzpatrick is moving over from nickel where he had 45 tackles, two sacks, two interceptions and a team-high 11 passes broken up. Eddie Jackson, the SEC co-leader with six interceptions, returns at safety where he’ll likely be joined by rising sophomore Ronnie Harrison.
ESPN has Alabama's secondary ranked second in the SEC behind LSU. Just take a moment to think about how far this secondary has come from the maligned 2013-2014 squads over the course of just one year. Humphrey and Fitzpatrick will both be entering into only their second year of starting experience, and should only improve from their stellar freshman campaigns. With the right development, this current secondary could be on the verge of producing multiple first-round NFL picks in the future...
15. Houston Texans Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama: Brian Cushing is coming off a good year, but it was the first time in the past five seasons in which he made it through all 16 games unscathed. The Texans could pair Foster as an explosive athlete to complement Cushing and last year's second-round pick Bernardrick McKinney.
And speaking of first round picks, lets just go ahead and talk about next year (way too early, I know, but this class has the chance to be legendary). Yesterday, Erik linked to a mock draft with 3 Alabama players in the first, but this has even more.
In the NFL, there are three positions that are valued as premier positions above the rest: quarterback, left tackle, and an edge rusher. Alabama has potentially elite players at two of those., if he can recover from his injury-marred sophomore year to return to his All- form as a freshman, will likely be the top offensive line prospect next year. At the edge, is already considered the best pure pass-rusher in the next draft. He'll just have to prove that he wasn't a one year wonder riding on the coattails of a great defensive line.
is perhaps the most well rounded defensive end in the nation. He's big, fast, and plays with amazing technique, whether rushing the passer or stopping the run. If they continue to progress towards elite players, all three of these men could feasibly be top ten picks next year.
Linebacker Reuben Foster is another potential first round pick. He's explosive, hits like a truck, and better in pass coverage than any linebacker since. He'll have to prove that he can mentally put everything together to lead a defense, but the athletic traits are there. The same goes for , one of the most ridiculous athletic freaks seen in college football in a long time (teammate notwithstanding).
could be a surprise, and this article has him in there. He's tall, rangy, and a ballhawk with a nose for the endzone. With another year removed from his knee surgery and another year of experience as a safety rather than corner, Jackson has the chance to improve his already impressive production over this year, and possibly work his way into the first.
Lastly, don't forget about. A redshirt sophomore, many forget that the former 5-star corner will be draft eligible this year. Though committing quite a few freshman mistakes last year, Humphrey showed flashes of brilliance, coupled with being an elite athlete in a coveted 6'1" frame. He has blazing long speed, beautiful technique in his bump-and-run, and is an elite tackler for a cornerback. Any teams that look for great press corners, like Atlanta, Seattle, or Jacksonville, could fall in love with him.