Stuart McNair

Alabama quarterback Jacob Coker discusses his work in Pro Day

Alabama Coach Nick Saban is high on chances of quarterback Jacob Coker for NFL

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Alabama hosted its Pro Day event with scouts from all 32 National Football League teams watching the 19 players from the Crimson Tide’s 2015 national championship team go through their paces in anticipation of this year’s NFL draft.


Interest seemed to center on a few players, particularly quarterback Jacob Coker. Coker, who was MVP in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game and the starting quarterback in 14 victories in Bama’s national championship season, was not invited to the recent NFL combine, but Alabama Coach Nick Saban thinks his former quarterback has what it takes to play professionally.


Saban said, “I think Jake has got a lot of upside. Jake only has one year when he really played and was ‘The Man.’ I think one reason Jake didn’t get invited to the combine wasn’t because of Jake, I think it is because there were 97 juniors who came out. I think that’s an issue and a problem we need to address with the NFL because it’s unfair to some of the seniors because all those guys (juniors) get invited and some of them are not ranked as high as some of the seniors who they know more about.


“But I think Jake is going to do just fine. I think he’s going to need to continue to develop. He’s got a great arm who can make all the throws. For his size he is very athletic, and I think a lot of people are going to like that.”


Following his workout Wednesday, Coker (6-5, 232) said, "Did some good things, did some bad things. I know we were pretty clean on the intermediate routes and there were a few slip-ups on the deep balls that I wish I had back. But it was fun throwing to these guys, and I wish we could do it again."


He didn’t have a full complement of receivers, but didn’t let it bother him. He said, “We had some guys thrown in in some random places and some guys pull some hamstrings or couldn't come out and throw with us. But I missed some throws I should've hit, but it just is what it is."


One “receiver” impressed Coker as Heisman Trophy winning tailback Derrick Henry ran some routes. “It looked pretty good to me,” Coker said. “I don't know about you, but, man, it looked pretty dang good to me."


As for whether he “proved” anything to the NFL crowd, Coker said, "I just tried to go out there out there and throw it hard and throw it where it's supposed to be and hopefully they liked what they saw. We'll see what happens.”


He has been working with quarterbacks coach David Morris in his hometown of Mobile and said that he had been working on his footwork and throwing motion. “I feel like my feet are pretty quick and I tried to come out here and make them as quick as possible. Hopefully the right way. But the motion was definitely something I've been working on. It's just one of those things that we really focused on and hopefully I got better. And I think I have. Hopefully they see it."


He said the work with Morris had been “huge. He's coach and a good friend of mine so I can't put a price on it, a value on it. He's really helped me out a lot."

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