Scouting the SEC: Alabama

In the last nine months the Alabama football program had three different head coaches. Even with that this is a team with plenty of pro prospects on its roster, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

‘Bama's most prominent skill prospects left as a result of graduation or early defection to the NFL, yet they still bring back several late round prospects. Antonio Carter returns after red-shirting last season and the diminutive receiver with exceptional quickness has been very productive both as a pass catcher and punt returner. His potential at the next level lays as a fifth receiver and special teams player.

Texas Tech transfer Shaud Williams lit it up last year, leading the Tide in rushing. Another prospect with a slight build, Williams is a change of pace runner at the next level that could turn into a third down back if he becomes more prominent in the passing attack.

Guard Justin Smiley is a nice sized blocker best in confined quarters. Smiley has adequate strength at the point but is by no means a dominant lineman.

Dennis Alexander on the other hand is a behemoth that engulfs opponents and removes them from the play. After what was a promising freshman campaign, Alexander has never taken his game to the next level and for the most part rode the bench. His sheer size, power, and ability to dominate make him one to watch.

Wesley Britt is another big-bodied lineman yet a much more accomplished blocker. Britt uses great angles and hand technique to ward defenders away. Though he protects the blindside at tackle for Bama, he has the style and size that warrant a move to the strongside.

Defensive tackle Anthony Bryant looms large on the defensive line yet is also an athletic prospect. Bryant gets tremendous push up the field and buries blockers on his way to the ball. Bryant is not bad making plays laterally either. His biggest problems are poor conditioning and just plain sloppy play. Bryant must focus and dedicate himself to football to have a career at the next level as he leaves a lot on the table and always makes one think he's capable of more. Academically ineligible to compete as a freshman, Bryant could get a year back if his grades are in order.

End Nautyn Loescher is the exact opposite - a high revving defender always working to make positive plays. Loescher explodes off the snap, displays adequate range and an above average feel for the position. He's not big, in fact he may best be suited as a three-four linebacker, yet his hustle and passion will help him catch on somewhere in the NFL.

Junior Antwan Odom played like a seasoned veteran in 2002 displaying the explosion and speed necessary to continually make plays behind the line of scrimmage. Odom also does a fine job playing in space on zone blitzes. He has both size and growth potential as well as a large upside for the next level.

Brooks Daniels' recent woes have been well documented and, after initially giving thought to entering the 2003 draft, left the Bama squad for undisclosed medical reasons. Daniels was an undersized yet active linebacker who flew around the football, quickly filling the gaps against the run or getting depth on pass drops. Obviously his status is now up in the air.

Teammate Cornelius Wortham has better linebacker size and is sturdier at the point. Wortham has a weakside body but strongside speed and playing style.

Third year sophomore Freddie Roach looks like a stud on the inside and forces the action up the field yet gets solid depth on his drops. He goes sideline-to-sideline and explodes to the ball carrier. Roach lacks the great range in pass coverage and may be better in a zone or two-deep scheme that keeps him between the hashes. Whatever the case, he'll be a terrific prospect in the near future.


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