Glen Coffee: Why Running To NFL a Smart Move

DScotCorrespondent IJanuary 9, 2009

Alabama running back Glen Coffee has decided to forego his senior season and enter the NFL draft.

On the surface, it looks as if this is the case of another slightly above average player blinded by the visions of dollar signs in his eyes.

Here are five reasons why this is not the case, and the move is probably a good one for Coffee.

1. Much like the entire Alabama team, Coffee maxed out his potential this season.  He quietly had the second best rushing season in Alabama football history, finishing with 1,383 yards and 10 touchdowns. Granted, his single season accomplishment is a little skewed because he played 14 games, but he still averaged a very respectable 5.9 yards per carry.

2. The irresistible force better known as the Alabama offensive line is breaking up. With the early exit of Andre Smith, as well as the graduation of Andre Caldwell and Marlon Davis, the Crimson Tide offensive line will be a question mark to begin 2009. If the Sugar Bowl performance is any indication of what to expect from the unit at all, then Coffee may be worried that the crater-sized holes he enjoyed in 2008 might tighten up a great deal next season.

3. Even if the offensive line does come together, Coffee won’t match this year’s numbers next season.  With the continued improvement of Mark Ingram, the expected arrival of the nation’s No. 2 rated running back, as well as a stable of halfbacks already on campus, it is unlikely Coffee will come close to duplicating 2008’s success. He is wise to strike while the iron is hot.

4. Coffee only has so many carries in him. This season was the first season in his Alabama career that he carried the ball more than 130 times.  Due to either injury or suspension, he has missed significant playing time during his time at the Capstone. Since a running back only has so many carries in him anyway, why not get paid to take the punishment in the NFL an extra year or two?

5. Coffee is better than you think. Most draft gurus expect Coffee to be a fourth or fifth round pick at best. Though that may still be the case come April, in the meantime I think he has a chance to significantly improve his stock. I expect he will have a good combine.  

He runs more than someone with his 198-pound figure would he’s a lot faster than people give him credit for.  He broke off runs of 87 and 78 yards this season and was only stopped by the back of the end zone. There’s not a lot of wiggle in his game. He’s a one-cut-and-go guy, which translates well in the NFL.

Call me a little biased as an Alabama fan, but I do think whichever team drafts Glen Coffee will not regret the pick. He’s the kind of back that teams love to draft in the later rounds. Why?

They don’t have to pay first round money to an NFL running back, which is an asset that depreciates faster than a 1983 Chevy Blazer.  

I’m not saying Glen Coffee is the next coming of Terrell Davis, Priest Holmes, or Willie Parker, but he will make a roster, and he will get carries in the NFL next year. I mean, if Ken Darby can stick with a team…