Predicting Former Tide Players' 2014 NFL Combine Performance

Sanjay KirpalaniNational Recruiting AnalystFebruary 18, 2014

Predicting Former Tide Players' 2014 NFL Combine Performance

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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    No school has dominated the NFL draft like Alabama has in the last four years, and that trend is a safe bet to continue with 12 former Tide stars heading to the NFL Combine.

    Nick Saban’s program has become a hot spot for NFL scouts and personnel, and this year’s draft class is headlined by potential first-round picks such as C.J. Mosley, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Cyrus Kouandjio.

    A handful of players are nursing injuries and may choose to skip the drills in favor of doing them at Alabama's pro day, while others who are working out hope to boost their respective draft stocks. 

    How will the dozen former Tide standouts headed to Indianapolis fare in the 2014 NFL Combine?

    *Players listed in alphabetical order

Deion Belue

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    Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

    After going through the JUCO ranks before arriving at Alabama, Deion Belue went on to become a two-year starter for the Tide.

    The 5’11”, 183-pounder recorded 60 tackles, 10 pass breakups and three interceptions in his career at the Capstone.

    Belue, who is currently projected as a third-day pick, could use a strong combine to negate questions about his durability at the next level.

    Predictions

    40-yard Dash: 4.5 seconds

    Bench Press: 15 reps

    Vertical Jump: 34 inches

    Broad Jump: 10 feet, 1 inch

    3-Cone Drill: 6.99 seconds

    20-yard Shuttle: 4.15 seconds

    60-yard Shuttle: N/A

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

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    Dave Martin/Associated Press

    Despite an injury-plagued junior season, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix enters the 2014 NFL draft regarded as the new prototype safety that the NFL covets, according to Rob Rang of CBS Sports.

    The 6’1”, 208-pounder is the latest in a long line of elite safeties produced by Saban, and he’s been the quarterback of the Tide’s defense for most of the last two years.

    Clinton-Dix has the type of range necessary to be an elite center fielder at the next level, yet he’s still an asset in run support as evidenced by his 88 tackles over the last two seasons.

    Predictions

    40-yard Dash: 4.52 seconds

    Bench Press: 20 reps

    Vertical Jump: 36 inches

    Broad Jump: 10 feet, 4 inches

    3-Cone Drill: 6.99 seconds

    20-yard Shuttle: 4.07 seconds

    60-yard Shuttle: N/A

Adrian Hubbard

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    The case can be made that Adrian Hubbard has the most to gain of the Alabama contingent headed to Lucas Oil Stadium.

    That’s because despite his impressive 6’6”, 252-pound frame, Hubbard was a largely inconsistent figure during his college career.

    If Hubbard—who is projected as a fourth-round pick by CBS Sports—can put up strong numbers this weekend and display the type of athleticism he’s flashed in stretches at Alabama, he has a chance to work himself up to a second-day pick.

    Predictions

    40-yard Dash: 4.7 seconds

    Bench Press: 25 reps

    Vertical Jump: 34 inches

    Broad Jump: 9 feet, 10 inch

    3-Cone Drill: 6.99 seconds

    20-yard Shuttle: 4.29 seconds

    60-yard Shuttle: N/A

Cyrus Kouandjio

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    Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

    Similar to Hubbard, left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio is a prospect who heads into the draft circuit with more questions than answers in regard to his draft stock.

    A subpar junior season has seen him go from being a sure fire top-10 selection before the season to a fringe first-round prospect and the fifth best offensive tackle according to CBS Sports.

    The 6’5”, 310-pounder could use a strong combine performance to make up ground on players such as Auburn’s Greg Robinson and Notre Dame’s Zack Martin who may have leapfrogged him on the draft boards of many teams.

    Predictions

    40-yard Dash: 5.0 seconds

    Bench Press: 31 reps

    Vertical Jump: 30 inches

    Broad Jump: 9 feet, 5 inches

    3-Cone Drill: 7.33 seconds

    20-yard Shuttle: 4.52 seconds

    60-yard Shuttle: N/A

Cody Mandell

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    Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

    Cody Mandell is one of the rare punters who gets a chance to go to the combine.

    Mandell had a phenomenal senior season averaging just over 47 yards per punt, a mark that would have been good for third best nationally if he had enough attempts to qualify.

    The 6’4”, 213-pounder is a decent athlete who should perform well enough to maintain a shot at being selected in the later rounds of the draft or keep his value as an undrafted free agent.

    Predictions

    40-yard Dash: 5.0 seconds

    Bench Press: N/A

    Vertical Jump: N/A

    Broad Jump: N/A

    3-Cone Drill: N/A

    20-yard Shuttle: N/A

    60-yard Shuttle: N/A

AJ McCarron

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    Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

    Regardless of whether or not he throws, which is still up in the air according to Eric Edholm of Yahoo! Sports, AJ McCarron is likely to be one of the more popular players making his way to Indianapolis.

    After skipping the Senior Bowl, scouts and NFL personnel are anxious to get a glimpse of McCarron in a highly competitive environment such as the combine.

    The ultimate decision on whether or not he decides to throw will be the biggest newsworthy item surrounding his stock. However, if he participates in any of the drills, it will give teams an indication of exactly where he stands relative to the other quarterback prospects in this draft class.

    Predictions

    40-yard Dash: 4.9 seconds

    Bench Press: N/A

    Vertical Jump: 27 inches

    Broad Jump: 9 feet, 3 inches

    3-Cone Drill: 7.3 seconds

    20-yard Shuttle: 4.5 seconds

    60-yard Shuttle: N/A

C.J. Mosley

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    Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

    Linebacker C.J. Mosley looks to continue Alabama’s recent trend of sending dominant linebackers to the NFL.

    The two-time All-American performer is one of the top linebackers available in this class, and a solid first-round projection by analysts such as B/R’s Matt Miller.

    Mosley is a rare linebacker who thrives in winning coverage matchups in space against running backs, receivers and tight ends. That type of athleticism makes players of his caliber a premium in this draft cycle.

    Predictions

    40-yard Dash: 4.5 seconds

    Bench Press: 25 reps

    Vertical Jump: 37 inches

    Broad Jump: 10 feet, 6 inches

    3-Cone Drill: 6.9 seconds

    20-yard Shuttle: 4.25 seconds

    60-yard Shuttle: 11.32 seconds

Kevin Norwood

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    After a solid four-year career in Tuscaloosa, Kevin Norwood got off to a great start in the draft circuit by claiming Most Outstanding Player honors for the South squad at the Senior Bowl, as noted by Mark Inabinett of AL.com.

    At 6’2”, 195 pounds, Norwood is a bigger receiver who excels at grasping the intricacies of the position such as blocking and getting separation in and out of his breaks.

    The combine is a chance for him to display that he has the athleticism necessary to become a productive receiver at the next level.

    Predictions

    40-yard Dash: 4.45 seconds

    Bench Press: 18 reps

    Vertical Jump: 37 inches

    Broad Jump: 10 feet, 5 inches

    3-Cone Drill: 6.76 seconds

    20-yard Shuttle: 4.07 seconds

    60-yard Shuttle: 11.31 seconds

Jeoffrey Pagan

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    Sean Gardner/Getty Images

    While Alabama always has its share of early departures to the NFL every year, the decision by junior defensive end Jeoffrey Pagan to forgo his final year of eligibility was somewhat of a surprise.

    Pagan, who recorded 34 tackles, four quarterback hurries and two sacks last season, has been given a seventh-round grade by CBS Sports.

    However, finding 6’4”, 290-pound defensive linemen with the frame and athleticism to contribute at multiple spots on the line is rare, and that’s something Pagan was able to do in college.

    If he is able to capitalize on a strong showing at the combine, he could help move himself up the ladder and into the middle rounds.

    Predictions

    40-yard Dash: 4.9 seconds

    Bench Press: 31 reps

    Vertical Jump: 26 inches

    Broad Jump: 9 feet, 1 inch

    3-Cone Drill: 7.21 seconds

    20-yard Shuttle: 4.51 seconds

    60-yard Shuttle: N/A

Anthony Steen

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    Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

    While he may not have had the critical acclaim of his more celebrated line mates, Anthony Steen finished his career at Alabama as a three-year starter who displayed remarkable consistency.

    Steen, who missed the Sugar Bowl due to a shoulder surgery, is still up in the air about how much he will be able to do, according to Andrew Gribble of AL.com. It’s likely that he opts to give his surgically-repaired shoulder more time to heal before participating in any drills.

    Projected as a middle-round selection by CBS Sports, Steen’s stock is unlikely to change until he gets a clean bill of health.

    Predictions

    40-yard Dash: 5.3 seconds

    Bench Press: N/A

    Vertical Jump: N/A

    Broad Jump: N/A

    3-Cone Drill: N/A

    20-yard Shuttle: N/A

    60-yard Shuttle: N/A

Ed Stinson

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    Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

    Similar to Steen, Ed Stinson is another veteran who has helped the Tide dominate in the trenches for the majority of his career.

    As Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com points out, Stinson is a ready-made run defender at the next level. However, he lacks the skills to become a pro-caliber pass rusher.

    He sat out during the Senior Bowl due to a lingering groin injury, according to Andrew Gribble of AL.com. It remains to be seen whether he will attempt to go through drills at the combine or wait until Alabama’s pro day.

    Predictions

    40-yard Dash: 4.9 seconds

    Bench Press: 28 reps

    Vertical Jump: N/A

    Broad Jump: N/A

    3-Cone Drill: N/A

    20-yard Shuttle: N/A

    60-yard Shuttle: N/A

     

Vinnie Sunseri

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    Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

    Similar to Pagan, the early departure of Vinnie Sunseri—who is still recovering from a torn ACL—was a shock to Saban and his coaching staff.

    Sunseri is a versatile defender who is currently projected as a fifth-round pick by CBS Sports.

    As noted by Chase Goodbread of NFL.com, Sunseri is expected to be in Indianapolis, but the extent of his participation is still unknown. Given the seriousness of his injury, it’s likely that he will skip working out at the combine in favor of taking part in Alabama’s pro day, if at all.

    Predictions

    40-yard Dash: N/A

    Bench Press: N/A

    Vertical Jump: N/A

    Broad Jump: N/A

    3-Cone Drill: N/A

    20-yard Shuttle: N/A

    60-yard Shuttle: N/A