2013 NFL Draft Prospects: Alabama
These are the school's prospects for the 2013 NFL Draft by status * - denotes 2014 prospect ** - denotes 2015 prospect.
This page was last updated Feb. 16, 2013. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
This page was last updated Feb. 16, 2013. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
DeMarcus Milliner*, CB, Alabama
Height: 6-1. Weight: 182.
Projected 40 Time: 4.45.
Projected Round (2013): Top 10.
1/31/13: Milliner's stock has been on the rise in January after a strong showing against the Fighting Irish to close out the season. Plus, he is clearly the top corner in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Milliner is fast and agile to be able to play on an island in man coverage. His shutdown ability is unique as he is fast enough to turn and run with receivers, but also has the size to defend big receivers. Milliner has great length and quarterbacks struggle to get passes by him.
Notre Dame went after Milliner in the National Championship Game, but he held up well. The junior had excellent coverage on numerous passes and started an interception with a pass breakup on a deep ball. Milliner also showed that he could be effective against a good receiving tight end in Tyler Eifert, the Fighting Irish's best receiver.
Milliner accounted for four tackles and two passes broken up against Georgia in the SEC Championship. He came close to a diving interception, but the pick was overturned after replays showed that he had trapped the ball.
Milliner had 10 tackles and a pass broken up against Texas A&M, but he had some ugly plays, too. One was when Milliner was burned for a 24-yard touchdown on a corner post route. He didn't play well against Mississippi State and LSU either. Milliner allowed a number of receptions, was called for penalties and missed some tackles. However those games weren't a complete failure as he wasn't burned for any scores and had a blocked kick with some good tackles.
Milliner had a great game against Ole Miss with an interception, half of a sack and four passes broken up. He collected two tackles and a pass broken up versus Arkansas a couple weeks earlier. The junior almost had an interception with a long return, but it was ruled that he had trapped the ball.
Milliner was dominant against Michigan in Week 1. He broke up four passes, made five tackles and returned an interception 35 yards. Milliner's one mistake came when he lost his footing and fell down in man coverage. That allowed his receiver to get wide open for a score.
Milliner tied for first in the nation with total passes defensed with 22. He also amassed 54 tackles, two interceptions and 20 passes broken up. Milliner is the best man-to-man cover corner prospect for the 2013 NFL Draft, and, as a result, he is rated at the top of his position.
9/1/12: Milliner really played well in 2011 and did a good job as teams threw his direction more to avoid cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick. With Kirkpatrick and DeQuan Menzie in the NFL, Milliner will take on a bigger role in 2012 as a full-time starter. He had 27 tackles with three interceptions and nine pases broken up in 2011. Milliner led the Crimson Tide defense in interceptions, and he played extremely well overall as the nickelback.
Milliner had 55 tackles with four tackles for a loss, seven passes broken up, one forced fumble and one interception as a freshman. He has good size and speed like all of the recent Alabama defensive backs. Milliner could have a breakout season in college football and rise high in the cornerback rankings.
Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
Height: 6-3. Weight: 320.
Projected 40 Time: 5.30.
Projected Round (2013): Top-25 Pick.
2/9/13: Warmack put together a strong 2012. He was dominant against Michigan in Alabama's first game of 2012. The senior blasted open running holes and did well in pass protection.
Warmack was very impressive versus Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee. Like center Barrett Jones, Warmack struggled somewhat against Mississippi State. He had a strong game though versus LSU's standout defensive tackles.
Warmack had a tough test with Georgia's massive defensive tackle John Jenkins in the SEC Championship game. Jenkins beat Warmack for a sack and some other good plays in the first half. Warmack turned in a big second half as the Crimson Tide rolled over the Bulldogs. He followed that up by dominating at the National Championship against Notre Dame. Warmack turned down a chance to play in the Senior Bowl.
There is no doubt that Warmack has the ability to start immediately in the NFL. Some project him to go in the top 10 and think he is the best guard prospect to enter the draft in a long time.
8/24/12: Chance Warmack enters his senior season having started two seasons at guard for the Crimson Tide. He is a powerful road grader who did an excellent job of opening up holes for the Alabama running game in 2011. The senior could see his stock rise over the 2012 season.
Warmack played better in the rematch against LSU than he did in the regular season contest last year. As long as Warmack stays healthy, he should be a high second-day pick if not sneak into the first round like Wisconsin guard Kevin Zeitler did last April.
Eddie Lacy*, RB, Alabama
Height: 6-0. Weight: 220.
Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
Projected Round (2013): 1-2.
2/16/13: Lacy's stock has been rising steadily since late in the 2012 season. The NFL loves his running ability with his power, quickness and elusiveness. Many believe that Lacy is the top back in the 2013 NFL Draft and has a real shot of going in the first round.
Lacy totaled 1,322 yards (6.4 average) and 17 touchdowns this season on only 204 carries. He was a power runner for Alabama and lost touches to standout freshman T.J. Yeldon. Lacy caught 22 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns, too. He had massive performances against Georgia (20-181) in the SEC Championship and Notre Dame (20-140) in the National Championship.
8/16/12: Lacy is a clone of the recent mold of Alabama running backs. Under head coach Nick Saban, they've been led by ball-carriers who have a combination of size, quickness and power.
Lacy was the backup to star back Trent Richardson as a sophomore last year. However, when Lacy received carries, he made the most of them running for 631 yards on 84 carries with seven touchdowns.
With Richardson in the NFL, Lacy figures to be the lead back for Alabama. He has a tremendous offensive line and should have an extremely productive season in 2012.
Barrett Jones, C/G/T, Alabama
Height: 6-5. Weight: 311.
Projected 40 Time: 5.10.
Projected Round (2013): 1-3.
2/9/13: Jones' best position for the NFL is probably center, but he also has the ability to play guard after being a standout at guard as a freshman and sophomore. Having played left tackle as a junior and, now, center as senior, Jones is the rare lineman who can play any position on the offensive line.
Jones finished his collegiate career with his excellent performance against Notre Dame in the National Championship. He won the vast majority of his reps against the Irish's tough interior defensive linemen. A foot injury kept Jones out of the Senior Bowl.
After playing well against LSU, Jones had a lot of problems against Texas A&M. He was beaten repeatedly by an undersized, speedy defensive tackle. Jones made up for it in the SEC Championship against Georgia. He had a few rough plays in the first half before having a phenomenal second half. Jones dominated nose tackle Kwame Geathers as Alabama's run game ran wild over the Bulldogs. Jones also had success against massive nose tackle John Jenkins.
Jones had a harder time with Mississippi State compared to other teams he faced this season. Heavy defensive tackle Dewayne Cherrington was a challenge for Jones and guard Chance Warmack. Jones had a good game overall, but wasn't as overwhelming as he was in other games.
Jones played well against Missouri. He opened up holes for Eddie Lacy to have a huge day and was excellent in pass protection. When going against talented defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson, Jones had success. The senior also had a superb outing against Arkansas. He dominated the Razorbacks on the ground and in pass blocking.
Jones had an excellent debut at center in the 2012 season opener against Michigan. He looked so natural, one would think he has played the position for years. Jones was superb in the ground game opening up holes and hitting combo blocks. He was rock solid in pass protection, too.
The intelligent Jones has been great at making the line calls to set protections and blocking schemes.
8/24/12: Jones had a tremendous season at left tackle last year and it has really elevated his draft stock. In his biggest test of 2011, Tbe junior faced his biggest test of facing LSU in the regular season. He played very well before sustaining an ankle injury in the second half. Early in the evening, Jones was doing a phenomenal job of run blocking for Trent Richardson, and Alabama had a lot of success running behind Jones. He also wasn't getting - or needing - any help with LSU's speed-rushers on the edge, and Jones was rock solid not allowing a sack or pressure. He had another good game in the National Championship
Jones only moved to left tackle in 2011 after playing guard the previous two years. His transisition was flawless. He did a fabulous job of run blocking for Trent Richardson, and was equally good in pass protection. Jones is an intelligent player who has the physical tools to be effective.
Interestingly, Alabama has moved the senior to center for 2012. He is extremely smart and versatile. It will be interesting to see where Jones plays in the NFL, but he definitely could play guard.
Jones started 14 games at guard in 2009 as a redshirt freshman and Ingram ran his way to a Heisman. Jones stayed at right guard and started 11 games there in 2010. He was named as a First-Team All-SEC selection last season.
D.J. Fluker*, OT/G, Alabama
Height: 6-4. Weight: 355. Arm: 36 3/8. Hand: 10 1/4.
Projected 40 Time: 5.15.
Projected Round (2013): 2-3.
2/9/13: > Fluker's stock fell during the season. He was beaten for two sacks against Western Kentucky and allowed other pass pressures. Fluker also allowed heat on the quarterback when Alabama played Michigan.
The pass-protection issues continued in other games. Missouri's Sheldon Richardson beat him for a sack, as did some defenders from Mississippi State. Fluker's run blocking was awesome, but his pass blocking was a liability.
Fluker stepped up with a good game against LSU defensive end Barkevious Mingo. Fluker did a good job of keeping Mingo from getting pressure or any sacks. That performance could help him to stay at right tackle. Fluker had success as a run-blocker against Georgia. Some NFL teams will probably want him to move to guard.
8/23/12: Fluker was real force at right tackle for Alabama in 2011. He was a strong run-blocker who paved the way for Trent Richardson. Fluker looks like he could be an instant starter at right tackle in the NFL and is a natural at the position. Fluker has been a dominant force in the SEC the past two seasons. He is athletic as a pass-protector, and a bulldozer as a run-blocker.
If Fluker has another good season, one would expect him to leave for the NFL given the three years of standout play on his resume.
Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
Height: 6-4. Weight: 320.
Projected 40 Time: 5.35.
Projected Round (2013): 2-3.
1/30/13: Williams had a rough start to the season. He was limited against Michigan and sat out against Western Kentucky with a concussion. Williams played better later with good performances versus Texas A&M, LSU, Georgia and Notre Dame. He had 37 tackles, 2.5 tackles for a loss and one sack this year.
Williams is a good run-stuffer, but doesn't offer much of anything as a pass-rusher. He looks like a two-down player at most for the NFL, and with the amount of nickel formations teams run, Williams may only end up playing 40 percent of his defense's snaps.
8/25/12: The "tattooed monster from down under" has some shear power and quickness. The Australian didn't start playing football until he was 15 years old. He played a couple seasons of community college before breaking into the lineup as a junior for Alabama.
Williams had 24 tackles with four tackles for a loss and half a sack in 2011. He was a starting five-technique defensive end but moved inside to tackle as part of a four-man front in pass-rushing situations. Williams should take on a prominent role in the Alabama defense since the Crimson Tide lost a number of players to the 2012 NFL Draft.
Robert Lester, S, Alabama
Height: 6-1. Weight: 212. Arm: 31 1/4. Hand: 9 3/4.
Projected 40 Time: 4.51.
Projected Round (2013): 3-4.
1/31/13: Lester was quiet in the early going, but played better later in the season. He totaled 48 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks, three passes broken up and four interceptions in 2012. Lester had good games against Tennessee and Mississippi State with some struggles against LSU and Texas A&M. He didn't impress at the Senior Bowl, and his stock is down.
9/2/12: Lester had a breakout year in 2010. He was second in the nation with eight interceptions in his first season as a starter. Lester also chipped in 52 tackles with one sack and four passes broken up. He totaled 36 tackles with three passes broken up, one forced fumble, one blocked kick and two interceptions last season and was close on a lot of other potential interceptions.
With Lester's coverage and interceptions not as strong as they were in 2010, his stock has fallen from the first round. Still, he is a good overall safety who defends the deep part of the field well. Lester also has more ballhawking skills than most safety prospects and will have three years of starting experience entering the NFL. If the senior has a big 2012 season, he could move back into the first-round, much like former teammate Mark Barron.
Nico Johnson, ILB, Alabama
Height: 6-1. Weight: 249. Arm: 32 7/8. Hand: 9 1/4.
Projected 40 Time: 4.66.
Projected Round (2013): 4-5.
1/30/13: Johnson played decently in 2012 and racked up 55 tackles and two forced fumbles. He had zero sacks and interceptions. Johnson is a good run-stuffing linebacker, but struggles in pass defense. He did not look good at the Senior Bowl; he plays slowly.
8/31/12: Johnson was somewhat quiet in 2011. His numbers were hurt because he was part of a linebacker rotation, coming out on a lot of passing downs. Considering Alabama blew out most of its opponents, teams were throwing a lot in the second half, and Johnson was on the sidelines for a lot of snaps.
On the other hand, Johnson is a quality run-defender. He had 47 tackles with 6.5 tackles for a loss, one sack, one interception and forced fumble in 2011. The junior played well against LSU's rushing attack with 11 tackles in the first game.
Johnson is a versatile player and has played inside and outside linebacker. With Dont'a Hightower in the NFL, Johnson probably will be on the inside in 2012. He recorded 33 tackles, 3.5 tackles for a loss and an interception in 2010.
The Alabama defense is loaded with NFL talent and Johnson is overshadowed. However, he is still a solid pro prospect.
Damion Square, DT, Alabama
Height: 6-3. Weight: 286.
Projected 40 Time: 5.10.
Projected Round (2013): 4-6.
1/30/13: Square had 33 tackles, four tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks in 2012. He was a contributor for Alabama, but not a difference-maker.
8/25/12: Square is a tweener defensive end and defensive tackle. He may be best adding some weight and playing on the inside for the NFL. His speed could be a mismatch for guards and centers.
Square can play inside; he also plays the five-technique 3-4 defensive end in Alabama's defense. Square totaled 32 tackles with seven tackles for a loss and a sack last season.
Michael Williams, TE, Alabama
Height: 6-5. Weight: 269. Arm: 32 3/4. Hand: 10 1/8.
Projected 40 Time: 4.77.
Projected Round (2012): 4-6.
2/9/13: Williams recorded 24 receptions for 183 yards and four touchdowns in 2012. He was an excellent run-blocker for Alabama. Williams was solid but unspectacular at the Senior Bowl.
8/21/12: Williams was a part of the potent ground game that led Alabama last season. He made 16 receptions for 191 yards and two scores.
Williams is a massive blocking tight end. He caught only eight passes for 100 yards and a touchdown. Williams is a good athlete for such a big tight end, so he is capable of producing more as a receiver. Williams could be in for a bigger role in 2012, but NFL teams will be drawn to him for his run blocking.
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