NEPD Editor: James Christensen
The first “big” college football game of the year fizzled out early as Alabama was clearly better than Michigan in all phases of the game.
Read on to see how the 2013 NFL Draft prospects performed in the game.
Alabama Crimson Tide
#65 OG Chance Warmack
-Lining up at left guard.
-Huge initial punch, jars the defensive tackle.
-Bends effortlessly, appears athletic in his movements, looks good pulling.
-Nice feet in pass protection, makes it look easy mirroring defensive tackle.
-Using the defender’s momentum against him, sealing him easily.
-Misses initially on the second level, works back and makes the block.
-Turns the defensive tackle easily, drives him backwards.
-Beaten by arm over to the outside, gives up a sack.
-Misses his assignment, tackle side-stepped the block.
-Finishes combo block, takes the tackle to the ground.
Overview: A good game from Warmack, but he did have a couple minor mistakes, which is atypical for him. As he continues to grow more comfortable with Barrett Jones on his right, I think Warmack will be even more of a dominant presence for Alabama line.
#75 OL Barrett Jones
-Lining up at center, making the line calls.
-Good hand placement, drives defensive tackle off the ball.
-Accurate shotgun snapper, perfect velocity – solid with QB under center as well..
-Fires out of his stance, stays in control.
-Picks up linebacker blitz with ease.
-Quick to the second level, solid block on linebacker.
-Gets a chip on the tackle, moves on and seals the linebacker.
-Very comfortable in space, positions himself well on screen.
-Got a little high out of his stance, pushed into the backfield.
-Chips the tackle and blows the linebacker back, looks comfortable at center.
Overview: I was expecting to see Jones eventually make the transition from left tackle to center, but I didn’t expect him to look so comfortable this early. He was spot on in his line calls, got out of his stance quickly, snapped the ball flawlessly and was technically sound. He’ll be a top fifty pick.
#76 OT D.J. Fluker*
-Lining up at right tackle.
-Turns the defensive end, locks out arms and it is over.
-Beat on an inside move, false step early.
-Easily picks up safety blitz.
-Can’t control the linebacker, lets him slip by and make the tackle.
-Keeps a nice wide base, but ends up reaching rather than moving his feet.
-Stones defensive end on the speed rush, locked out his arms and moved his feet well.
-Blocks air for a while, shuffled while end went right past him.
-Leaning on the defensive end, loses his balance and goes to the ground.
-Doesn’t get a big enough piece of the defensive end, leads to tackle for loss.
Overview: I expected to see better footwork from Fluker, but it doesn’t look like he has improved much from last year. He still elite size and is tough to beat once he gets his hands on you.
#89 TE Michael Williams
-Inline tight end, big body.
-Called for a false start.
-Slips the defensive end with a nifty move and catches the easy goal line touchdown.
-Decent pass protection, gains initial control.
-Has been solid in run blocking, good hand placement and pad level.
-Gets a couple of good down field blocks.
-Nice corner route, gets some separation but can’t haul in diving catch.
Overview: Williams had a solid night blocking and was able to present a threat in the passing game when needed. His size will be coveted by NFL teams this spring.
#42 RB Eddie Lacy
-Stood up in the hole, pad level got a little high.
-Splits out wide, drops a low pass.
-Poor blocking attempt in pass protection, might have thought he could release.
-Good power through the hole, carries the tackler for another couple yards.
-Finds the hole, runs through an arm tackle and bursts in for a TD.
-Doesn’t know the situation, needed to get down to allow a FG attempt.
-Fumbles on the last play of the half.
Overview: Already has been surpassed by Yeldon – Lacy has some talent, but looks like more of a mid-round guy as opposed to Richardson, Ingram and Yeldon in the future.
#54 DT Jesse Williams
-Lining up at nose tackle and as a 1-tech defensive tackle.
-Double teamed, doesn’t give an inch.
-Loses his balance, pushed back by center.
-Controls the guard with one arm, tackles the running back with the other for no gain.
-Gets off the ball quickly, shoves the guard out of the way and gets a piece of the running back.
-Sheds single block easily, but misses arm tackle.
Overview: Williams didn’t see a large amount of snaps, but Michigan took notice when he was in there. He saw a lot of double teams and was rarely singled without some sort of help. He might not make a huge mark in the box score, but he makes things easier for the Alabama linebackers.
#35 LB Nico Johnson
-Playing inside linebacker and on some special teams.
-Meets the fullback in the hole, sheds the block and makes hard tackle.
-Locates the ball quickly, drives through the ball-carrier.
-Takes on low block from pulling guard, keeps his balance and makes the tackle.
-Times up the A-gap blitz, lays a big hit on Robinson – called for personal foul.
Overview: Johnson wasn’t flashy, but he consistently made tough plays. He made textbook tackles and took on blocks like a pro. He has some serious strength and balance.
#32 LB C.J. Mosley*
-Playing inside linebacker and on special teams.
-Sucks up on play fake, doesn’t get proper depth on zone drop.
-Tracks the mobile QB from a deep zone, closes on him once he runs and delivers vicious hit.
-Accelerates very quickly, sees the ball-carrier and runs through them.
-Zone drop, makes the easy interception and takes it back for a touchdown.
-Slips a block from the receiver and gives a big whack to the running back.
-Fights off block from pulling lineman and makes the tackle.
-Comes on C-gap blitz, stoned by Lewan.
Overview: Mosley has elite athleticism. He made plays in coverage, on special teams and in the run game. If he decides to declare for the 2013 NFL Draft, Mosley could be a first round pick.
#37 FS Robert Lester
-Playing a variety of different defensive back positions – deep half, single high, star.
-Pressing the slot receiver, gets a good jam in.
-Physical shedding the block from receiver, helps turn the play back inside.
-Man coverage, disrupts the ball at the high point.
-Comes on safety blitz, disrupts the timing of the screen.
-Nice break on the ball, wraps up for a solid tackle.
Overview: Lester played all over the field and did a lot of different things for the Crimson Tide defense. He looked good covering the slot, covering a deep half, playing as a single high safety, as well as supporting the run. He doesn’t have 4.4 speed, but Lester’s versatility will be a great asset in the NFL.
#28 CB Dee Milliner*
-Playing cornerback, mostly on the boundary.
-In press man, gives free release, breaks on ball and makes the deflection.
-Misses tackle in space, dove for the ankles and missed.
-Doesn’t back down, going after Taylor Lewan after the play.
-Gets his hand in and disrupts the catch, great timing.
-Comes on corner blitz, breaks down and gets RB to the ground.
-Physical jam on receiver takes him to the ground, makes the easy interception.
-Looked comfortable with the ball in his hands, nearly took it in for a TD.
-Gets a hand on another ball, locates the ball very quickly.
-Doesn’t fall for double move, nice recovery speed allows him to disrupt catch.
-Flies up in run support, makes shoestring open field tackle on Robinson.
-Lost contain on sweep, leads to big play.
Overview: Milliner might have had the best night of any Alabama player, which is really saying something. He totaled four pass deflections and also snagged an interception. He has great recovery speed, fluid hips and breaks so quickly on the ball. Milliner made a great first impression.
Michigan draft prospects are on page two.