What the NFL scouts are saying

Much of this looks like it was written before the Combine, but it is interesting to see what scouts are saying about Tide players Antoine Caldwell, Glen Coffee, Rashad Johnson, Andre Smith and John Parker Wilson. Each player represents a loss for the Crimson Tide, but I think Alabama will miss Caldwell more than anyone due to his leadership.

Antoine Caldwell read more from NFL.com
Defines the word “stalwart” with his steady, durable play in the middle of the Tide’s offensive line. In fact, the only games he has missed over the past four seasons came during a four-game suspension for being part of a textbook scandal at Alabama in 2007. An immediate standout, Caldwell earned Freshman All-American honors playing guard, SEC accolades as a sophomore and junior at center and closed out his career by earning consensus All-American praise as a senior. Caldwell lacks the footwork to fit in every NFL offense, but his size, physicality and aggression make him an intriguing fit for a drive blocking scheme. Had an arm span of 34 inches and a hand span of 10 1/2 inches at the combine.

Glen Coffee read more on NFL.com
Positives: Well-built athlete. A bit of a slasher. Sees the hole and shows surprising burst to it, considering his height. Can make defenders miss in the open field, but seems to prefer physically taking them on at times. Lowers his shoulder into the defender and looks to intimidate. Runs with a chip on his shoulder. Good acceleration through the second level of the defense and into the open field. At least adequate straight-line speed. Good vision at the second level for the cutback. Experienced receiver out of the backfield. Good upper-body strength and effort as a pass blocker. Has been a weight room monster since high school. Has matured during his college career, and is now a faith-driven leader and sought-after speaker in the community.

Negatives: Has a bit of an odd build for a running back. Thin hips, and though well built he lacks the bulk in his core and lower body that scouts prefer for a power runner. Runs a bit upright, which just adds to the concern regarding his build and power-running. Likes to run over defenders, but too often goes down on contact. …

Rashad Johnson read more on NFL.com
Positives: Cerebral defender. … Reads the action quickly and puts himself in position to make big plays. … Quick to recognize run and is able to often get to the ballcarrier before blockers can be effective. … Reliable centerfielder who understands his position as the last line of defense and can break down in space to make the open-field tackle. … Faster on the field than his 40 time would indicate due to his instincts. …

Negatives: Has a skinny build. … Needs to bulk up in both his upper and lower body to be able to handle taking on blockers at the NFL level. … May struggle to maintain his questionable pure speed with additional mass. … Can get caught up in the trash. …

Andre Smith read more at NFL.com
Positives: Flashes rare initial quickness for such a large man, especially on the down block. … Surprisingly quick getting to the second level as a run blocker or on screens. … Explosive upper-body strength and can pancake defenders when he keeps his feet. … Massive man with the deep kick-step and long arms to hold off pass rushers. … Allowed only one sack in 2008. … Can absorb the bull rush. … Intuitive football play

Negatives: Inconsistent initial quickness. … Can be a step slow off the snap in pass protection, though his deep kick-step and massive frame allow him to catch up to the defender quickly. … Inconsistent hand punch. … Might be more passive than scouts would like. … Too often absorbs blows from the defender, rather than initiating the contact. … Allows defenders to slip free from his blocks when he gets fundamentally lazy and leans, rather than driving his feet. …

John Parker Wilson read more on NFL.com
Positives: Intelligent, durable leader by example who started for three years in the tough SEC. Led late game-winning drives. Operates in shotgun and from under center. Adequate quickness on his release. Could succeed in a West Coast system, as he throws with accuracy and zip on short and intermediate routes and fits the ball into tight windows. Throws a very catchable ball, typically with a tight spiral. …

Negatives: Lacks prototypical size for the position. Is not an elite athlete. Lacks the arm strength to throw the deep out across the field. … Inconsistent throwing to hot reads, feeling back-side pressure and keeping his eyes downfield when facing a heavy rush. Will get happy feet and throw inaccurately (or toss up a jump ball) off his back foot when under duress. Tends to birddog his primary read. …