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Alabama football: Jake Coker tries to boost draft stock at Crimson Tide pro day

By The Sports Xchange   |   March 10, 2016 at 11:43 AM
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - While NFL front office personnel were busy spinning the free agent wheel Wednesday, scouts from around the country flocked to Alabama's pro day, where 18 players were scheduled to participate at the Crimson Tide's pro day.

Also among those taking in the workout on the field were head coaches Bill Belichick from the New England Patriots and the Indianapolis Colts' Chuck Pagano.

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A nineteenth prospect, cornerback Bradley Sylve, suffered a torn Achilles tendon while preparing for the event Tuesday, according to AL.com. Running back Kenyan Drake also sat out due to injury, staying with his impressive performance at the NFL combine last month.

Quarterback Jake Coker had an important throwing session Wednesday after he wasn't invited to the combine, a snub that still sticks with him. Coker is NFLDraftScout.com's 14th-rated quarterback, and is projected as a late-round pick or priority free agent.

Coker said he has worked hard throughout the pre-draft process to dispel some of the knocks against his game.

"I feel like my feet are pretty quick and I tried to come out here and make them as quick as possible," Coker said. "Hopefully the right way. But yeah, the motion was definitely something I've been working on. It's just one of those things that we really focused on and hopefully I got better. And I think I have. Hopefully they see it."

Alabama has produced 17 first-round NFL draft picks since 2008, the most of any college program over that span.

And according to NFLDraftScout.com, the Crimson Tide could add three or four more to that tally on April 28.

Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland and defensive linemen A'Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed are among the top 20 prospects according to NFLDraftScout.com ratings, with center Ryan Kelly at No. 33.

Add in Heisman Trophy-winning running back Derrick Henry, and Alabama has five of the top 40 prospects.

"I don't know why somebody wouldn't want him to be the man," Tide coach Nick Saban said of Henry.

Robinson and Reed are among a loaded group of defensive linemen, with Robinson the top-rated defensive tackle and Reed No. 4 at the position.

Saban wouldn't make comparisons between Reed and Robinson to other players around the country, he did speak highly of the two stalwarts from his latest defensive line.

"I know the two players that we have are really, really good players; they played on one of the best defenses in the country; and they were both bellcows and great leaders and affected other guys on the team in a positive way," Saban said. "I think they have tremendous size, tremendous ability. I think whoever gets them, wherever they get picked, they are going to have a great career."

The other draft-eligible Crimson Tide players who were on hand Wednesday included: linebacker Denzel Devall, tight end Ty Flournoy-Smith, offensive lineman Dominick Jackson, cornerback Cyrus Jones, defensive lineman Darren Lake, linebacker Dillon Lee, defensive back Geno Matias-Smith, wide receiver Richard Mullaney, tight end Michael Nysewander, defensive lineman D.J. Pettway and defensive back Jabriel Washington.

Alabama does no release workout results, and several players chose to sit on their combine results. Reporting of the 40-yard dash times who did run was all over the map as handheld times often differ significantly.

Lee, a fringe prospect rated as the No. 33 outside linebacker in this class, may have helped his cause with 20 reps on the 225-pound bench press, a 31-inch vertical and 9'5" broad jump, according to multiple reports.

Ragland chose not to run the 40 and only put up 13 reps in the bench press, but did participate in the positional drills along with fellow linebacker Devall. Ragland told the Alabama Media Groups' Matt Zenitz that he already has pre-draft visits lined up with the Bills, Ravens Jaguars and Vikings, while Jones has a private workout scheduled with the Buccaneers in Tuscaloosa next Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Jones posted a 32.5-inch vertical and Lake posted 25 reps on the bench press.

--NFLDraftScout.com is published in partnership with The Sports Xchange and CBSSports.com.

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