WEEK 7: Alabama vs. Texas A&M
For Alabama, it’s not unusual for its top talent to declare for the NFL as underclassmen, so they typically are not heavy with senior players. On offense, tackle Matt Womack is the only senior listed on their two-deep and, despite starting earlier in the season, he served as a back-up versus the Aggies. Womack looks the full part of his listed 6-7, 325-pound frame, and likely could start on many D-1 lines. There have been some intimations out of Coach Nick Saban’s mouth that finishing blocks may be a reason for going with a younger starter over Womack, but our Collegiate Bowl scouts will be sure to follow the developments and track the talented senior’s status.
Defensively, the Tide have some specimens at every level who look like they could line up on Sunday as is. Up front, starting DL Raekwon Davis is a powerful, powerful man with rare length for the position and the ability to consistently get “knock back” upon engaging blockers. While not always showing up with splashy numbers on the stat sheet, Davis is the type of player who possesses scheme diversity to play in any NFL defense and is the rugged type of prospect that DL coaches would love to work with.
Starting at the Tide’s “Jack” position is the team-leader in sacks, Anfernee Jennings. While he starts at the OLB position when the team is in base, Jennings has the versatility to affect the passer as a DE in nickel defense. Jennings possesses solid overall length to complement his power play style – attributes that make him particularly effective setting the edge versus the run and being able to get good push on the pocket versus the pass.
In the secondary, starting cornerback Trevon Diggs is a versatile athlete who leads the team in both interceptions and kickoff return average. Against the Aggies, Alabama amassed an astounding 10 passes defensed, with Diggs recording two while using his long, 6-1 height and 32.5-inch arms well. In a game of inches, Diggs’ physical traits help him match up with big, outside wide receivers.
Behind him at the safety positions are two senior starters in Jared Mayden and Shyheim Carter. For Carter, he is an active player who plays both down near the line of scrimmage as well as over slot receivers, which is partly why his name appears often on the stat sheet. Carter is a leader on this team, graduated in three years, and is interested in getting into coaching when his playing career concludes. For Mayden, he oftentimes is playing as the deep “Post” safety or over the top of one side, where he can utilize his range to either double or single-handedly carry receivers. Another heady player in the secondary, Mayden knows all the DB position responsibilities and is spoken of very highly by this coaching staff.
We previously covered the senior prospects of Texas A&M, but it is worth mentioning that Braden Mann – the highest rated punter entering the year by scouting services – had a particularly impressive day while booming his four punts for nearly 200 air yards and making three tackles (officially credited for two).