Category Archives: NFL Draft

Scout ban nothing to do with agents: Saban

Nick Saban just finished his news conference in which he tried to head off the story that he’s banned NFL scouts from practice.

He has, but not for the reasons speculated.

“I know there’s been a lot made of this whole sort of NFL scout thing and really I don’t think it’s fair to our players for people to come in here and evaluate our players when it’s 110 degrees outside and we’re going through two-a-days,” Saban said. “So, I don’t really want the guys here when we’re going through two-a-days. It’s especially hot this year and what I told people is we’ll put out a schedule some time after Aug. 25th. So we didn’t close this to the NFL for any particular reason.”

Read more later about a teleconference Saban said he organized that involved everyone from college coaches to the NFLPA and the NFL commissioner. Interesting stuff in this, the 900th post in Bama Blog history.

UPDATE: On the topic of agents, Saban said everyone needs to be held accountable when rules are broken. That includes players and not just while they’re still in school.

“Is it not conduct detrimental if a player does the wrong thing in college and gets suspended for his senior season just so he can play in the NFL? It hurts the NFL,” Saban said. “It hurts the college. It hurts the player. It hurts everybody. So why shouldn’t he get suspended for conduct detrimental just like Roethlisberger or some of the other guys that doesn’t do the right thing?

“Now I like Ben Roethlisberger. I have respect for him and I don’t mean that in a negative way, but he’s being suspended right now for not doing the right thing in a particular circumstance.”

3:29 p.m. update: An Ohio State spokesperson confirmed to The Bama Blog that Jim Tressel participated in the call but doesn’t expect the Buckeye coach to comment on it.

4:45 update: A spokesman from Oklahoma confirmed the The Blog that Bob Stoops also participated in the call. 

McClain signs with Raiders

Associated Press photo
It looks like Rolando McClain won’t miss a practice after all. Every media outlet in the Bay Area is reporting the Butkus Award winner from Decatur signed his contract with the Oakland Raiders and is heading to the wine country in Napa for training camp.
Details of the contract were not published by sources outside of The worldwide leader says the Decatur product is guaranteed $23 million of the $40-million deal that spans five years. Check out that story by clicking here.
If those numbers are accurate, McClain’s deal is considerably better than the one last year’s eighth overall pick received. Offensive lineman Eugene Monroe inked a deal worth (just) $35.4 million overall and (just) $19.2 million guaranteed.
This negotiation went much better than the JaMarcus Russell fiasco of a few years back. No lengthy holdout will spoil the rookie season for McClain who is expected to play a big part in the rebuilding Raider defense.
For stories straight from Raiders’ trainng camp, click here and here.
As always, stick with the blog for any updates we can provide.

Star Jackson transferring, Tiffin cut from Browns

It was a busy news day, and of course I was wrapped up working on other stories and missed some of the bigger headlines of the day.

First, in a hardly surprising move, it appears Star Jackson’s Alabama career is over. Nick Saban confirmed the sophomore quarterback’s plans to transfer at today’s stop on the Crimson Caravan, the Mobile Press-Register reported.

Since the once heralded recruit is third on the quarterback depth chart behind Greg McElroy and AJ McCarron, this hardly came as a surprise.

In NFL news, former Crimson Tide kicker Leigh Tiffin got some bad news a day after getting some good news. The Muscle Shoals product was cut by the Cleveland Browns a day after signing a free agent deal.

Checking in on ‘Bama NFL rookies

It’s been about a month since the NFL draft and the Crimson Tide players selected are settling into their new surroundings. Here are a few updates courtesy of the beat writers who cover the teams and a few other newspapers.

Leigh Tiffin wasn’t drafted, but he signed on with the Cleveland Browns. The TimesDaily ran this update in today’s paper.

Terrence Cody appears to be doing well with the Baltimore Ravens, according to this story and this story.

Javier Arenas is working at nickel back with the Chiefs, the Kansas City Star reports.

Mike Johnson is working with the Falcons second-team offensive line, so says the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

Rolando McClain, the San Francisco Examiner says, is “a stud.”

Kige Ramsey didn’t play at Alabama, but he does like his Tennessee Titans jerseys and makes great videos. Here is your Kige video of the day.

Who really will be a better pro?

It is the question I posed in the Bama Blog poll and there was a runaway winner. Rolando McClain has the high expectations of the readership by earning 77 percent of the vote. Javier Arenas and Terrence Cody picked up seven percent a piece to tie for second.

Click here for the compete results.

If you’re asking me, I’d have to agree with the 77 percent who went with McClain. He has all the physical and mental tools to succeed at the next level. He seems to be making an impact already in Oakland Raiders mini-camp and I’m fascinated to see how he’ll do this fall.

Arenas is another smart bet considering his versatility. Nick Saban said his NFL experience taught him the importance of having a player who can handle himself at cornerback and punt/kick returner. With smaller rosters, it’s important to find a player who can handle two positions like Arenas.

The only surprising result of the poll was the confidence the readers had in the other Alabama first-round pick. Kareem Jackson got just two percent of the vote.

I’d like to hear more of your views on the topic. Leave a comment by clicking the comment button at the top of the post. And if you haven’t voted yet, do so below.

<div><a href=”″>Click Here for Poll</a><a href=”; title=”online survey”>Online Survey</a><BR><a href=”; title=”Enterprise Feedback Management”>Enterprise Feedback Management</a><BR> | <a href=”; title=”Polls”>Polls</a><BR> | <a href=”; title=”email marketing”>Email Marketing</a><BR><BR> | <a href=”; title=”crowdsourcing software”>Crowdsourcing Software</a><BR><a href=”;id=250504″>View MicroPoll</A></div>

And now, the latest from Kige Ramsey.

Updating drafted/free agent list

This will evolve as we confirm more signings. As of now, there are nine members of the Tide defense who has been either drafted or signed to free agent deals. Here is the list as of 4:36 p.m.:

Draft picks
Round 1: Rolando McClain (No.8) Oakland Raiders
Round 1: Kareem Jackson (No. 20) Houston Texans
Round 2: Javier Arenas (No. 50) Kansas City Chiefs
Round 2: Terrence Cody (No. 57) Baltimore Ravens
Round 3: Mike Johnson (No. 98) Atlanta Falcons
Round 7: Marquis Johnson (No. 211) St. Louis Rams
Round 7: Brandon Deaderick (No. 247) New England Patriots

Free agent signings
Colin Peek, Atlanta Falcons
Cory Reamer, New York Jets
Eryk Anders, Cleveland Browns
Lorenzo Washington, Dallas Cowboys

Anders signs with Browns

The day after the draft, the free agent signing news is rolling in. Eryk Anders’ agent John Phillips just confirmed his client signed a deal with the Browns.

Anders also spoke with the Giants and Bears before deciding Cleveland was the right place for him.

There are also reports indicating Cory Reamer signed with the New York Jets and Colin Peek did so with the Atlanta Falcons.

Brandon Deaderick makes it seven

Barely escaping the title of “Mr. Irrelevant,” former Tide defensive end Brandon Deaderick became the seventh Alabama player taken in the NFL draft when the New England Patriots took him with the 247th pick. Only eight players followed Deaderick.

The seven picks makes this the most Alabama-heavy draft since it shrunk from 12 rounds to seven in 1993.

Still, several hopefuls went undrafted including Lorenzo Washington, Leigh Tiffin, Colin Peek and Justin Woodall.

Stay tuned for any free agent news.

Marquis Johnson drafted in seventh round

Yet another Alabama defensive back will be a pro.

The St. Louis Rams picked up Marquis Johnson with the 211th pick of the draft in the seventh round. He joins former teammates and DBs Kareem Jackson and Javier Arenas in the NFL.

Still available: Leigh Tiffin, Lorenzo Washington, Brandon Deaderick and a few more draft hopefuls without a home yet. Stay tuned for more.

Mike Johnson closes out third round

No, not Mr. Irrelevant, but Mike Johnson was the final pick of the NFL draft’s second day. He’ll be heading to Atlanta as the 98th overall pick, rejoining John Parker Wilson for whom he blocked for two seasons with the Tide.

That’s it for the day.

Stay tuned stating at 9 a.m. Saturday to see if Colin Peek, Brandon Deaderick, Roy Upchurch, Eryk Anders, and/or Cory Reamer land in one of the final three rounds.

Terrence Cody to the Ravens

I called it, but no one was around to hear it. With Baltimore’s 3-4 defense and its history of bigger than big defensive linemen, it wasn’t a shock they took Terrence Cody with the 57th pick of the drafter.

It was yet another Alabama pickup for Tide legend Ozzie Newsome, the Ravens’ general manager.

Who is next for the Tide? Mike Johnson is the best bet. Stay tuned

Javier Arenas is now a Chief

Cornerback/kick returner Javier Arenas just went to the Kansas City Chiefs with the 50th overall pick becoming the third Alabama player taken in the draft.

The ESPN talking heads are giving him plenty of love, even comparing him to Ronde Barber.

Terrence Cody remains on the board and there is no good prediction as to where he’ll go.

McClain: Gone with the autumn wind

 Daily photo by Jeronimo Nisa

Now that the morning after is almost over, let’s talk a look at what everyone is saying about Rolando McClain’s new football home, Oakland. I recommend listening to this and this while digesting what is to follow. 

“Rolando McClain is a physical, savvy leader at linebacker, which matches the philosophy Raiders Coach Tom Cable is trying to instill in Oakland.” Matt Waldman, New York Times

“The first twist came at No. 8, when the unpredictable Oakland Raiders took Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain, who most people had predicted would go in the teens. That drew raucous boos from the Giants fans in the balcony section of the theater because they were hoping McClain would be around when their team picked in the middle of the round.” Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times

“At 6-foot-3, 254 pounds, McClain has the body of Junior Seau — and, by all accounts, the passion, dedication and inspirational presence of Ray Lewis.” Monte Poole, San Jose Mercury News

“Al Davis doesn’t care if he upsets Raiders fans with his draft picks. So it’s no surprise that Davis fails to honor Raider Nation wishes by drafting a new owner. Instead he goes with a linebacker, Rolando McClain.” Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle 

“Great common sense pick by Raiders. Unlike last year, where DHB pick was greeted with laughter, most everyone nodded their heads and seemed pretty impressed by selection of McClain.Jerry McDonald, Oakland Tribune

Here is a Q&A McClain did with the Oakland Tribune, an other with Raiders coach Tom Cable.

I wrote this story and this story (also found here) for today’s paper and Daily photographer Jeronimo Nisa produced this photo gallery.

Kareem Jackson picked

Another Alabama junior just went earlier than expected. The Houston Texans just picked up Kareem Jackson with the 20th pick in the first round.

No time to blog, though. Cranking out print stories. Read them Friday.

And Rolando McClain goes to the …

… the Oakland Raiders who surprised many by taking him with the eighth pick in the draft.
Check back later for more.