Friday, March 9, 2012

Brian Billick’s Top 100 Draft prospects high on the Tide

image As the current Alabama Crimson Tide starts Spring practice today, FOX NFL analyst Brian Billick has published a “Big Board” of the Top 100 prospects for the upcoming NFL Draft. Not surprisingly, it’s high on former Alabama players, with five in the Top 25.

Billick was the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens from 1999-2007, and led the Ravens to their first title in theSuper Bowl XXXV win.

Billick’s analysis doesn’t necessarily mean that he thinks these players will be selected in the first round or in the order he’s ranked them. Draft selections are made by teams with as much emphasis on need as talent. Still, it’s yet another analyst’s take on what could be the most highly drafted Crimson Tide prospect crops in history.

Here’s the list.

Here’s how he thinks the former Crimson Tide players stack up.

7. Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama: Best running back prospect since Adrian Peterson, but the position as a whole has devalued his draft stock into the middle of the first round.

9. Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama: May be best suited as a 4-3 defensive end as the evaluation process continues, but either way, he is an impact edge rusher.

16. Dont'a Hightower, ILB, Alabama: Similar to Brandon Spikes of New England, but faster on the field. He just wrapped up a solid Pro Day that will put him right back in the mix with Kuechly.

18. Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama: Great combination of size and speed. Great coverage radius due to superior wingspan, but will get beat guessing at times.

22. Mark Barron, Safety, Alabama: Easily the top safety in the NFL Draft, it's not even close. Barron marks the fifth Crimson Tide player on this list.

Defensive lineman Josh Chapman was the only other player to crack the top 100, coming in at No. 81.

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