Since taking over the football program at Alabama, Nick Saban has sent scores of players to be drafted early by the league he once called home as the head coach of the Miami Dolphins. 2015 won’t be any different.
Chris Low of ESPN.com reports that junior wide receiver Amari Cooper will forego his remaining college eligibility and enter the draft. Cooper, a Heisman finalist, should be off the board early in the first round after catching 124 passes and 16 touchdowns this season. He has a good chance to be the first wideout off the board as he’s shown all the skills that teams are looking for at the position.
Cooper will have company on the trip from Tuscaloosa to the NFL. Rand Getlin of Yahoo Sports reports that safety Landon Collins has also decided to play for pay in 2015. Collins projects as another first-round pick and could join Cooper as the first player off the board at his position after a stellar career for the Crimson Tide.
Low also reports that running back T.J. Yeldon will make the leap to the next level. Yeldon ran for 979 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2014, completing a three-year run that should have him following Eddie Lacy, Trent Richardson and Mark Ingram to a prominent role. He probably won’t be a first-round pick given the current climate for running backs, but it would be a surprise if Yeldon was hanging around too deep into the draft’s second day.