Nick Saban wants NFL to delay giving draft grades until after season


Alabama coach Nick Saban was at the podium Wednesday as part of the SEC’s preseason media days, but his comments weren’t limited to the college game.

Saban also discussed the league’s procedures for giving draft grades to players considering leaving school early so they can enter the NFL draft. Those grades were handed out on December 15 last year, well before the Crimson Tide played Ohio State in the college playoffs and Saban believes that date is too early.

Mark Schlabach of ESPN reports that Saban said he had underclassmen on his team that played not to get hurt and ran out of bounds in the team’s loss to the Buckeyes, presumably so that they could be in top shape when it came time to work out for NFL teams. Saban said the date for giving out those grades should be moved back until after the college season is over.

Wide receiver Amari Cooper, safety Landon Collins and running back T.J. Yeldon all left Alabama after last season and all were off the board before the end of the second round. Ohio State had plenty of NFL hopefuls of their own, of course, so there’s a chance that Saban’s just looking for a convenient excuse for why his team lost.

The NFL has generally done what it can to have good relationships with top coaches and programs in college, but there’s a lot of differing motivations at work when it comes to this issue. Saban and other coaches are focused on winning so that they can keep their jobs, increase their salaries and continue recruiting high level players while the players are eager to know if it is the right time for them to start getting paid any salary for their work on the gridiron.

Given that the league is evaluating these players well before they declare their intentions, pushing the date back probably wouldn’t change much for NFL teams and that could lead to a change in the current system.

48 responses to “Nick Saban wants NFL to delay giving draft grades until after season

  1. How about 2 or 3 seasons? All the grades seem to be based is on is whether the analyst would have chosen the player. There is a reason the analysts aren’t GM’s.

  2. Nick, I know you are a control freak, but the NFL doesn’t listen to average, former coaches.

  3. Makes perfect sense. Most teams, besides the SEC, dont go up against elite teams, i.e. the Little 10, until their Bowl games.

    There is no reason to hand out draft grades until the end of the year.

  4. Nick Saban wouldn’t have such a high-paying job at such a famous football school if he didn’t recruit future NFL talent. Can’t have it both ways, Nick.

  5. I think the players have the right to protect their bodies before the draft. If they have a high draft grade then they’ve already done enough to get into the NFL. Opening themselves up to more injury while playing for free could cost them millions.

  6. I have just stopped crying for Nick. When the college football starts paying its players a competitive wage then Nicky boy as a valid point. Until then he is crying about not getting his millions in bonuses, while the players are hoping that they don’t get knock from their one chance to make some life changing money. Nick is making millions from his players while they make squat.

    BTW, Nick what is wrong with your players playing not to get hurt? That is what all the smart pros do. Do you really want your players playing to get hurt?

  7. Dear NFL,

    Please stop giving useful information to my players. I am not here to help them get a great career, I am here to extend mine. So please stop giving my players information that may assist them in the future unless it also helps me get a pay raise. You have been warned.

    Old Saint Nick

  8. If a NFL prospect ran out of bounds in that game, every scout in attendance saw it. Every scout and every coach who watched the film afterward saw it. If that prospect thinks it helped his draft stock, he’s not getting a very good education at your university, Nick.

  9. The league shouldn’t be doing ANY draft grading. That should be left up to the individual teams and whoever in the sports media feels like doing it. Why should the league do a job that team offices and scouts should do, and likely ARE doing anyway?

  10. He has a point. And, honestly, it would probably benefit the NFL too. The ability to see the players working at 100% against the very best college competition under the highest pressure situations can only make draft evaluations better.

  11. He is worried it will hurt his recruiting and rightfully so. The Alabama train has greatly slowed as the busts pile up. Richardson, Milliner, Warmack, Baron, and Carpenter.

    If these was 2nd, 3rd, 4th rounders, that’s a different story. These guys were 1st rounders that just haven’t delivered.

    Richardson is the best example. This is what happen on teams that are uber talented. The overall talent overshadows the limitations. When you seen Lane Kiffin signaling touchdown before the snap, that makes the entire team look good. In actuality, it’s just that Amari Cooper is an uber talented receiver who should be able to continue that at the next level.

  12. Dear Mr. Saban,

    Perhaps you should be more concerned with seeing that these kids ca actually read and write before leaving your esteemed “institution of higher education.”



  13. I’m a Bama fan, but Saban’s argument regarding the championship game is weak sauce. They went into that game against the Buckeyes overconfident, underprepared and visibly out of shape. That’s why they lost, not anything else.

  14. It’s inevitable that someone, somewhere is going to put out grades for the upcoming draft. I agree that doing it in December seems more than a little early.

    And why the rush? There’s more than enough time before the draft to get that information out in the new year and discuss it endlessly until the dead horse is thoroughly beaten.

  15. If your players are running out of bounds and playing ‘not to get hurt’ to protect their NFL futures, YOU SIR, have a coaching and motivation problem. The NFL shouldn’t be on your radar. Your players are not playing to win, they are playing for an assumed contract…..

  16. Isn’t even really possible. Draft grades aren’t uniform across every team and they start grading these players before they play their first college game.

    Also the kid has a right to know what teams are thinking about him and what decision is best for him. How Saban can recruit while making every attempt to rule over his kids is beyond me.

  17. For those that seem to be confused. Saban is talking about draft grades that the NFL gives to draft eligible players who can can leave school early. He is not referring to the draft specialists like Mel Kiper.

  18. Alabama was soundly beaten by Ohio State and now Saban wants to blame in on his players dreaming about the NFL?

    What a joke, the Alabama players and coaching staff were outplayed and outclassed by a superior team and coach.

  19. Can’t see why the NFL should agree to this. They also want the players healthy and at their best for the combine and team evaluation prior to drafting them and paying millions.

  20. While it makes some sense why would Saban even care or talk about such nonsense. NFL grades, doesn’t Nick have more pressing matters to discuss.?
    I thought he was above that stuff.

  21. PanchoHerreraFanClub says:

    When the college football starts paying its players a competitive wage then Nicky boy as a valid point.

    If college football starts paying its players a “competitive wage” then there will be no need for a valid point because the socialists will have destroyed college football. Like they destroy everything else.

  22. in July, every team’s draft choices look great, as do their free agent signings…unfortunately, the rainbow fades and the sun (truth) comes out by December…enjoy it while you can (as of today,everybody’s tied for 1st in their divisions, and the Pats are last year’s champion…)

  23. saban is a weasel. always looking for an angle. last year he was complaining about offenses going too fast…

    funny- no complaints back when he was running the table…

    the king of tuscaloosa maybe but a weasel certainly…

  24. abnin I don’t get your point at all. Currently college football is socialistic, that is all the players get paid the same, a scholarship and some change. That is how socialism works. In a free enterprise system players would get paid what they are worth. College football is socialist and always has been, so it is the socialists that want to change it? I just don’t understand.

  25. He forfeited his right to talk about the NFL after his cowardly act in Miami.

  26. robf2010 says:
    Jul 15, 2015 11:56 AM
    If a NFL prospect ran out of bounds in that game, every scout in attendance saw it. Every scout and every coach who watched the film afterward saw it.
    Well, it worked for Jadaveon Clowney who shut it down during his third year. Everyone knew it and even told him to do it, yet he still got drafted #1.

  27. 2009 Utah beats Alabama in the Sugar Bowl……Apparantly The Tide couldn’t have cared less to be there.
    2014 Oklahoma beats Alabama in the Sugar Bowl…..Apparantly, once again The Tide couldn’t have cared less to be there.
    2015 Ohio St beats Alabama in the Sugar Bowl/Semi Finals of CFP…..They couldn’t use the, we couldn’t care less to be here excuse this time…obviously, so now Saban found a new “reason” for not having his team in top shape, body and mind.

    Alabama has lost their last 3 Sugar Bowl Games, and 2 times they didn’t even want to be there! They are what….9-5 in their Sugar Bowl appearances? With what Saban is getting paid, and with the reputation that has been given to him….he should never ever have any excuses/reasons!

  28. Nick Saban is a whining little bitch.

    He doesn’t say anything about whether his team was “distracted” when they went up 21-6 before pissing it down their legs…….I wonder why ??

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.