July 10, 2014

TideSports.com Top 40 for 2014: 16-20

Voting Criteria: Player's importance to the team in 2014, talent and potential for the upcoming season. A player's long term/NFL potential was not taken into consideration.

Voting Panel: TideSports.com beat writer Aaron Suttles, TideSports.com Managing Editor D.C. Reeves and former Alabama defensive end and TideSports.com contributor John Copeland.

No. 20 RB Jalston Fowler Analysis
Mobile, Ala.

Height: 6-1
Weight: 250
Year: Senior

Depth Chart Projection: First-team H-back

2013 Stats: 20 rushes for 88 yards and 7 catches for 15 yards and 5 touchdowns.

There's more to Jalston Fowler than just a bruising big-body in the Crimson Tide's offense. He can block. He can run and is surprisingly agile for his size. He can catch, as opposing defenses have learned in the red zone. When UA runs out of the I-formation, it's Fowler with the lead block. He can serve as a short-yardage specialist if called upon, too. He's been most dangerous in the red zone on play-action fakes when defenses bite to stop the run, lose containment and leave Fowler usually wide open for an easy touchdown.
Voting Rundown: Aaron Suttles - No. 21 /D.C. Reeves - No. 17 / John Copeland - No. 27

No. 19 DL Jonathan Allen Analysis
Stone Bridge
Leesburg, Va.

Height: 6-3
Weight: 264
Year: Sophomore

Depth Chart Projection: Second-team DL

2013 Stats: 16 tackles, 3 TFL, 0.5 sacks.

He earned valuable playing time his freshman season, logging action in 12 of Alabama's 13 games. He along with his heralded freshman line mate A'Shawn Robinson provided much-needed depth. This season depth abounds on the defensive line, as evidenced by three defensive linemen making the list from No. 16-20. Allen dominated the A-Day spring game for the second-team defense, making six tackles, two sacks, four tackles for loss and blocking a field goal.
Voting Rundown: Aaron Suttles - No. 37 /D.C. Reeves - No. 12 / John Copeland - No. 16

No. 18 RB Kenyan Drake Analysis
Powder Springs, Ga.

Height: 6-1
Weight: 201
Year: Junior

Depth Chart Projection: Second-team RB

2013 Stats: 92 rushes for 694 and 8 TDs and 12 catches for 135 yards and 1 TD.

He's perhaps the most talked offensive skill position player for reasons both good and the bad. The good is obvious. Kenyan Drake's speed is better than any other running back in UA's elite stable of athletes. He hits the hole with tremendous quickness. The bad isn't hard to spot either. He fumbles way too often (four fumbles with three lost in 92 carries) for the coaching staff and that along with always seeming to reside just inside or around the Nick Saban's doghouse (the recent arrest didn't help) keep him from reaching his full potential in the UA offense.
Voting Rundown: Aaron Suttles - No. 27 /D.C. Reeves - No. 25 / John Copeland - No. 9

No. 17 DL D.J. Pettway Analysis
Pensacola Catholic
Pensacola, Fla.

Height: 6-2
Weight: 255
Year: Junior

Depth Chart Projection: Second-team DL

2013 Stats: N/A.

D.J. Pettway's return to Alabama helped bolster an already promising unit. He has the potential to bring something to the Alabama defense that it hasn't had since the 2011 season: a consistent pass rush. Put simply, Pettway can get after the quarterback. A tremendous first step gives the edge going against offensive lineman. If Alabama doesn't drop into coverage and play everything underneath on third downs, Pettway could have a big year.
Voting Rundown: Aaron Suttles - No. 29 /D.C. Reeves - No. 21 / John Copeland - No. 8

No. 16 DL Jarran Reed Analysis
East Mississippi CC
Goldsboro, N.C.

Height: 6-4
Weight: 310
Year: Junior

Depth Chart Projection: First-team DL

2013 Stats: N/A.

There is no defensive lineman I'm looking forward to seeing in game action more than Jarran Reed. He's a physical specimen on the line and could challenge for the starting nose guard spot in the coaching staff chooses to use him that way. He's tremendously strong with a solid lower base that is hard move out of the hole. He will give offensive lines fits this season with his strength. He also has a tremendous motor, working to the ball from the backside. He doesn't often give up on plays.
Voting Rundown: Aaron Suttles - No. 14 /D.C. Reeves - No. 27 / John Copeland - No. 14

TideSports Top 40 for 2014: 21-25
TideSports Top 40 for 2014: 31-35
TideSports Top 40 for 2014: 36-40

Top 40 list so far:
21. Xzavier Dickson
22. Dillon Lee
23. Brandon Ivory
24. DeAndrew White
25. Jarrick Williams
26. Brian Vogler
27. Geno Smith
28. Reuben Foster
29. Grant Hill
30. Bradley Sylve
31. Dominick Jackson
32. Arie Kouandjio
33. Dalvin Tomlinson
34. Reggie Ragland
35. Chris Black
36. Cyrus Jones
37. Blake Sims
38. Adam Griffith
39. Da'Shawn Hand
40. Marlon Humphrey

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