Five NFL scouts credentialed for Alabama-Ole Miss game


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- There were few college football games with more NFL prospects on the field Saturday than the Alabama-Ole Miss game, and in turn, there was no shortage of NFL scouts in attendance.

Scouts from the Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears and Oakland Raiders were credentialed for the Crimson Tide's home game against the Rebels. So who was worth watching, and how did they play? A quick look around the field:

» It was largely a game to forget for Alabama left tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, a highly-regarded junior, who struggled on several plays in the first half, getting himself off balance at times and failing to stay on his block on others. He did pounce on a fumble that was a huge play for the Crimson Tide, but that's not something that qualifies as an attention-getter to scouts. His play improved in the second half, particularly in the pass blocking area.

» If it was one to forget for Kouandjio, it was one to remember for Alabama's C.J. Mosley. A top prospect at the linebacker position, the senior made seven stops on the night, including a tackle for loss that resulted in a safety. Mosley's biggest play came on a pass breakup with Ole Miss threatening inside the Alabama 10 on a 4th-and-2 play that all but dashed the Rebels' comeback hopes. In a shutout effort for the UA defense, Mosley also aligned the defensive front against the Rebels' hurry-up, no-huddle offense, a tougher task than most realize. Said UA coach Nick Saban: "C.J. Mosley is as much a quarterback on defense as AJ (McCarron) is on offense."

» Speaking of McCarron, he completed 25 of 32 passes, but didn't get to show off his skills on intermediate and deep throws much as UA passed for just 180 yards. Scouts in attendance for Alabama's win at Texas A&M would have come away significantly more impressed, but McCarron did show nice poise in the pocket and took just one sack against an aggressive Rebels pass rush.

» Ole Miss wide receiver Donte Moncrief, a junior who will consider whether to turn pro early, had a decent performance against the Crimson Tide. Moncrief made six catches for 60 yards, although he operated mostly against a freshman cornerback in Alabama's Eddie Jackson. With a tackle for loss, an interception and two pass breakups, Jackson was actually more impressive in the matchup. Moncrief is Ole Miss' top pro prospect.

» Alabama's HaHa Clinton-Dix had a huge game, leading the Crimson Tide in tackles with eight, six of them solo, including a vicious tackle of Ole Miss' Jeff Scott on a fourth-down play to turn the ball over on downs. He added two pass breakups and led the challenging task of making secondary calls for the Crimson Tide.

» Finally, let's throw in a sleeper. You won't find Ole Miss safety Cody Prewitt on a lot of mock drafts; as a junior, he's not regarded as an early-entry candidate. But don't be at all surprised if he carves out a special-teams living in the NFL. At 6-2, 220 pounds, he's an absolutely fearless hitter -- a prerequisite for NFL special-teams play -- and has better speed than most realize. He may not have the change-of-direction quickness to cover pro receivers, but he's got the mentality and athleticism necessary for NFL special-teams play.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.


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