Alabama in the Pros

Crimson Tide in the NFL: Young receivers looking to make immediate contributions

Kirby Lee - USA TODAY Sports

We continue our look at the former Alabama players that are now in the NFL with a look at the wide receiver position. We took a quick look at A.J. McCarron last week and today we will focus on three of his main targets, outside of Amari Cooper. Christion Jones, Kevin Norwood and DeAndrew White all had their moments in college that should solidify their names in the minds of Crimson Tide fans. Now they have moved on to bigger things and have already been called on to make immediate impacts.

Christion Jones, Miami Dolphins, Wide Receiver

2011-2014

5’11”, 187 pounds

3 years, $1.58 million

Christion Jones had an impacting role for Alabama’s offense over his career and he seemed to only get better. Jones finished his time in Tuscaloosa with 1,030 receiving yards but he was mostly seen as one of the team’s best special teams players. He averaged 25.4 yards per kickoff return and 10.9 yards per punt return with four total return touchdowns. Jones was also used as a gunner on punts and finished his four years with 21 tackles and three forced fumbles. He will rely on that special teams experience to help him earn a roster spot. Jones was signed by the Dolphins after going undrafted in April. He looks like he will be mostly fighting former LSU receiver Jarvis Landry for playing time. Jones is listed behind Landry as the third receiver on the depth chart. Jones also sits in the fourth slot for both kick returns and punt returns, two spots where Landry is currently listed as the starter. Jones missed the Dolphins’ opening preseason game against the Bears because of a hamstring injury but has returned to practice and should be ready for Saturday’s game at Carolina.

Kevin Norwood, Seattle Seahawks, Wide Receiver

2010-2013

6’2″, 199 pounds

4 years, $2.64 million

Kevin Norwood was a household name in his time with Alabama. He was often the go to receiver when the Crimson Tide needed a quick sideline catch, as we saw in the comeback win against LSU in 2012. Norwood wasn’t used often in 2014 as a member of the Seahawks but he is still a reliable targert. Norwood finished the season with 103 yards on 10 targets, nine of them being caught and five of them going for first downs. Norwood is currently listed as a third-team receiver for the Seahawks but making the cut may not be easy. The coaches were impressed with the former Tide receiver last season but have yet to see much from him in this year’s training camp. Seattle Times is calling for the Seahawks to only take five receivers into the season, which would leave Norwood on the outside. Norwood was targeted four times in Seattle’s preseason opener against the Broncos but only had one reception for 7 yards. The Seahawks will play against the Chiefs on Friday night in their next preseason game.

DeAndrew White, San Francisco 49ers, Wide Receiver

2011-2014

6’0″, 192 pounds

3 years, $1.58 million

DeAndrew White finished his career at Alabama with 94 receptions and 1,294 yards to go along with 12 total touchdowns, including last season’s game winner against LSU. White was signed as an undrafted free agent back in May and has turned many heads during his short time with San Francisco. White has made a number of big plays in practice and there’s talk of White taking over as the team’s number three wide receiver and possibly starting kick returner. He has even been called the next Odell Beckham, Jr. White will have to stay consistent for all of this to become true but the 49ers have Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith as their top receivers and the rest is up for grabs. It is not too far-fetched to think White can grab that third spot by the time the season starts. White finished the preseason opener against the Texans with a 3-yard reception and two kick returns for 39 total yards. San Francisco’s next game is Sunday against the Cowboys.

Caleb Turrentine is a contributor at Touchdown Alabama Magazine. Follow him on Twitter,@CalebTurrentine.

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