A’Shawn Robinson and Jarran Reed represented the fearsome tandem in the middle of Alabama’s defensive front in the last two seasons. Both players struck fear in the hearts of opposing running backs and Reed in particular, carried the Crimson Tide for the time during 2014 and 2015.
Alabama led the nation in run defense (75.7 ypg) and was amongst the leaders in scoring defense (15.1 ppg) and total defense (276.3 ypg). Reed led the duo in total tackles last season with 57, while adding 4.5 tackles for loss, a sack, eight quarterback hurries and two pass breakups.
Robinson finished with 46 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, two pass breakups, a blocked kick and a team-high 10 quarterback hurries. Alabama’s dominant duo at defensive tackle guided the program to a Southeastern Conference championship and a national title in 2015.
CBS Sports projects Reed and Robinson as first-round selections in the upcoming NFL Draft, with Robinson being listed as the top defensive line prospect. Yours truly of Touchdown Alabama Magazine has a chart and a breakdown of the top five NFL homes for both players.
|1. New Orleans Saints
|2. San Diego Chargers
|3. Chicago Bears
|4. Buffalo Bills
|5. Seattle Seahawks
All four team finished toward the bottom of the league against the run, with Cleveland and New Orleans capping off at Nos. 30 and 31. San Diego ended 27th in the NFL against the run, while Chicago and Dallas finished at Nos. 22 and 23.
Summary: Alabama’s run defense dominated college football in the last two years, as opposed to Cleveland, New Orleans, Dallas and San Diego in the National Football League.
All four programs have needs on the defensive line.
The Chargers and Saints specify this position as a “top need” heading into the draft. NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay has New Orleans taking Reed with the 12th overall pick.
Buffalo stacked toward the middle of the pack against run, finishing 16th last season (108.1 ypg). The Bills need depth along its front to pair alongside Marcell Dareus and Mario Williams.
Depth issues follow suit with both Washington and Seattle, despite the Seahawks finishing No. 1 against the run (81.5 ypg). Youth is needed on Seattle’s front line as some of its players hit free agency.
Reed and Robinson are both participating in the NFL Combine, in hopes to fully lock up a first-round spot. The event will start on Feb. 23 inside Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind.