Alabama NFL Draft Prospects

RB Alex Collins released from Ravens; Damien Harris in play for NFL Draft

Christopher Hanewinckel - USA TODAY Sports

Could the Baltimore Ravens get another product of Alabama football? 

It’s s strong possibility, even with Ozzie Newsome retired. The franchise decided to waive running back Alex Collins on Friday, following an incident that involved a car crash. According to a report from NFL.com, Collins’ car slid off the pavement and hit a tree on Dolfield Road – which is a mile away from the Ravens’ facility. 

Regardless of him stating that he was trying to drop off a friend, police officers detected a strong odor of marijuana inside the vehicle and found a glass jar that contained five ounces of the substance. A handgun was also found in Collins possession and he was placed under arrest for possession with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana in excess of 10 grams and possession of a handgun in vehicle. No one was hurt in the incident and per the article, Collins fell asleep in the car – instead of calling a tow truck – while his friend walked home. 

RELATED: Damien Harris creates big value for NFL Draft with strong Combine showing

He was released on $7,500 bond; however, Baltimore cut ties from the former Arkansas standout and fifth-round pick of the 2016 NFL Draft. He finished last season with 411 rushing yards and seven touchdowns. With him gone, the team is in need of back to help grow with Lamar Jackson.

As it sits at the 22nd overall pick, Damien Harris is in play for the Ravens. 

Despite having Javorius Allen, Kenneth Dixon and Ty Montgomery, the former Crimson Tide standout would give head coach John Harbaugh an individual with a leadership mindset that possesses speed, power, toughness and vision needed to help Baltimore win the AFC North. 

He turned in a strong workout on Friday at the NFL Combine, posting a time of 4.57 seconds (official) in the 40-yard dash and displayed a 37” vertical. His broad jump of 10’1” inches and moves during on-field drills was running backs got the attention professional scouts and others. 

In four seasons with the Tide, Harris became the eighth leading rusher in school history with 3,070 yards and 23 scores. He had two straight 1,000-yard season in 2016 and 2017 and came 124 yards shy in 2018 of being the first back to record three consecutive 1,000-yard campaigns. 

Production is the biggest key with Harris. 

The former five-star won’t wow people with blazing speed, but in tough division filled with nasty defenses, Baltimore needs a back that can get tough yards. Enter Harris here. 

Hailing from Kentucky, the 216-pounder is very decisive when it comes to hitting holes and is underrated in pass protection.

After tossing six touchdowns to three interceptions in his rookie season, it would be ideal to complement Jackson with an NFL ready guy in the backfield. 

If nothing else, drafting Harris to Baltimore puts him in an environment with former college teammates – including Marlon Humphrey, Anthony Averett, Tim Williams and Bradley Bozeman.

Although he did not play with C.J. Mosley, he was also a product of Alabama. 

Josh Jacobs shared the Tide’s backfield with Harris from 2016-18 and projects as the top-rated rusher for this class; however, he may be off the board by the time the Ravens pick. 

Harris is the piece that fits Baltimore.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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