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April 7, 2010

Draft update: McClain's stock holds, Cody and Johnson drop a bit

It doesn't appear that former University of Alabama middle linebacker Rolando McClain's admission that he was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease in high school has affected his draft stock.

"The teams I've spoken to, they're not concerned," ESPN analyst Mel Kiper said during a conference call Wednesday morning. "He hasn't dropped down their boards. They're still maintaining that he's going to be and should be a mid-first round pick. That (No.) 10 area for Jacksonville, they certainly could use him as a middle linebacker. Some think Oakland could go for a linebacker early (at No. 8).

"But I have him going, and I've stayed with this for the last month or so, to the (New York) Giants at 15. He would be a major hole-filler for the Giants."

Kiper also touched on some other former Alabama players, and has slightly downgraded nose tackle Terrence Cody and guard Mike Johnson from his previous assessments.

"Cody I have in the second round," he said. "I think a nose tackle like Cody would be interesting to the Kansas City Chiefs.

"Mike Johnson, a good player, but the workouts and lack of upside hurts him. I think he's a fourth-rounder.

"Javier Arenas I really like. I know he may not be ideal from a height standpoint, or catch-up-speed standpoint, but good football player, tough kid, punt-returner, I have him in the third round."

Nolan Nawrocki of Pro Football Weekly is one of many who believes New England is a possible destination for either Cody or versatile defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick. New England has the No. 22-overall pick in addition to three in the second round, one in the fourth round, two in the sixth and five in the seventh.

"There really aren't that many in this draft, it's a really difficult position to fill," he said about nose tackles.

With the draft two weeks away (April 22-24), here's where the other Crimson Tide players stand:

RB: The best guess here is that Roy Upchurch does get selected, probably seventh round.

WR: Mike McCoy appears headed to free agency.

TE: Colin Peek's numerous setbacks haven't helped his cause, but he's still projected to be a low fifth-round, early sixth-round projection.

OL: Drew Davis hasn't shown any interest in continuing his career.

DL: Look for Lorenzo Washington to be a late pick.

LB: It doesn't appear that Eryk Anders or Cory Reamer will be selected, but both will probably sign free-agent deals.

CB: The Donovan McNabb trade to Washington might impact Kareem Jackson because the Eagles have definite needs in the secondary. Philadelphia has pick No. 24 overall and acquired the fifth selection in the second round from Washington. According to the National Football Post, Jackson recently visited with Pittsburgh, and has Arizona, Cleveland, Denver, Jacksonville, St. Louis and the New York Jets to go. Look for some team to take a chance on Marquis Johnson late in the draft.

S: Justin Woodall is still on target to probably be a sixth-round selection.

ST: It's looking more likely that no kickers will be drafted, but if so Leigh Tiffin will be quickly signed.


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