According to SI.com's Chris Burke, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
is the top safety in the 2014 NFL Draft class. (Rogelio Solis/AP)
Alabama's juniors declared for the NFL Draft on Thursday and among them were offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, linebacker Adrian Hubbard and defensive lineman Jeoffrey Pagan.
Kouandjio and Clinton-Dix are likely first rounders, so the news doesn't come as much of a surprise. In Chris Burke's Mock Draft 4.0, released on Wednesday, the All-America Kouandjio goes 27th overall to the New Orleans Saints. Burke notes, however, that depending on how the "board falls," Kouandjio could go as high as the top 15.
Burke has Clinton-Dix going to the Chicago Bears with the 14th pick. Burke says:
The Bears have some work to do in their secondary. At cornerback, Charles Tillman’s headed to free agency and, at some point in the next draft or two, they’ll need a fallback plan for Tim Jennings (currently 30 years old, with a new contract that allows Chicago to boot him easily after 2015.)
Safety’s a mess, too. Major Wright’s a pending free agent and Chris Conte is … well, not very good. Clinton-Dix is the top player at his position and fits a need.
The Crimson Tide safety was suspended two games earlier this season because he took a loan of less than $500 from a strength and conditioning coach, which he later repaid. Clinton-Dix had 52 tackles this season, including 3.5 tackles for loss, and two interceptions.
Hubbard is probably a Day 2 selection, while Pagan is a wild card. Scout won't have a ton of film on the junior lineman, but he could surprise some people with a good showing at the NFL Combine.