TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Former Alabama quarterback Jake Coker is taking advantage of every opportunity he can to show NFL scouts and franchises that he’s worthy of being picked in this April’s draft.
After throwing at Alabama’s pro day earlier this month, Coker is scheduled to participate in South Alabama’s pro day on Monday in Mobile, Ala.
As a senior, Coker completed 67 percent of his passes for 3,110 yards, 21 touchdowns to eight interceptions en route to helping the Crimson Tide to its fourth national championship in seven seasons.
SEC Country caught up with Coker’s private quarterbacks coach, David Morris of QB Country. Coker has trained with Morris since high school. Following Alabama’s season, Coker went back to work with Morris to get ready for the NFL draft. CBSSports.com currently ranks Coker as the 14th-best quarterback prospect in this year’s class and projects him to be a taken in the 7th round or else signed as an undrafted free agent.
Question: What are you guys hoping to accomplish with this second pro day?
David Morris: Just one more opportunity for him to throw for scouts, and to get a little bit more on film. He’s a competitor — it was his idea. He’s familiar with some of the South Alabama receivers that are graduating. They’ve been working with us down here in Mobile a little bit. It’s one of those things where it’s one more opportunity to show what you can do in front of people who are scouting you.
Q: What type of feedback have you gotten from scouts who saw him at the Senior Bowl and at his first pro day?
DM: We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback. Early on, we were hearing things that he needed to improve on in their opinion so a lot of our workouts and preparation have been sort of geared towards that. After the Senior Bowl, it was a chance to kind of look — we only had a week (to get ready for) Senior Bowl — so after the Senior Bowl, it gave us a chance to dive into some of those things like speeding his drop game up. We also wanted to improve on every aspect as far as getting stronger and everything that goes along with the process.
As far as now, we’re hearing positive things about how he looked faster than he’s looked with his throwing motion as well as his feet at pro day. It’s been all good feedback so far (since pro day). We have no clue what’s going to happen between now and April (the draft), so it’s kind of silly to try to guess at it. All we can do is just keep working and try to improve.
Q: Speaking of the things you guys wanted to improve on since the Senior Bowl, how far has Coker come in the last two months?
DM: I think he’s gotten better everyday. I think a big part of improving is understanding where and how you need to improve, and I think he gets it. It’s not something that’s foreign to him. Everyday we’re working with an emphasis on twitch with both the feet and the throwing motion. He’s gotten better, no doubt. That focus is something that has to be consistent, and I’ve been pleased with the progress he’s made.
Q: You’ve worked with some other NFL quarterbacks in the past. How does Coker’s game translate to the next level?
DM: I think it translates very well to the NFL game. Obviously he’s a guy who lacks game experience. In a perfect world, he’d be able to sit behind a starter for three, four or five years and really learn a playbook and play a little, but also have an opportunity to get better. I think it’s hard for any rookie or young quarterback to play in the league early. In a perfect world, I think it would be good for Jake to be able to buy some time, but I think he can be an NFL starter down the road, I really do. He’s got as much talent as anybody in the league. He’s a winner, he’s tough, he’s got all the intangibles that you want and he’s a leader.
He’s got all the stuff you want. It’s just a matter of how the chips fall, and you never know how that will happen. He’s a guy that translates well to the league. He’s a locker room guy, and he’s a student. He knows what it takes to dive into a playbook, and that’s really what matters. And the final thing that kind of makes you feel good about what you’re getting when you get Jake is that you’re getting a guy that’s focused. He’s not going to have any off the field issues, ever. That’s a big deal because you have to be able to trust your quarterback and your backup quarterback. He’s got to be a guy who handles himself with class and in a way that makes you proud. That’s definitely Jake.
— QB Country (@QBCountry) March 21, 2016