After the 45-20 victory over Kansas State in the Sugar Bowl last Saturday, three of Alabama’s biggest players declared for the NFL Draft Monday morning. Bryce Young, Will Anderson Jr., and Jahmyr Gibbs have played crucial roles for the Crimson Tide over the past couple of seasons. From Heisman trophies to SEC titles, these three are some of the best that Nick Saban has had in his program.
So what does this mean for them? Well, considering they are all three juniors, they have until January 16th to officially submit to the NFL Draft process or go back to Alabama. All three have plenty of marketability for the draft and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them all officially declare. That being said, here are some potential landing spots for these three Alabama superstars.
Bryce Young: Potential #1 Overall Pick, Top Five Pick
Out of the three players, Bryce Young has the best chance at an NFL roster. In two seasons as the starter, Young threw for 8,200 yards and 79 touchdowns. His 2021 stats that landed him the Heisman were both school records (4,872 passing yards, 47 touchdowns). Young is the only Alabama quarterback to have consecutive 3,000-plus yards in a season.
So where is the best spot for the six-foot, 194 pound QB? As of right now, I would put him at the number one pick to the Houston Texans. They are in need of a fresh start at QB and who better than the Alabama superstar right? He might not be a big guy as far as height and weight but he has the other intagibles you want in a rookie QB.
He has the ability to read defenses and stay composed in the pocket. He also has the ability to scramble if needed and that is a huge selling point. He has a strong arm and can make NFL type throws. His biggest weakness has to be his size but Kyler Murray just got paid big time and he is undersized as well.
Do not be surprised if Young has his name read as the number one overall pick. The Houston Texans should be the team making this pick and they would get a solid rookie QB in Bryce Young. If he doesnt go number one, I doubt Young slips outside the top five.
Will Anderson Jr: Top Three Pick
Next up, we have Will Anderson Jr who is one of the best edge rushers Nick Saban has ever had. Anderson is the only player in Alabama history to be a two-time unanimous All American. He finished 2022 with ten sacks but his 2021 campaign was the best as he finished with 17.5 sacks. In three seasons, Anderson finishes with 62 tackles for loss and 34.5 sacks (41 games).
At 6-4, 243 pounds, Anderson is the ideal build for a linebacker but could also be drafted to play edge. He has been compared to Von Miller in most draft profiles and I agree with that 100 percent. He has the ability to drop back into coverage but tear up a left or right tackle for a sack when needed.
His only weakness is that he can rack up missed tackles quickly. He averaged one per game in his career at Alabama according to PFF. In 2022, Anderson was credited with 14 missed tackles, per PFF. If he can clean that up and start making the clean tackles when needed, Anderson is a legit edge/linebacker talent.
Right now, he is projected at number three overall to the Seahawks. He could jump to number two but Chicago needs wide receiver help not edge help. Seattle is ideal for him because he would step into a big role almost immediately.
Jahmyr Gibbs: Late First Round, Pick 32 Or Early Second Round
Last but not least, we have Jahmyr Gibbs who only played one season at Alabama. Gibbs transferred from Georgia Tech and immediately made an impact for the Crimson Tide. He finished this season with 926 rushing yards, seven rushing touchdowns, and added 444 receiving yards with three touchdown catches. That stat line was good enough to earn him second-team All-SEC in his lone season with the team.
Gibbs is far from the caliber of talent that Bryce Young and Will Anderson offer. However, he is ranked the 15th overall prospect and the number one overall running back in the 2023 draft class according to CBS Sports. He made a name for himself in just one season under Nick Saban and that is enough to get him drafted.
As of right now, I do not see him going anywhere until end of the first round or early second round. CBS Sports has him projected at number 32 overall to the Eagles. That would assume the Eagles win the Super Bowl and have the last pick. Gibbs has a skill set similar to Alvin Kamara where he is dangerous carrying the ball as well as catching passes. If a team is in need of a dynamic running back for 2023, Gibbs is that guy but he will likely not hear his name until later in the first round.