Top Alabama prospects for the 2021 NFL Draft
By: Darrell Lane
The 2020-2021 season was a magical year for the Alabama Crimson Tide, culminating in an undefeated season and national championship. Here is the list of the top prospects the Tide have coming out for the 2021 NFL Draft.
- Patrick Surtain II, CB
Playing a premium position at corner, gives Surtain the number the 1 spot. Surtain has the prototypical size for a corner at 6’2, 205 pounds and the best man coverage skills in the draft. With NFL bloodlines coursing through his veins (Father Patrick Surtain Sr played in the NFL for 11 years), Surtain should be a Pro Bowl caliber player right away.
- DeVonta Smith, WR
It was tough not to have the Heisman Trophy winner at number 1, but I value the impact of an elite corner over that of a wideout. Smith had one of the best seasons for a receiver in college football history totaling 1,856 receiving yards, 117 receptions and 23 receiving touchdowns. Smith can do it all, from playing inside, outside and lining up in the backfield. Despite his lack of size, at 6’1, 175 pounds, Smith should be a go to receiver in the NFL right away.
- Christian Barmore, DT
Barmore was an absolute monster for the Tide this year, totaling 8 sacks, which was 13th in the country. The 6’5, 310-pound defensive tackle, has a great swim move that he uses constantly to dominate opposing offensive linemen. Barmore is versatile having the ability to play multiple positions across the d-line, while still being able to collapse the pocket. This dominant force should hear his name called in the first round.
- Jaylen Waddle, WR
Waddle might be the fastest player in this draft. Despite only playing in 5 games this year and totaling 591 receiving yards on only 28 receptions, Waddle has shown he’s a dynamic weapon with quick feet, elite speed and great deep threat ability. Waddle should be the 3rd receiver off the board.
- Najee Harris, RB
Powerful, strong, explosive and tough, what more could you need from a running back? Harris has made improvements in his game, as a pass blocker and receiver out the backfield totaling 53 receptions this past year. This back is NFL ready right now and can easily get 1,000 yards rushing in his first year as a pro.
- Mac Jones, QB
The starting quarterback for the National Champion Crimson Tide slots in at number 6. The question on Jones will be how he fairs in the NFL without the Alabama machine behind him? Jones to me is a 2nd round pick. He has a great arm, can really spin the ball and makes big plays down the field. An underrated part of Jones’s game is his ability to move around in the pocket and buy time. Jones has some concerns but has the skills to be a quality starter.
- Alex Leatherwood, OT
Leatherwood won the Outland Award this past season, which is given to the best interior lineman in college football. Leatherwood is fantastic in the run game and is great as a reach blocker. He gets to linebackers on the second level and is a good puller. I have Leatherwood behind Jones, because I prefer the left tackle to be better in pass protection against speed rushers. Having said that, Leatherwood is no slouch in pass protection and should be a starter in the NFL right away.
- Dylan Moses, LB
Dylan Moses is an interesting prospect. He is not the thumper you want at the linebacker spot. What Moses can do is perfect for the modern NFL. Moses can play in space, cover backs, run sideline to sideline and be the QB of the defense.
- Deonte Brown, OG
Brown will come in right away and be able to contribute to an NFL team. The starting guard for the Tide this past season is a great puller in the run game and is fantastic at drive blocking down the field. Brown was a catalyst for the Crimson Tide’s rushing attack which finished 2nd in the SEC in yards.
- Landon Dickerson, OG
The Rimington Award winner and best center in college football, was the heart and soul of the Bama o-line this past year. He is a monster in the run game and is able to get movement off the line of scrimmage, with his big 6’6, 325-pound frame.
**all stats are from ESPN.com