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Alabama in the NFL: Midseason Grades

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How are former Alabama players faring at the next level? Lets find out!

Mark Ingram vs. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
Mark Ingram vs. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix
Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The recent success of Alabama sending players up to the next level has been astonishing. In fact, the amount of success there has been inversely proportional to how well Will Muschamp has performed at his job during that time span. Now, I know how hard it can be to keep up with one college team, let alone individual players on teams spread across an entire league. Fortunately for you, I have gladly embraced the challenge of compiling all of Alabama's NFL contributors, and will proceed to rate the success of each position group in order to find the winner. (One can come up with some of the most splendid ideas when avoiding Heat Transfer homework... 10/10 would recommend to anyone)

So, without further ado...

Games

Quarterbacks

A.J.... A.J.... A.J.... After McElroy left the NFL to pursue media endeavors, A.J. McCarron was next in line to be the sole Alabama quarterback in the professionals. Upon being drafted by the Bengals, McCarron was promptly put on the "Non-Football Related Injury" list, and has done nothing more with the Bengals besides be listed on their website. He also has a nice tendency to dig himself into holes with his mouth.

Final Grade:

Buddy

Syndrome. Misguided man from the The Incredibles who ALMOST succeeded in taking over the world, but just could not keep his mouth shut long enough to do it.

Running Backs

It had been a common theme around the NFL lately to call Alabama's backs, "busts." Then Eddie Lacy happened. After being named top offensive rookie in the NFL last year, Lacy has rumbled his was to 637 yards and 4 touchdowns from scrimmage for the Green Bay Packers this year. Not to be outdone, Mark Ingram has had a resurgent season with the Saints so far racking up 331 yards and 4 touchdowns on an absurd 5.7 yards per carry, even though he missed a month of play with a broken hand. These two put on a show in a duel of the Bama backs in front of the entire nation last Sunday night, combing for almost 400 yards between the two in a single game.

Trent Richardson, after being the butt of most every joke ever regarding his horrid first season with the Colts, has got back on track this season. While not as spectacular as Ingram or Lacy, he's put up a workmanlike 531 yards of offense and 2 touchdowns while splitting carries with Ahmad Bradshaw.

Final Grade:
Karate Kid

Karate Kid. Daniel-son famously overcame being one of the biggest push-overs known to man to become a feared Ka-ra-te master.

Wide Receivers

JJJJUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUULLLLIIIIIIOOOOOOO!!!!!

(and Kevin)

Julio Jones has arguably been Alabama's best alum in the professional realm since he was drafted. After missing last season with a broken foot, he has rebounded and is 6th in the league with 734 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns. Julio has been a one man show for Alabama receivers the past few years, but Kevin Norwood has finally cracked the rotation up in Seattle, and made an insane no-look 3rd down catch to keep a game winning drive alive this past Sunday.

Final Grade:
Mario

Mario and Luigi. The power duo of video game characters have been the best selling video game franchise of all time. But let's face it, no one ever really remembers Luigi. Mario is the real superstar.

Tight Ends

Ummm.... May wanna get on that.

Nothing to see

Offensive Line

Most of the offensive line players out of Alabama have been first round draft picks. They have all lived up to the billing, too. Andre Smith with the Bengals is debatably the top right tackle in the game, and the Chargers' D.J. Fluker is not far behind. Chance Warmack had a rough rookie year with the Titans, but has become a solid starter in his second year. Up in Seattle, James Carpenter has finally managed to not be on injured reserve for once, and has been one of the most consistent lineman there. Barrett Jones is a back-up utility lineman who the Rams seem to be excited about. Cyrus Kouandjio, however, has still not cracked the gameday roster for the Bills.

Evan Mathis is arguably the best former Bama lineman, but is injured for the Eagles right now. Mike Johnson likes to catch trick play touchdowns for the Falcons, but is also out for injury.

Final Grade: 

Wall

Great wall of China. Because, well, its a solid wall.

Defensive Line

Marcell Dareus leads the the charge here, as the Bills' pro-bowler is 5th in the league with 7 sacks right now. Wallace Gilberry has become an impact starter for the Bengals as well, and is making life difficult for opposing QB's. Josh Chapman is the starting nose tackle and anchor for the Colts. Rookie Ed Stinson has also been making a splash the last couple of weeks with the Cardinals.

Brandon Deaderick has been a solid rotational guy for the Saints, and rookie Jeoffrey Pagan has been getting more and more playing time with the Texans. Quinton Dial has shown some tantalizing flashes of talent to the 49ers, but can't get past the same old boneheaded personal foul-type penalties that haunted him at Bama. Damion Square can't quite get off the inactive list for the Cheifs.

Terrance Cody with the Ravens is struggling with injuries again this season, as is Jesse Williams, who is stashed on the Seahawks IR list for the second year in a row.

Final Grade:
Seal

This seal approves. GET IT!? BECAUSE ITS A SEAL. OF APPROVAL!

I'M SO SORRY. How many more positions can you gumps deal with me rambling about....? Let's find out!

Linebackers

Remember when Penn State was considered "LinebackerU?" Neither do I, nor does Rolando McClain. The feel good story of year has a great chance of winning "Comeback Player of the Year" award at the end of the season. After retiring from football in order to get his head straight, McClain signed with the Cowboys and has quickly become one of the best in the league with 38 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble, and two interceptions. His former partner, Dont'a Hightower, has been a quality and versatile starter for the Patriots, and didn't miss a single defensive snap last week.

Old man DeMeco Ryans has been a team leader and one of the more respected linebackers in the league for the Eagles, as has Jarrett Johnson with the Chargers. Courtney Upshaw has been a decent situational pass rusher for the Ravens, and Nico Johnson is getting a few snaps here and there with the Bengals

Finally, Raven's rookie C.J. Mosley is the frontrunner to win defensive rookie of the year, and he is 4th in the NFL with 76 tackles.

Final Grade:

Murica

Who has the best linebackers? Alabama. Who has the best country? Thats right. Roll Tide.

Cornerbacks

Here is where things get ugly. Kareem Jackson is still a starter for the Texans, he's been good enough to keep the job, but that's about it. Dre Kirkpatrick gets a couple of snaps per game and plays special teams for the Bengals. Dee Milliner looked to be improving, but then tore his Achilles and the Jets put him on IR for the season. Javier Arenas is still inactive for the Falcons.

Final Grade: 

The unmanned Antares rocket had a lot of hype and great expectations for its upcoming journeys, but ultimately did not make it very far.

Safeties

Rashad Johnson has been a longtime starter and team leader for the Arizona Cardinals (remember when he played through the loss of his finger last year?). Roman Harper has also been a solid player in the league for many years, and was recently acquired by the Panthers as a veteran player. His play has been a bit shaky there, drawing the ire of some Carolina fans, but he also leads the team in interceptions.

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix has looked good as a rotational safety for the Packers and took over as a starter for the Pack's injured SS, but still has some over-aggressive tendencies that need to be flattened out. Vinnie Sunseri looked really impressive in the Saints preseason, but only gets a couple of snaps per game right now. Robert Lester was signed to the Panthers from their practice squad earlier this week.

Mark Barron, after being a solid starter for the Buccaneers for a few years (and their second-leading tackler), just got traded yesterday to the St. Louis Rams, where his aggressive style of play will fit right in with the mentality of Jeff Fisher's defense there.

Final Grade: 
Potential

This kid has all kinds of potential in life. Whether or not he goes anywhere with it, remains to be seen. (also P.E.=mgh for you physics nerds out there).

Also, Carson Tinker is the starting long snapper for the Jaguars, take that for what its worth.

So Who Wins?

Well, that debate rages. I'm sure A.J. would argue his case for the QB, as he holds the team leadership there. The tight ends could also argue that they are the only position group who has not made a single mistake on a single play all season. The defensive and offensive lines have a lot of depth. But I think the linebackers hold the title for best Bama alums for right now, with Carson Tinker and the long snappers a close second.

After many years of having a very small NFL influence, Saban has slowly infected most of the league with a crimson influence, and the disease will only spread exponentially from here.