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Alabama Football 2016: Crimson Power Ranking-preseason edition

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Ranking Alabama’s top 16 players before the first game

NCAA Basketball: Auburn at Alabama Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports

Being unveiled today is the new Roll Bama Roll original series, the Crimson Power Ranking.

Every year, we see countless lists giving power rankings to teams, coaches, uniforms, stadium, food joints, cheerleaders, puppies, etc. These ostentatious publishings tend to generate a generous helping of clicks and views for websites, despite how dumb they are, so authors scramble to update their rankings every week.

Unfortunately for us at Roll Bama Roll, there is no surprise in any power rankings that the Tide might make an appearance in. Alabama, Nick Saban, and the rest of the players will always be at the top of any list— be it confined withing the SEC or with national contenders. So, to shake things up a bit, I will be pitting the best against the best.

Who’s better? O.J. Howard or Marlon Humphrey? There’s no real way to compare them, as they play different positions and will never face each other one-on-one. Well, this where your humble narrator comes in. Each week, I will unveil my infallible list of the Tide’s best players. Well, the top 16, to be exact. You know why there are 16. Roll Tide.

Now, without further ado... The moment you have all been waiting for:

The Crimson Power Ranking: Preseason edition

  1. DE- Jonathan Allen
  2. WR- Calvin Ridley
  3. WLB- Reuben Foster
  4. SS- Eddie Jackson
  5. CB- Marlon Humphrey
  6. JACK- Tim Williams
  7. RG- Ross Pierschbacher
  8. SLB- Ryan Anderson
  9. LT- Cam Robinson
  10. CB/STAR- Minkah Fitzpatrick
  11. P- J.K. Scott
  12. TE- O.J. Howard
  13. DE- Dalvin Tomlinson
  14. WR- ArDarius Stewart
  15. LG- Lester Cotton
  16. WR- Robert Foster

The best

Who returns for a senior season as the best player on the best team in the nation despite being a projected first round pick? Jonathan Allen does.

The surprises

While the top of the list shook out about like most would expect, left tackle Cam Robinson is a bit low for his lofty projections, coming in at number nine. Even more surprising is that he isn’t even the best offensive lineman on his own team. Ross Pierschbacher silently had a phenomenal freshman season while Cam Robinson struggled with injuries. Sure, Robinson has more potential, but Ross has been better thus far.

At the bottom of the list, left guard Lester Cotton and wide receiver Robert Foster have crept into the inner circle despite having a combined 3 games of experience between them. Cotton is an underrated talent, and has a very good chance of shooting up this list as the season gets underway.

Many forget that Robert Foster was the starter in 2015 with Calvin Ridley as his backup, up until Foster broke his collarbone in week three. With his health back, don’t be surprised if Foster climbs the list sooner rather than later.

Missed it by that much

Ronnie Harrison deserved to be on this list. He had a stellar freshman campaign and should only get better in his first year as a full time starter. Daron Payne, D’Shawn Hand, Shaun Hamilton, and Rashaan Evans are also all very close on his heels.

First true freshman to crack the list?

Jonah Williams is the most obvious candidate, as he is the only starter on Nick Saban’s opening depth chart. However, Trevon Diggs just may be the team’s best return man within only a game or two. Might he be the one? Or will it be B.J. Emmons?

No, the first is going to be Shyheim Carter. The true freshman is already the top backup at two different spots in the secondary— one of which means he will start when Alabama moves to a nickel defense. Like Minkah Fitzpatrick last year, Carter is an instinctual playmaker with outstanding athletic gifts and even more impressive field awareness.

And that concludes the pilot episode of the Crimson Power Ranking

As always, our show wants to take the opinions of our viewers into account. If you think you have a more accurate list, leave it in the comments below.

Tune in next week after the Tide takes on USC to see who rises up the rankings and who takes a tumble.