With the NFL Draft come and gone, Alabama finds itself short of large number of major contributors from the 2018 season. In what is becoming a yearly tradition, the Tide led all of college football with 10 players drafted. They also tied Clemson and Mississippi State for the most 1st round draft picks, with 3 apiece.
To kick off the first night, Quinnen Williams cemented himself as one of the top players in the world, going #3 overall to the New York Jets. The NFL inflates the value of QBs and edge rushers, so Kyler Murray and Nick Bosa both went ahead of him. But Williams going third showed that he was viewed as the best non-QB/edge in the entire draft (and probably the best overall player).
Eight picks later, the Cincinnati Bengals picked up Jonah Williams, who may be an offensive tackle, or he may be a guard. Who really knows. And it’s been argued about so much over the last couple of months that I won’t say anything else. Regardless, he was the first offensive lineman picked in the draft.
In the later half of the first round, running back Josh Jacobs cashed in on his meteoric rise in the 2018 season by being selected 24th overall by the Oakland Raiders. With Marshawn Lynch retiring, the Raiders were looking for another running back with a similarly aggressive running style
Next was tight end Irv Smith Jr., who had been considered a potential first round pick. He fell to the 18th pick of the second round, where the Minnesota Vikings grabbed him to pair with an already stellar collection of pass collectors.
One full round later, Damien Harris came off the board to play for New England. Harris had been considered an early 2nd/fringe 1st round prospect after his junior season, but decided to return to school. Unfortunately, Josh Jacobs’ ascendance to superstardom cut a lot of Harris’s carries, and he fell by the wayside a little. However, the Patriots are notorious for splitting running back carries, so Harris will assuredly get plenty of playing time, even if he’s behind last year’s 1st round draft pick, Sony Michel.
In the 4th round, the Panthers took a chance on linebacker Christian Miller, who had dealt with injuries for most of his career. If Miller manages to combine his athleticism and leadership with actual on-field production, then Carolina will have picked up one of the biggest steals of the draft.
The 5th round saw a trio of Tide players called off the board. Safety Deionte Thompson and linebacker Mack Wilson have both been under considerable scrutiny as players who probably should have returned for their senior season, and both of them fell significantly further in the draft than they thought they would. Both had been labeled as 2nd-round talents, but it seems the teams did not view them that way.
Ross Pierschbacher also slipped into the 5th round, which was higher than a lot of people projected. The Washington Crimson Tide picked him up, so Ross is, once again, going to be stuck blocking Da’Ron Payne and Jonathan Allen in practice.
Finally, Isaiah Buggs was selected in the 6th round by the Pittsburgh Steelers. After Auburn nearly ruined Buggs’s entire career with a dirty hit to the back of his knees, it’s good to see at least one team still thought he would be able to get back to full speed.
Undrafted Free Agent Signings
Often an afterthought, many teams actually treat the undrafted free agent market after the draft with a lot of care. So far, four Alabama players have already been signed to teams around the league. Saivion Smith, despite his unceremonious exit, was picked up by the Jaguars. Jamey Mosley will join his older brother, C.J., at New York with the Jets.
Lester Cotton will head to the Oakland Raiders to continue blocking for Josh Jacobs, and tight end Hale Hentges is joining the Indianapolis Colts.
UPDATE: According to CBSSports, DT Johnny Dwight has signed with the Houston Texans. (CB969)