NFL mock draft: Finding a match for 5 Alabama stars
Let’s put these five former Alabama football stars onto NFL teams in this mock draft of sorts.
The top of the 2023 NFL Draft will be defined by former Alabama Crimson Tide superstars.
While Alabama underwhelmed on the football field when compared to its incredibly lofty standard, the 2022 Crimson Tide still won 11 games and beat the snot out of Big 12 champion Kansas State to win the Sugar Bowl. Of course, Nick Saban not only lost his two coordinators to other jobs this winter, but his three best players all went pro in Will Anderson Jr., Jahmyr Gibbs and Bryce Young.
Let’s take a look at what NFL teams make the most sense for Anderson, Gibbs, Young and others.
Table of Contents
- Introduction: Love is a battlefield over in the NFL’s black and blue division, alright.
- Page 2: Let’s run the ball a ton on a team that might be trading its franchise quarterback.
- Page 3: The head coach of this NFC powerhouse loves to run the ball down your throat.
- Page 4: This team doesn’t know what it’s doing, but this star would feel at home in 1985.
- Page 5: A new head coach and a new quarterback could make this team an AFC problem.
Alabama football: Finding an NFL Draft match for 5 former Crimson Tide stars
S Alabama Crimson Tide
Jordan Battle has a second-round grade, but could crack the top 31 this spring
One player who had been a huge part of the Alabama secondary these last few seasons is safety Jordan Battle. Although a national championship evaded him as an upperclassman, Battle remained one of the most important players in the defensive backfield of any SEC team. He was two-time all-conference at his position, showcasing he has what it takes to star on NFL Sundays.
Safety may not always be a position worthy of drafting high in an NFL Draft, but most of the best teams in football have one in the back-end at their disposal. With only 31 first-round picks this spring, Battle has an outside chance at being in position to garner a contract with a fifth-year option. The good news is that would likely put Battle on a team that is already a major contender.
Battle is probably a day-two pick, but taking a flier on an Alabama defensive back makes sense.
Jordan Battle could be an ideal replacement for Jessie Bates III in the secondary
With the Cincinnati Bengals having already tagged their star safety Jessie Bates III, it remains to be seen if the former Wake Forest star will be back in the Queen City for another season. Much of this will be contingent on if defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo gets the Arizona Cardinals job. A new defensive coordinator could make an increasingly expensive Bates all the more expendable.
Admittedly, it would be a bit of a reach for the Bengals to take Battle with the No. 28 overall pick. Then again, Cincinnati did strike gold with Bates outside of the top 32. Clearly, the Bengals’ front office has a great eye for talent, especially on the defensive side of the ball. Battle has thrived playing in somewhat of an ensemble cast in Tuscaloosa, so he would fit right in with Cincinnati.
If Cincinnati is unable to come to terms with Bates long-term, Battle could be a good replacement.