Alabama’s 2023 season is not yet complete but that doesn’t mean it is too early to be looking ahead to the 2024 NFL draft. After all, nobody has funneled more players into the NFL than Nick Saban during his tenure with the Crimson Tide.
Each year it seems like Coach Saban and Alabama have several players who have tough decisions to mull over in terms of staying in school or entering the NFL draft early and this year will not be any different.
There are still a lot of variables at play relative to some pending decisions with none more prevalent than the Crimson Tide’s potential College Football Playoff run that could help catapult certain Alabama stars into a higher NFL draft projection.
Here are 10 Alabama players who currently face tough NFL draft decisions following the conclusion of the season.
Center Seth McLaughlin
Starting Alabama center Seth McLaughlin has had his fair share of ups and downs this season. His shotgun snaps have been errant far more often they they should be and his blocking has also been a bit inconsistent. McLaughlin is a good player and would receive NFL draft interest but he could also use another year to improve at the college level.
Running back Roydell Williams
Roydell Williams is a senior but still has his COVID year of eligibility remaining if he so chooses. Williams has spent his entire career as a backup and with Jase McClellan likely moving on, Williams would have the opportunity to return as the feature back in 2024. But with the shelf life of backs being short, Williams might go ahead and pursue his career at the next level.
Safety Malachi Moore
Malachi Moore is a really good college defensive back who can play multiple positions and is almost like having a coach on the field. What Moore lacks in athletic ability, he makes up for in knowledge and experience. Like Williams, Moore still has his COVID year available and could potentially return in 2024 to solidify his NFL draft standing.
Linebacker Quandarrius Robinson
Senior outside linebacker Quandarrius Robinson is a lot like Tide running back Roydell Williams who has seen the field since arriving on campus but mostly in a backup role. With Dallas Turner likely being a first-round pick, Robinson has the opportunity to use his COVID year and fight for a starting role on the Alabama defense.
Defensive lineman Tim Keenan III
Redshirt sophomore defensive lineman Tim Keenan III burst onto the scene for the Tide this season and has been one of the biggest surprises for Alabama in 2023. Keenan went from buried in the depth chart to a potential NFL draft prospect. I believe Keenan still needs at least one more season in college to prove his worth to NFL scouts.
Defensive lineman Tim Smith
Tim Smith has shown flashes of top-tier talent since his freshman season in 2020 but up until this season Smith has been an inconsistent player for the Alabama defense. While his numbers are not jaw-dropping, Smith has been a good player up front for the Tide and would receive NFL draft attention but with another year under his belt in college, Smith could be one of the better interior defensive linemen in the SEC.
Linebacker Deontae Lawson
Deontae Lawson has the makings of a superstar NFL inside linebacker but injuries have kept him from reaching his true potential at Alabama. With the long layover between now and the College Football Playoff, Lawson has time to get healthy and potentially flash his supreme talent on the big stage. The redshirt sophomore is one of the more intriguing NFL draft prospects heading into 2024.
Linebacker Chris Braswell
Chris Braswell is also a senior who still has his COVID year available and could return as one of the top outside linebackers in the country entering 2024. But with the strong season he has put together in 2023, it would not come as a surprise to see Braswell enter the draft.
Cornerback Terrion Arnold
There are not many college football players who have improved their NFL draft stock this season to the degree that Alabama cornerback Terrion Arnold has. Arnold started out playing in the shadow of superstar Kool-Aid McKinstry but with a phenomenal season in 2023, the redshirt sophomore has soared up NFL draft boards and will have a tough decision to make at the end of the season.
Quarterback Jalen Milroe
Quarterback Jalen Milroe is one of the most polarizing college football players in the country. Milroe has gone from zero to hero in one singular season for the Tide and his strong play has launched Alabama into the College Football Playoff with the potential to be national champs. Milroe still has a long way to go to be a polished quarterback but NFL scouts love his elite athleticism and potential. If Milroe lights it up in the playoff, he might face his toughest decision yet.
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