Quinnen Williams among four Alabama players declaring for 2019 NFL draft

Yahoo Sports
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/ncaaf/players/270470/" data-ylk="slk:Quinnen&nbsp;Williams">Quinnen&nbsp;Williams</a> had 70 tackles in 2018. (Getty Images)
Quinnen Williams had 70 tackles in 2018. (Getty Images)

Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, tight end Irv Smith, offensive lineman Jonah Williams and running back Josh Jacobs are all heading to the NFL.

The school made their departures to the pros official on Friday morning, noting that 34 Alabama underclassmen have now declared for the draft during Nick Saban’s tenure.

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Quinnen Williams won the Outland Trophy as the country’s best interior lineman in 2018. The redshirt sophomore had 70 tackles and 18.5 tackles for loss. He said after Alabama’s title game loss to Clemson Monday night that Clemson’s receivers deserved the bulk of the success for the Tigers’ offensive success and that QB Trevor Lawrence was throwing “50-50” balls.

Williams will likely be a top pick in the first round of the draft and could go in the first few picks if a team with a top-five pick wants to spend its first-round pick on a defensive lineman.

Jacobs was part of a three-headed rushing attack that included sophomore Najee Harris and senior Damien Harris. He was the team’s second-leading rusher with 640 yards and led the team with 11 rushing touchdowns. Jacobs’ 14 total touchdowns was tied with wide receiver Jerry Jeudy for the team lead.

Jonah Williams was a finalist for the Outland Trophy along with his teammate. He was also chosen as a first-team All-American.

Smith had 44 catches for 710 yards and seven touchdowns. While Jeudy led the team with 68 catches, Smith was one of four Alabama players who had between 42 and 46 catches in 15 games.

All four players shouldn’t be available for very long during the draft. Alabama also said in its release that 17 of the previous 30 Saban-led underclassmen who have declared for the draft have gone in the first two rounds.

Alabama returns a lot on 2019

Alabama should reload pretty well in 2019. The offense has QB Tua Tagovailoa back along with Jeudy, DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle and Henry Ruggs outside. That’s going to be a terrifying passing attack again. Najee Harris was a five-star recruit coming out of high school and he’ll be the top guy in Alabama’s rushing attack as a junior.

The defense also has a ton of players returning. Five Bama players who could have gone pro on that side of the ball are coming back.

We have Alabama at the top of our way-too-early top 25, though we published that before Monday night’s game. While you have every right to think Clemson should be at No. 1 heading into the 2019 season, Alabama shouldn’t be any lower than No. 2.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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