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Where Alabama landed in PFF’s way-too-early top 25 rankings

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The Alabama Crimson Tide wrapped up ‘A-Day’ on Saturday. This means they will shift their focus to recruiting and preseason conditioning ahead of the 2022 college football season.

Head coach Nick Saban is looking to break the tie with Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant for most national championships as the Crimson Tide’s head coach. Each has six, Saban has a total of seven in his career.

For Saban to win another title, they have a few things to figure out. Mainly their offensive line and the wide receiver rotation. They do get the benefit of a tune-up game prior to heading to Austin for a showdown with the Texas Longhorns. The first regular-season matchup between these two storied programs since 1922.

With the offseason in full swing, PFF released their way-too-early top 25 rankings. Where are Alabama and Nick Saban viewed among their peers?

Surprise, surprise. The Tide takes the top spot according to the top 25 early rankings from Pro Football Focus.

What Pro Football Focus Say…

AP Photo/Vasha Hunt

There’s an argument to be made that Alabama has the best offensive and defensive player in college football with quarterback Bryce Young and edge defender Will Anderson Jr. Young tied for the highest PFF grade (92.2) among FBS quarterbacks in 2021, showcasing elite processing and playmaking ability when knocked off rhythm. Considering he was a true sophomore in his first year as a starter, that’s incredible. Anderson, meanwhile, leads the FBS in pressures generated (81) since 2020, and he did that as an underclassman.

Head coach Nick Saban went out and plucked a couple of All-American caliber players out of the transfer portal with running back Jahmyr Gibbs and cornerback Eli Ricks. Transfer wide receiver Jermaine Burton may not have elite play on his resume, but the former Georgia product looks like a promising breakout for 2022.

The only thing in the way of this team avenging their 2021 national title loss is the offensive line. Left tackle Evan Neal was the only offensive lineman on the Tide’s roster in 2021 who earned a 70.0-plus single-season pass-blocking grade, and he’s now off to the NFL. In replacement, Alabama brought in Vanderbilt transfer Tyler Steen, but he has yet to crack a 70.0 pass-blocking grade in three years playing in the collegiate ranks.

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