Alabama Players Projected for the First-Round of 2020 NFL Draft

Last NFL Draft, the Crimson Tide had 10 players selected but only three in the first round. Alabama is looking to repeat in the 2020 NFL Draft.
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Next Thursday, the biggest and likely only event in the spring will take place with the 2020 NFL Draft. The top collegiate seniors and underclassmen will proceed towards their dreams of playing in the NFL. Last year, the Alabama Crimson Tide had 10 players drafted in the 2019 NFL Draft. Alabama had the most players selected in the 2019 Draft out of any other school. Three players were selected in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft and five were selected within the first three rounds. Alabama is now looking to the 2020 NFL Draft. The Crimson Tide look to have four offensive players selected in the first round in a single draft in over 50 years. There are potentially four to six players that are likely to be drafted in the first round.

Alabama Players Projected First-Round: 2020 NFL Draft

Tua Tagovailoa (Quarterback)

Tagovailoa departs from Tuscaloosa as one of the most distinguished quarterbacks for the Crimson Tide. He is the all-time career passing touchdown leader with 87 and the single-season leader in passing yards in 2018 with 3,966 yards. His high-velocity, powerful arm along with his great athleticism, leadership abilities, his charisma, and love for the game make him one of the top players in the Draft. There are severe questions of his durability to stay healthy after three lower-body injuries in college. Tagovailoa says that his hip is 100% healthy and will be ready to go when training camps start. For years now, it seemed like the Miami Dolphins were tanking for the signal-caller. If the rumors of the Dolphins scared of Tagovailoa’s health are true, he may find himself at six to the Los Angeles Chargers.

Jedrick Wills Jr. (Offensive tackle)

Alabama benefitted from a solid offensive line unit, especially at the tackle positions. Wills comes in as one of the more run-blocking tackles in this 2020 Draft with the ability to cancel out pressure from the edge. His high football IQ, strength, solid athleticism, and ability to get to the second level on the defensive side of the ball make him one of the most reliable tackles in this Draft. Wils got much better in the previous season in terms of consistency in protecting the edge on pass plays. He can provide support at the guard positions if needed. There is a tight space at the very top of the list at the tackle position. Teams like the Cleveland Browns and the New York Jets are teams that need structural support in the run game that could take a blocker like Wills.

Jerry Jeudy (Wide receiver)

Jeudy continues to follow the footsteps of other former Alabama receivers like Julio Jones, Amari Cooper, and Calvin Ridley. The receiver came in immediately as a true freshman only to become a top-tier college football wide receiver quickly. He is one of the best dynamic route runners in many of the past NFL Drafts. This is due to a great combination of speed, change of direction, and catchability. There are a few small problems that he can fix such as taking his eyes off the ball before he secures the catch or slowing down on a specific point of a route. He could be selected to the New York Jets at No.11. Further, the Las Vegas Raiders at No.12. Finally, the Denver Broncos could also be interested in trading up before the Jets to select a number one receiver like Jeudy.

Henry Ruggs III (Wide receiver)

Jeudy was not the only dynamic threat at wide receiver for the Crimson Tide. Ruggs was one of the fastest, most electrifying playmakers on the team. The Tide used Ruggs as a slot receiver because he was so quick to get the ball to with his quick burst. As a receiver, he scored 24% of the time he caught the ball in his collegiate career. At the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine, he accumulated a 40-yard dash time of 4.27 seconds. That is the third-fastest of all prospects in the history of the NFL Scouting Combine since 1999. Ruggs is a player whose draft stock has been increasing rapidly as the 2020 NFL Draft gets closer. Some mock drafts have him going eighth overall to the Arizona Cardinals. He might not slip more than 15th overall to the Denver Broncos.

Xavier McKinney (Safety)

The safety position has been up-and-down in this 2020 NFL Draft. McKinney has been one safety that has stayed secure as one of the top position players on many analysts’ boards. His versatility to defend the passing game and the running game is reassuring for NFL defenses. McKinney can also make plays deep in coverage, make open-field tackles in the backfield, and plays with fire. He will have to have a much quicker response in the NFL as he is not the quickest safety from sideline to sideline. The safety will be a steal for a team needing serious defensive talent. The Dallas Cowboys at No.16, Miami Dolphins at No.18 and No.26, Philadelphia Eagles at No.21, and New England Patriots at No.23 are teams that come to mind.

Trevon Diggs (Cornerback)

The secondary was the weakness for the Crimson Tide’s defense in 2018 but then the strength in 2019. Diggs was a lockdown cornerback who excelled more in zone coverages. He was rarely challenged by the opposing quarterbacks because of the lack of space he would allow on the wide receivers. Although, Diggs had his worst performances in big-game situations like against the LSU Tigers and the Auburn Tigers. There are plenty of teams in the bottom half of the first round that could use a top-quality cornerback. The Eagles at No.21 and the Minnesota Vikings at No.22 and No.25 are teams that are desperately needing defensive backs. Diggs is the likeliest Alabama player to slip into the second round of the 2020 NFL Draft out of the other prospects.

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