The 2021 College Football season hasn’t even started yet but the preparation for the 2022 NFL Draft is already going. On May 6th, ESPN NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay released his first Mock Draft for the 2022 NFL Daft based on his predictions for the upcoming season. In his latest mock draft, McShay has four Alabama Crimson Tide players being selected by NFL teams in the first round. Alabama ties with the Ohio State Buckeyes as the most players selected in the first round. These are players will be key players and leaders for Alabama in the upcoming 2021 season. These players will look to have Alabama repeat as National Champions for the first since 2011 and 2012. Should these Alabama players declare early for the 2022 Draft, they will more than likely be highly sought-after prospects for the NFL.
Four Alabama Players Projected in First Round of 2022 Draft
Tackle/Guard Evan Neal to the New York Giants (Ninth Overall)
The quarterbacks and the offensive linemen are usually the first set of players to go. Neal comes into the 2021 season as one of the biggest and most tenacious offensive linemen in the nation. After starting as a true freshman at left guard, Neal moved to right tackle this past season. According to Pro Football Focus, Neal received an overall grade of 83.7. Neal will be the Tide’s starting left tackle when the 2021 season kicks off. At 6-7; 360 pounds, he has the huge size to be hard to beat but he is also highly efficient as a run and pass blocker. The Giants gave up 50 sacks this past NFL season, which tied for fourth-most in the league. If the Giants draft Neal as projected, he will be an instant contributor on the offensive line as well as become a solid anchor.
Wide Receiver John Metchie III to the Tennessee Titans (22nd Overall)
Alabama continues to be a factory of NFL-ready wide receivers year-in and year-out. If declared early for the 2022 Draft, Metchie could become the eighth receiver out of Alabama taken in the first round. Last season, Metchie exploded on the scene for Alabama’s offense as the legitimate number two deep-threat receiver. Metchie caught 55 receptions for 916 yards and six touchdowns this past season. According to Pro Football Focus, Metchie ranks 10th in the list of top returning receivers in the nation. This list was altered after Georgia’s George Pickens tore his ACL earlier in the Spring. If drafted by the Titans, Metchie would become an immediate number two starting receiver. Last season, Tennessee’s offense ranked 23rd in the league in passing yards per game (228.3).
Linebacker Christian Harris to the Green Bay Packers (29th Overall)
The Packers continue to forgo the need for an offensive skilled position in favor of the defense. With the selection of Harris to the Packers, he would be the 17th defensive player taken by the Packers in the first round in their 20 picks in the first round. Harris was one of the most well-balanced linebackers this past season. Last year, Harris accounted for 79 total tackles, 52 solo tackles, seven tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, two pass deflections, and one interception. His ability to quickly find the ball carrier, stay strong in the zone, and lead the defense makes him a valuable defender. Harris would be the first Tide linebacker selected in the first round since Rashaan Evans in 2018.
Cornerback Josh Jobe to the Buffalo Bills (30th Overall)
This season will be a critical year for Jobe as he will become the number one cornerback for the Tide. Even without the title as number one corner, Jobe projects to be a first-round selection and could be the fifth cornerback and seventh defensive back off the board. Last season, Jobe accumulated 55 total tackles, 39 solo tackles, 11 pass breakups, 2.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, and two forced fumbles. The Bills are a team that needs a legitimate number two cornerback which wouldn’t push Jobe too much. The Bills’ defense ranked 13th in the league in passing yards allowed per game (232.9) this past season. If he is selected in the first round as projected, Jobe will be the ninth Alabama defensive back selected in the first round under coach head Nick Saban.