Christopher Walsh’s All Things CW notes column is published in five parts each week, with the latest on the Alabama Crimson Tide. That is …
Tuesday was the deadline for underclassmen to declare themselves for the 2023 NFL Draft, and while the formal list hasn’t been released, it appeared to be a quiet day among Alabama Crimson Tide players.
Alabama’s early departures with remaining eligibility included Will Anderson Jr., Brian Brian Branch, Jaymyr Gibbs, Eli Ricks and Bryce Young.
Nick Saban generally agrees with any player who has a chance of being selected in the first round, and all five do. However, Ricks has to do extremely well at the NFL Combine and every practice to have a chance since he didn’t play much last season.
Some of the players who might have rolled the draft opted to transfer instead and sought to improve their stocks elsewhere.
SEE ALSO: Alabama Transfer Tracker
Of course, some players like wide receiver Jermaine Burton chose to stay.
Announced for the 2023 NFL Draft
Players who have announced their departure or have accepted an invitation to play in the Senior Bowl:
Will Anderson Jr., linebacker
Jordan Battle, security
Brian Branch, Security
DJ Dale, line of defense
Emil Ekiyor Jr., guard
Jahmyr Gibbs runs back
DeMarcco Hellams, security
Cameron Latu, tight end
Eli Ricks, cornerback
Tyler Steen, offensive line
Henry To’oTo’o, linebacker
Bryce Young, quarterback
Byron Young, line of defense
Central defender Jaylen Moody is also eligible for the draft as his eligibility has expired.
NFL Draft Bible Rankings
Here is how the site is connected to sports illustrated and The Arena Group has Crimson Tide players rated for the 2023 NFL Draft:
In total: 1. Will Anderson Jr.; 3.Bryce Young; 22. Brian branch; 23. Jahmyr Gibbs; 47. Eli Ricks; 53. Henry To’oTo’o; 57. Battle of Jordan; 99.Tyler Steen.
QB: 1. Bryce Young
RB: 2. Jahmyr Gibbs
TE: 9.Cameron Latu
OT: 10. Tyler Steen
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upstairs: 14. Emil Ekiyor Jr.
DT: 24. Byron Young
EN: 1. Will Anderson Jr.
ILB: 1. Henry To’oTo’o; 42.Jaylen Moody
cb: 7. Eli Ricks
S: 1. Brian branch; 4. Battle of the Jordan
First Crimson Tide projections
Alabama is targeting a two-digit pick, but almost all must be picked to match or beat the program’s record of 12. Attempting to pin down at this point when or where they might be picked is almost impossible given the fact that there are also many balls in the air. A lot of teams that decide early don’t even have coaches and we’re two months away from starting free agency.
• Bryce Young
NFL Draft Bible expects Young to be the Colts’ first overall pick after a trade with the Bears.
“A smart and accurate passer who doesn’t force shots and rarely makes mistakes. He’s not the size of a prototype but sees the field very well, shows a natural feel in the pocket and can shove the ball in with a simple flick of the wrist.”
We’ve already covered his chances for first place overall: Why First Pick Bears Make Bryce Young More Likely to Become No
The Edge Rusher should be a top-five pick, and some draft boards have him at #1 overall, but the yearly quarterback rush will have an impact if he goes. The Bears would do well at No. 1, but we agree with the NFL Draft Bible that Chicago is likely to trade lower. NFL Draft Bible puts him third overall with the Cardinals.
The NFL Draft Bible puts him 18th overall to the Lions, but the general thought so far is that he’s more of a second-round prospect. Former Alabama player Drew Sanders is being predicted by many to be the first centerback selected, and he may not go into the first round.
He’s a first-round frontier and could be Alabama’s third player pick. The question will be whether any teams are willing to take a safety that early. In his latest overall predictions, ESPN’s Todd McShay has Young first, Anderson second, and then Branch at No. 23 and Gibbs at No. 24.
We appreciate his chances of sneaking into the first round as a late pick, perhaps to a rival team that sees him as an immediate offensive threat like the Eagles.
There’s no doubt that he’s one of the best safeties in the draft, but he looks more like a second- or third-round pick.
Alabama had selected only three safeties in the first round during the Nick Saban era: Mark Barron, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Minkah Fitzpatrick. Usually the borderline first rounds fall off a bit.
As for the rest of the draft, most of the Crimson Tide contingency probably falls somewhere between the third and sixth rounds.
Latu is projecting well but it’s a strong year for tight ends. Ekiyor plays a position that doesn’t often get strong drafts. Some team takes Byron Young and then claims they got a steal.
Battle, Hellams, Dale, Byron Young, Latu, To’oTo’o, Ekiyor and Steen head to the Senior Bowl at the end of the month. Kicker Will Reichard had accepted an invitation, but later announced that he would stay in Alabama for another year.
The Senior Bowl will be played on February 4, 2023 at 1:30 p.m. on the NFL Network in Mobile.
Bama in the NFL Draft:
Former Alabama Crimson Tide Players Selected in NFL Draft
All-time Alabama Crimson Tide player drafted by round
NFL Draft: All-Time Alabama Crimson Tide Selections by NFL Teams
Alabama Crimson Tide players selected by position in the NFL draft
Take 1: First hot board for Alabama defensive coordinator
Take 2: Alabama basketball slowly finds its way through shock, pain