Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Several former Alabama Crimson Tide football players are among the top prospects in the annual NFL draft, in what has become a common trend in recent years.
With the NFL Combine currently in-progress and the draft itself still two months away, it’s difficult to make accurate projections now on when a player will be taken. Nevertheless, here is where they will be taken according to WalterFootball.com’s most recent 2013 NFL Mock Draft through the fourth round.
No. 7 – OG Chance Warmack to Arizona Cardinals
Chance Warmack is viewed as the consensus top guard prospect in this year’s draft, as well as the best period since John Hannah was selected with the fourth overall pick in the 1973 NFL Draft.
No. 10 – CB Dee Milliner to Tennessee Titans
Like Warmack, Dee Milliner is also seen as the best player at his position in this year’s draft. Although Warmack is very highly-rated, there is a chance he could fall to a top-15 pick. That is not the case for Milliner, who appears to surely be a top-10 selection.
No. 20 – OT D.J. Fluker to Chicago Bears
There might not be a single player in this year’s draft, who has worked his way up the draft board like D.J. Fluker has. Once regarded as a second round pick, Fluker has moved himself up to as high as a mid-first round pick. Three other offensive tackles are projected to be taken before Fluker.
No. 28 – RB Eddie Lacy to Denver Broncos
Not far behind Fluker on the draft boards is Eddie Lacy, who has also greatly improved his draft stock in recent weeks from a second round pick to a player likely to be the first running back selected as a late first round pick. There have been talks that Lacy may actually be a better draft prospect than his predecessors at Alabama in Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson.
If this holds up, this would be the second year in a row that Alabama had four of its former players selected in the first round. Trent Richardson, Mark Barron, Dre Kirkpatrick and Dont’a Hightower were all selected in the first 32 picks last year.
No. 57 – NT Jesse Williams to Houston Texans
Jesse Williams by all accounts appears to be a lock as a second round pick at the moment. He has a chance to be taken as early as late first round and as late as the third round. He is currently projected as the fourth nose tackle that will be selected.
Courtney Upshaw was the lone second round pick taken in last year’s draft after just missing out on a possible first round selection.
No. 78 – G/C/OT Barrett Jones to St. Louis Rams
Barrett Jones is an intriguing prospect due to all the different positions he played on the offensive line at Alabama. Jones will most likely succeed as either a guard or center in the NFL. He has a chance to be taken as high as the second round to as low as late third round.
Five other Tide players also entering this year’s draft are expected to be drafted in the later rounds.
ILB Nico Johnson
Johnson is currently projected as a third or fourth round pick. However, he was not currently listed as a player being taken in those rounds according to WalterFootball.com. Johnson likely has the widest range out of any Alabama player in which round he will be selected.
SS Robert Lester
Lester is currently projected as a fifth or sixth round pick. His draft stock doesn’t appear to have any drastic movement between now and the draft.
TE Michael Williams
Williams is currently projected as a sixth or seventh round pick. His draft stock also doesn’t appear to have any drastic movement between now and the draft.
DT Quinton Dial
Dial is currently projected as a seventh round pick with the possibility of falling into being selected as an undrafted free agent. He is the least likely out of this crop of players to be drafted.
Josh Chapman and DeQuan Menzie were both selected in the fifth round of last year’s draft and Brad Smelley was taken in the seventh round.
Two more Tide players entering this year’s NFL draft stock are expected to go undrafted.
DE Damion Square
Square is currently not projected to be selected. He will be working against the odds to move himself into possible seventh round consideration.
LS Carson Tinker
Tinker is currently not projected to be selected. It is uncommon to see a long snapper taken within the draft, but there is always a chance that Tinker could be selected very late in the seventh round of the draft. He is regarded as the best long snapper in the draft.
Darius Hanks, Jerrell Harris, Phelon Jones, Marquis Maze, Alfred McCullough, William Vlachos and Alex Watkins all were signed as undrafted free agents following last year’s NFL draft.
The 2013 NFL Draft will take place at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City from April 25-27. The draft will be televised on ESPN and NFL Network.
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