Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Day three of the 2013 NFL Draft turned into another banner day for the Alabama Crimson Tide as five more former Tide players joined the four that were selected during the first two days of the draft. In total, nine former Alabama players were selected in the draft, which set a new school record.
Here’s a rundown of the Tide players that were selected on day three to go along with the others that signed deals as undrafted free agents:
Nico Johnson –Round 4 Pick 99 — Kansas City Chiefs
It didn’t take long for the first Tide player to come off the board on day three of the NFL Draft; Alabama’s Nico Johnson was the 2nd pick of the fourth round by the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs had a need at linebacker and they addressed it early on day three with the selection of Johnson. He was projected by CBS as a 4th or 5th round prospect so he was picked right where he was expected to be.
Johnson was a multi-year starter for the Crimson Tide and played immediately upon stepping on campus in Tuscaloosa. He was one of the best run stoppers in the country the last few years, but questions of his ability in coverage is what caused him to ultimately be a day three draft pick instead of going in the first two days.
This seems like a pretty good spot for him, and he should immediately contribute in Kansas City next season.
Barrett Jones — Round 4 Pick 113 — St. Louis Rams
Barrett Jones being a fourth round pick is mind blowing to me. This guy was a four year starter at three different positions for the Crimson Tide. He was a starter on three National Championship teams at three different positions (RG in ’09, LT in ’11, C in ’12). He won the Outland Trophy in 2011 at left tackle, and then moved to center and won the Rimington Trophy last year.
He’s also never been arrested and graduated with a 4.0 GPA. And yet, he was picked in the fourth round? Something doesn’t add up. A guy as versatile as Jones who can play every position on the offensive line well shouldn’t make it to day three of the NFL Draft. I have no doubt that Barrett Jones is going to be a starter in the league for many years to come. He’ll anchor the Rams offensive line for a long time.
The Rams getting Jones with the 113th overall pick may have been the best pick in the entire draft.
Jesse Williams — Round 5 Pick 137 — Seattle Seahawks
Jesse Williams was projected by many as a late first round or second round pick, but he somehow managed to fall all the way to the fifth round. Questions of Williams’ injury past caused him to drop a bit, but he was an absolute steal for the Seahawks with the 137th pick.
Williams has the versatility and athleticism to play multiple positions along the defensive line. He was a 5-technique defensive end for Alabama in 2011 and then moved to nose tackle in 2012 after Josh Chapman graduated. Williams has a ton of upside as he hasn’t been playing football for very long. Stories of him in the weight room aren’t exaggerated; he’s a big, strong dude. He consistently commanded double teams last season, and he has the ability to shed them and make plays in the backfield.
Williams is still a bit raw, and with proper coaching he should end up having a long and successful career in the NFL. I believe his best football still lies ahead of him.
Quinton Dial — Round 5 Pick 157 — San Francisco 49ers
Dial’s versatility and potential is what landed him in this spot with the 49ers. Dial has the ability to play the three-technique and five technique along with playing nose. At 6-foot-5 and 318 pounds, Dial has the size that NFL teams covet, and he has pretty high upside. He’s considered more of a “space eater” instead of a pass rusher because he doesn’t have great speed.
He’s not likely to become a starter, but he should provide needed depth to San Francisco’s defensive line and should find himself in their rotation next season.
Michael Williams — Round 7 Pick 211 — Detroit Lions
Michael Williams was viewed by many as the top run blocking tight end in this draft class, and he came off the board in the 7th round. Williams was a major reason for Alabama’s success in the ground game over the last couple of seasons as he was practically another tackle lining up at tight end.
Along with being a dominant run blocker, Williams has solid hands and is a big time threat in the redzone. He should have a long career in the NFL as a third tight end.
Up to this point, three other former Crimson Tide players signed deals as undrafted free agents. Safety Robert Lester signed with the Carolina Panthers, defensive lineman Damion Square signed with the Philadelphia Eagles and long snapper Carson Tinker signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
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