Alabama Football: Fall camp practice No. 3 in front of fans at Bryant-Denny

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 12: Joshua Jacobs /

Alabama football went through its only public viewing of fall camp on Saturday. After three fall practices, a few points are coming into focus.

Today’s Alabama football practice report features a summary of offensive and defensive position groups. At the end is an interesting seven-minute video of the practice, compliments of

For the Alabama football fans wanting a ‘cliff notes’ version, we will jump to a couple of ‘unknowns’ moving toward ‘givens.’

No depth problem on the defensive line

Alabama football was faced with a significant loss of talent going into spring practice. Jonathan Allen was a once-in-a-generation player. Ryan Anderson and Dalvin Tomlinson were not far behind. Most fans feared the defensive line could be a weakness in 2017.

The concerns were two-fold, replacing outstanding talent and depth. Other than potential significant injuries, depth should no longer be a concern. Last winter during CFB Playoff practices, JUCO newcomer, Isaiah Buggs appeared to be a lock at the other defensive end, opposite Da’Shawn Hand.

All current signs are Raekwon Davis has moved past Buggs. Buggs has been practicing with a leg wrap that has perhaps slowed him. Buggs is a strong player who will feature for Alabama football in 2017. Right now Davis appears to be even better and gaining control of a starting slot.

Depth wise, the talent at defensive end is impressive: Hand, Davis, Buggs, Quinnen Williams, Jamar King and LaBryan Ray all appear ready to make solid contributions. Buggs and Williams can also move inside as needed.

Speaking of inside on the defensive line, Da’Ron Payne is one of the best in the nation. During the Saturday practice, Payne bulled over Brad Bozeman and tackled QB Mac Jones prior to a handoff. After a great spring, Johnny Dwight has vaulted into the mix to spell Payne as needed. Josh Frazier can capably do so as well.

If you are counting, that is nine defensive lineman. Freshmen Phil Mathis or Kedrick James could take the depth number to 10 if needed.

Running back will be a four-headed monster

On Saturday, Brian Daboll stated all five running backs could earn a skills package giving each of them playing time. Even so, it is hard to see enough snaps to waste outstanding freshman, Brian Robinson in 2017. The other four will rotate as long as all stay healthy. Josh Jacobs and Najee Harris are hard to tackle after short, swing passes. Najee Harris may have been the most impressive player at the Saturday practice.

On to the position groups

On Saturday in the base 3-4, Trevon Diggs and Averett were at the corners. Minkah and Ronnie Harrison were at the safeties. In the dime set, the corners did not change, Minkah moved to ‘Money’ and Tony Brown was at ‘Star.’ The sixth DB, replacing Minkah at safety was Deionte Thompson.

There were no changes Saturday in the first team offensive line group. Lester Cotton and Matt Womack were at right guard and right tackle. Deonte Brown has continued to drop some weight. Brown may end up pushing Cotton for a starting right guard slot.

Alex Leatherwood and Jedrick Wills are the second and third team right tackles. Matt Womack has his hands full holding off the two freshmen throughout the 2017 season.

At this point, it is expected true freshman Kendall Randolph and JUCO transfer Elliot Baker will redshirt in 2017.

Also, don’t be surprised if true freshman, Henry Ruggs is the No. 1 punt returner this fall.

Next: 10 Players who could surprise in 2017

The next practice of fall camp is Monday, August 7. There are 22 more practices, including two scrimmages until game week on August 28.