Alabama Football: In-depth Draft review for eleven Tide juniors

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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Alabama Football
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11. player. 829. . Quarterback. Crimson Tide . Tuanigamanuolepola Tagovailoa

No, that is not some weird typo. I promise, that is Tua’s real first name. If you don’t believe me just go here. It is worth the watch.

As I said earlier, Tua was a no-brainer #1 overall pick before the season began. Injuries derailed those discussions. The problem is obviously not talent, it is simply the unknown factor. Nobody knows how good Tua will be upon return from his broken hip. Nobody wants to be the guy that passes up Michael Jordan for Sam Bowie. That has Tua’s draft stock in limbo.

Some believe he is still a top-5 pick and others have him out of the first round altogether. That lack of consistency in scouting reports has led Tua to strongly consider a return to Alabama football. Even with the injuries this is a shock to almost everyone.

You cannot understate how big it would be for Alabama football if Tua returns in 2020. Not just for next season, but for the lessons he will share with the Tide’s future QBs. Especially the incoming 5-star phenom Bryce Young.

According to many insiders, Tua is more likely to stay than a lot of the others on this list. A surprise in and of itself. Again I’ll be cautiously optimistic, but I’m more apt to believe these reports than others based on what Tua has stated publicly.

Chance of return – 70 percent

Draft outlook – Mid 1st-Late 2nd round

Even if every other player on this list turns pro and Tua comes back, Alabama would be the favorite to win the title next season. Now consider the not-so-farfetched idea that Tua, Ruggs, Smith, Moses, McKinney, Leatherwood, and Ray all return for 2020.

If that prospect doesn’t excite you as an Alabama football fan then nothing will. It is easy to see how next year’s team could be one of the best college football teams ever assembled if everyone stays healthy.

Honestly and realistically, I expect that Smith, Leatherwood, and Ray will be the only ones to come back. Nevertheless, the rumblings coming out of Tuscaloosa should have Alabama football fans giddy. Something special could be in the works.

Next. Who is staying, who is going and who is playing. dark

If the unthinkable happens and the majority of these kids decide to stay, you can thank LSU, Auburn, the CFP Committee, the media, and everyone else who claimed the dynasty was over. The postseason award snubs, the disrespectful 13th ranking, and the constant nagging feeling of underachieving will be the factors that ultimately drive them back with something to prove. If they come back it will be with a chip on their shoulders and a fire in their heart. A fire that hasn’t been seen in Tuscaloosa since 2009. Is it 2020 yet? I’m ready.