Some Alabama football players should head straight to the NFL.
Rumors are flying around, but no detailed plan for a 2020 college football season has been put on the table. Some conferences are playing conference-only, others are canceling seasons altogether, and a few have yet to release their official schedule. That leaves Alabama football without an official plan for the season. With this much uncertainty, stars have to consider other options.
We’ve seen former Alabama football players opt out of the NFL season, and a Virginia Tech corner has already opted out as well. His plan is to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft. Will we see members of the Crimson Tide do the same thing?
Alabama has plenty of contenders for the 2021 NFL Draft, but most of them decided to come back for their senior seasons. However, that decision was made with different context. They might no longer think it’s worth playing with all of this uncertainty. Even if the season begins, college basketball taught us that it might not end with a champion. Let’s take a look at some contenders.
Which Alabama football stars might sit out?
Patrick Surtain II, CB
Patrick Surtain is probably the most likely player to opt out. He was ineligible for the 2020 NFL Draft, but he’s seen as a first-round lock for 2021. He has plenty of tape to prove himself. He could probably help his draft stock more as a junior, but it might not be worth the risk. There is no way to gauge where his headspace is, but he should at least consider preparing for the draft.
Najee Harris, RB
Najee Harris came back for his senior season, which makes this tricky. However, he will likely be drafted in the first two rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft. He has quality tape, but they haven’t run him into the ground over his college career. He’s seen a return hurt Damien Harris in the past, so he has something to lose if he doesn’t live up to the hype. If he decides to opt out, Brian Robinson Jr. and Trey Sanders will likely compete for the starting slot.
Jaylen Waddle, WR
Jaylen Waddle has a ton of hype, but he doesn’t have as much production as you’d think. That is clearly because of the depth at wide receiver. Alabama football has had a plethora of talent. Waddle could use another year in college to show his range of talents, but we all know about his speed and agility. Either way, he’s likely a first-round pick.
DeVonta Smith, WR
Smitty’s main reason for returning to college football was likely the loaded receiver class in 2020. Could he benefit from playing for Alabama football again? Certainly. However, he could work on his craft remotely and prove himself at a potential NFL Combine.
Alex Leatherwood, OT
Leatherwood returned for his senior season for a reason. He could benefit from some extra playing time. The only reason I could see him sitting out is if he’s concerned about the health ramifications of COVID-19.
I don’t believe all of these players will sit out. I’m not even sure if any of them will. Alabama football is just as good at recruiting players to stay as it is recruiting high school prospects. However, these stars should at least consider it.