Grading Alabama football’s depth at D-line and secondary
Defensive line: A-
Alabama football will already want to rotate players on the defensive line all season, so the depth is a strength. While DJ Dale and LaBryan Ray are at the forefront of the depth chart, players like Phidarian Mathis and Justin Eboigbe will play behind them with starter experience.
Alabama continues to recruits defensive line talent, so the pure number of bodies is impressive. Some just don’t have the starting experience you would like on a championship team. Two names to keep an eye on are Ishmael Sopsher and Tim Smith.
Alabama has one of the best cornerbacks in college football, but they severely lack depth at this position. After losing Trevon Diggs last year, they really need Josh Jobe to break out. Ronald Williams is one of the guys who will get some time in as a backup, but he is simply not ready to start outside.
Alabama football is in a similar predicament at safety, except there is not a proven star like Patrick Surtain available. Alabama lost Xavier McKinney, Jared Mayden and Shyheim Carter last year, so no one with plenty of starter experience is on the roster. Jordan Battle has shown promise in the past, and the team will rely heavily on him. If he goes down, I’m not sure how the team will recover.
In this unprecedented season, depth will matter more than ever. Watch out for the Crimson Tide’s backups to shine later in the year.