Alabama Football: Where Tide improved and declined

Mandatory Credit: Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mickey Welsh/The Montgomery Advertiser via USA TODAY Sports /

How does this year’s roster compare to last year’s Alabama football team?

College football has more rotation of talent than almost any other sport. With the transfer portal and the ability to leave early for the NFL, players rarely start for more than two years. This causes roster turnover, meaning that each team is significantly different. For Alabama football, this hasn’t been a problem.

Alabama has lost more talent in the Saban era than most schools have ever seen, but they keep replacing them with top recruits. Still, you can’t expect to always improve. When you lose so much talent from the greatest recruiting class ever, there should be a dropoff.

So, where will Alabama football decline this year? Where have they improved?

Improve: Tight End

It’s hard to lose Miller Forristall and say you got better at tight end. While the leadership of Forristall can’t be replaced, he only had 23 catches and a single touchdown this year. Jahleel Billingsley is the star at the position, and he’ll be better with an entire offseason. Behind him, Cameron Latu looks ready to impact the passing game. The former edge rusher has taken time to learn the offense and improve his skill, and now should be his time to shine.

Improve: Inside Linebacker

Alabama lost Dylan Moses, but he struggled with injuries last season and was unable to play like his former self. Christian Harris will be one of the best linebackers in college football, and he’ll play beside Henry To’o To’o. This should be one of the best linebacker units Alabama football has ever had.

Decline: WR Depth

To begin last season, Alabama had three receivers that could take it to the house consistently. Losing Jaylen Waddle and Heisman winner DeVonta Smith will make it impossible to improve at this position.

Alabama still has a top-level talent in John Metchie, and there is depth behind him. Still, there won’t be as many options for the Tide.

Decline: Running Back

Alabama has more running backs than they need, but they’ll still be without Najee Harris, arguably the most dynamic back in Alabama football history. He’ll be missed, and the run game will be worse this year. It can still be incredibly strong, but there will be regression.

Next. Preseason All-SEC teams. dark

If the improvements balance out the regression, Alabama will be back at the forefront of the title hunt.