Alabama Football: Biggest NFL Draft Decisions Post-Sugar Bowl

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Alabama Football
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Alabama Football: DL Justin Eboigbe

Senior defensive lineman Justin Eboigbe appeared to be on the way to his best season yet in Tuscaloosa. Eboigbe made a big impact through the first four games before suffering a neck injury that required season-ending surgery. Prior to the injury, he recorded 11 tackles and provided invaluable leadership on the defensive line.

Should he return in 2023, he would be an established commodity on a relatively young defensive front. Fellow seniors Byron Young and DJ Dale have already announced their intention to declare for the NFL draft, so snaps will be available.

Players such as Tim Smith and Jamil Burroughs saw increased reps due to Eboigbe’s injury. Jah-Marien Latham and Damon Payne also saw time down the stretch in the regular season.

Nose guard Jaheim Oatis could be ready for a breakout season, and classmates Khurtiss Perry and Isaiah Hastings could play their way into the rotation as well. In the 2023 class, 5-star James Smith could be an instant impact player on the interior defensive line.

Alabama has a lot of young depth on the defensive line, and competition projects to be fierce in the position room. Eboigbe’s steadying veteran presence would be of great value.