Alabama Football: Key NFL Draft Decisions and projections

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /
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Alabama Football figures to have several players enter the NFL Draft following the conclusion of the College Football Playoff and the 2023 season. Many of these, such as outside linebacker Dallas Turner and cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry, are surefire first-round picks and almost certain draft entrants. Others, like safety Jaylen Key and kicker Will Reichard, will enter the draft having exhausted their collegiate eligibility.

There are a handful of players, however, that are a little more difficult to pin down. The Crimson Tide has several major contributors that have done enough to receive serious NFL consideration, but may feel as though they have more to prove. The decisions of these players will go a long way towards determining the 2024 Alabama Football roster.

Jalen Milroe (returning)

Quarterback Jalen Milroe has enjoyed a meteoric rise in his redshirt sophomore season. The dynamic signal-caller needed some time to get adjusted to the speed of the college game, but his rapid progression since then has been well documented. Milroe went from being benched at South Florida in week three to finishing sixth in the Heisman Trophy voting in less than three months.

This incredible development has led to Milroe getting some NFL Draft buzz, but the general expectation is that he will return for one more year. After a full offseason and spring practice with the starting job firmly in his grasp, the Bama quarterback could make an even bigger leap. I believe Jalen Milroe will be back in 2024 with his Heisman campaign in full effect.

Jermaine Burton (departing)

Senior wide receiver Jermaine Burton has developed into the top deep threat for Alabama Football this season. While Bama would love to have Burton back in the fold for another season, it seems like he has done enough to maximize his draft potential this year.

The veteran wideout has racked up 777 yards on an SEC-leading 22.2 yards per grab, adding eight touchdowns for good measure. With a good showing in the College Football Playoff, Burton could approach 1,000 yards for the season. He will likely depart for the NFL following this season, opening up the door for Isaiah Bond, Kendrick Law, Kobe Prentice, Malik Benson, and others next fall.