Alabama Football Post-Spring Depth Chart Predictions: Quarterback

Rose Bowl Game - Alabama v Michigan
Rose Bowl Game - Alabama v Michigan / Ryan Kang/GettyImages

As Alabama Football heads into the summer, there will be plenty of continuous speculation regarding how the depth chart will eventually shake out. The rotation at certain positions should be fairly easy to figure out, while others would just be educated guesses.

Ideally, Coach Kalen DeBoer will continue to instill Coach Saban’s trademark culture of competition. This environment allowed the Crimson Tide to field the best option at every position on the field; but it also made all parties involved better. A rising tide lifts all boats, and Coach Saban’s process made Alabama the deepest and most talented team on the field almost every Saturday for 17 years. 

Under Coach DeBoer, a roster that is pre-loaded with blue chip talent will enter the season with plenty of players who will be eager to prove their worth to the new coaching staff. Depth chart predictions are mostly conjecture, but using the context clues of last season, spring practice reports, and the established patterns of the coaching staff, fairly educated guesses can be made. What better place to start than the Alabama QB room?

1. Jalen Milroe (Redshirt Junior)

It goes without saying that Jalen Milroe has improvements to make between his first and second season as the starting quarterback. For Milroe to reach his potential, and for Alabama to win a national championship, some development is required of the redshirt junior signal-caller from Katy, Texas. 

However, the fact remains that Milroe had a very successful 2023 season even with his relative limitations. He racked up 3,365 yards and 35 total touchdowns with just six interceptions, leading the Tide to an unblemished conference record, an SEC Championship, and a College Football Playoff berth. 

Though some will still insist Milroe needs to undergo some sort of dramatic transformation, he is just a few minor adjustments away from being a serious Heisman contender. He pushed his way into that conversation late last season with impressive performances against LSU and Kentucky and clutch efforts in wins over Auburn and Georgia, and will enter 2024 as one of the favorites to take home the prestigious award. 

In year two as the starter, Milroe's processing speed and confidence should be drastically improved. Surrounded by weapons in Kalen DeBoer’s offense, I expect Jalen Milroe to have a huge 2024 season.

2. Ty Simpson (Redshirt Sophomore)

Simpson’s patience and commitment to the process should be commended. He undoubtedly had opportunities to go elsewhere and start immediately, but he will stay in Tuscaloosa to develop under some elite QB whisperers in Coach DeBoer and offensive coordinator Nick Sheridan. Alabama is a clear beneficiary here, as Simpson gives the Tide one of the best backup quarterbacks in college football. 

Should anything happen to Milroe, the general belief is that Bama can still reach all of its goals with Simpson at the helm. This is a luxury very few teams have, and one Alabama hasn't had in several years. Moreover, it should head into the 2025 season with a pretty good idea of who the quarterback will be. 

3. Dylan Lonergan (Redshirt Freshman)

Lonergan is a talented passer who has impressed two different coaching staffs in his two spring practice periods on campus. He has shown lots of promise, but he will have a tough task in beating out Austin Mack to be the long-term answer at the QB position. 

4. Austin Mack (Redshirt Freshman)

I have Mack at no. 4 in this preliminary depth chart prediction. This is mostly out of respect for Lonergan, who came to Alabama out of high school and has already passed on numerous opportunities to transfer. However, Austin Mack might have the most impressive physical tools in the room at just 18 years old, and Coach DeBoer has already placed a lot of faith in him. 

Mack and Lonergan will likely battle all season for the QB3 spot, and will be linked throughout their careers as they both have the same amount of remaining eligibility. It’s possible that this becomes a Tua Tagovailoa/Mac Jones situation in which both players get their opportunity to shine, but in all likelihood only one of these two will be the future face of the program.