Top Five roster needs for Alabama Football

Mar 21, 2024; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama head coach Kalen DeBoer gives directions during
Mar 21, 2024; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama head coach Kalen DeBoer gives directions during / Gary Cosby Jr.-Tuscaloosa News / USA

With the transfer portal closed, we have a pretty good picture of who will be on Alabama’s 2024 roster. The Tide can still make some minor additions, but may have to fill some of its needs through player development. With so much young talent on campus, this is certainly feasible. 

1. Cornerback

Bama has been very aggressive in the transfer portal looking for a cornerback, but has not found success yet. With USC transfer Domani Jackson the only player in the room with playing experience, the Tide needs to add a veteran corner that will be capable of starting if necessary.

If it goes without, Alabama may have to roll with Jackson and true freshman Zabien Brown as the top two guys. The learning curve may be steep early on for Brown, but he could benefit in the long run from being thrown into the fire. 

2. Tackle

Alabama got a huge boost at tackle when Kadyn Proctor doubled back to Tuscaloosa, but the spot opposite Proctor is still a question mark. Elijah Pritchett will have to show significant improvement from last season (and find a way to stay out of trouble) if he is going to be the answer.

Redshirt freshman Wilkin Formby could be another viable option at right tackle. Alabama would be hard-pressed to find a starting caliber tackle this late in the portal cycle, so this question will likely have to be answered internally. 

3. Center

While Bama appears to have its starting center in Parker Brailsford, it does not yet have a proven quality backup. Is a youngster like Roq Montgomery or Joseph Ionata the guy? Or will the Tide have to find a reserve center in the portal? Needless to say, this is a critical position that requires depth

4. Linebacker

Adding linebacker depth seems to be the next priority for Alabama, though this is more of a luxury than a need. The Tide is set with Deontae Lawson and Jihaad Campbell at inside linebacker, and Justin Jefferson and Jeremiah Alexander are capable reserves.

Looking beyond the 2024 season, however, the Tide may need to add some experience at the position. The coaching staff is getting ahead of the curve, heavily pursuing South Alabama transfer Khalil Jacobs in the portal. 

5. Wide receiver

Adding another receiver would also be a luxury pickup for the Crimson Tide. The Tide has plenty of depth here, so only a top-end talent would make sense. There aren’t necessarily difference-making receivers in the portal at this point, so development is the likely route.

Between Washington transfer Germie Bernard, returnees Kendrick Law and Kobe Prentice, and maybe even true freshman Ryan Williams, someone is going to have to take their game to another level and become WR1 in this offense. If an alpha steps up in the receiver room, it could be the key factor that takes this unit to another level.