Top NFL prospects to watch in the College Football Playoff: Alabama
The Alabama Crimson Tide upset Georgia in the SEC Championship game and played their way into the College Football Playoff and have a date with Michigan on New Year's Day. Alabama has a handful of NFL-caliber talent on both sides of the ball worth watching even if you're not a fan of the team.
On the offensive side of the ball, an honorable mention goes to Jalen Milroe who is the sophomore quarterback for Alabama and a likely high selection in the 2025 NFL draft. Milroe finished 6th in Heisman voting.
On the offensive line, JC Latham is one of the top tackle prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft and a likely first round pick, also on the line Seth McLaughlin is one of the top prospects at the center position.
On the outside, Alabama was led this season by Jermaine Burton. Burton totaled 35 receptions for 777 yards and eight touchdowns. Burton was targeted 52 times and did not have a single drop and was impressively 9-for-16 on contested catches, 56.3 percent.
The defensive side of the ball is where Alabama shines. Starting in the secondary with Kool-Aid McKinstry who had 29 tackles and was lock down at the corner position. McKinstry played 454 coverage snaps and was targeted just 37 times and allowed only 17 receptions (45.9 percent completion rate). When targeted he allowed only 183 yards and one touchdown all season. That lone touchdown came week 2 against a fellow College Football Playoff team: Texas.
Also in coverage, the Crimson Tide have Terrion Arnold, Arnold played 443 receptions and was targeted 72 times, he gave up 39 receptions (54.2 completion percentage). Arnold did allow 432 yards and two touchdowns but did have five interceptions. Arnold is more boom-bust than McKinstry who is more of a lockdown corner, if your favorite NFL team has a good strong safety, Arnold could be intriguing as a free safety ballhawk.
Alabama also boasts a roster of very good pass rushers, Justin Eboigbe, Dallas Turner, and Chris Braswell combined for 24 sacks! Eboigbe had 59 tackles, 27 run stops and seven sacks in a breakout senior season after registering just two sacks in the previous four years.
Chris Braswell had 41 tackles, did have five misses, eight sacks, three forced fumbles and a pick-six for Alabama in 2023. Braswell also forced 54 pressures.
Dallas Turner, the best of the bunch, totaled 50 tackles, nine sacks and two forced fumbles to go with 52 pressures. Turner did miss 10 tackles on the season but his pass rush acumen more than makes up for that.