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How many Alabama stars land in first round of NFL Draft?

The NFL Draft is almost here, and on Thursday night’s first round, 32 lives will be forever changed in the first round of the NFL Draft.

As is always the case, many Alabama players hope to have their name called by the commissioner on draft night. But how many Crimson Tiders will go on night one as a part of Nick Saban’s final group of draftees?

Realistically, five players from Alabama have an actual chance to be drafted in round one. As many as eight or nine will be taken overall, but only five have a real shot to hear their names on Thursday Let’s tier them out by likelihood:

The locks

It really feels like there are only two true locks to go in the first round from Alabama and they are both from a defense that was among the nation’s best in 2023.

Pass rusher Dallas Turner not only will be a first-round pick, but he has a great chance to be the first defensive player off the board in what is a offense-heavy top of the draft. Turner was the SEC’s defensive player of the year and could go as high as No. 8 to the Atlanta Falcons:

The other guy who feels like a true “lock” is cornerback Terrion Arnold. Before the season, Arnold’s counterpart, Kool-Aid McKinstry, was seen as a possible top-ten pick. But a stellar 2023 for Arnold pushed him over McKinstry in most mock drafts. He’s a name that could find himself in the top-15.

The very likely’s:

For both right tackle JC Latham and cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry, not being a complete lock is probably a little bit disappointing based on what they were billed up as before 2023. And it’s not that they had bad seasons by any means, but such is the nature of the NFL Draft.

Latham allowed just four sacks in three years, but concerns about his ability to translate to stardom in the NFL have moved him down some mock boards. Latham could go as high as top-15, but it wouldn’t be a huge shock to see him take a bit of a fall either.

For McKinstry, a case of prospect fatigue isn’t out of the question. He simply did his job for three years and produced solid tape and likely will be a first rounder, but significantly less high than he was predicted a year ago at this time. He should go mid to late first.

The hopefuls:

The final name that has a shot to be drafted in the first round is pass rusher Chris Braswell. Braswell just had his best season at Alabama in 2023 as a senior with 8 sacks and was named second-team All-SEC by the Associated Press.

It wouldn’t be a huge shock to see him drafted late on Thursday night, but early in the second round on Friday feels more likely.

Other Alabama prospects:

  • Jermaine Burton, WR
  • Justin Eboigbe, DL
  • Jase McClellan, RB
  • Jaylen Key, S
  • Darrian Dalcourt, C

Michael Brauner is a Senior Sports Analyst and Contributing Writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @MBraunerWNSP

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