To the surprise of no one, the Alabama Crimson Tide dominated the NFL draft once again. Over the course of three days, 10 players recruited and developed by head coach Nick Saban and his staff heard their names called by pro teams. Three were selected in the first round; a trio that encapsulated the depth and range Saban and Co. have built in Tuscaloosa.
It all began with Quinnen Williams, the No. 3 overall pick, who rose from the ranks of the unknown as a third-year sophomore to develop into one of the best players in college football. It followed with No. 11 Jonah Williams, a former 5-star signee and Day 1 starter at tackle, and 24th pick Josh Jacobs, an unheralded 3-star recruit who split duties throughout his three-year career. Williams and Jacobs were the top offensive lineman and running back selected, respectively.
Alabama’s 2020 NFL Draft class could be even better. Given the star power on the roster, it could be one of the best classes ever. And there’s plenty of time for an under-the-radar prospect (or two) to emerge as a first-round pick. As we close the book on this year's draft, we take a look at 10 members of the Alabama Crimson Tide (in alphabetical order) to watch as 2020 NFL Draft prospects.
Raekwon Davis, DL (Sr., 6-7, 309)
Davis entered 2019 as an All-American candidate and projected first-round pick. And though he probably would have been selected in the early rounds had he decided to leave school early, Davis' star was dimmed somewhat by the emergence of Quinnen Williams on the Alabama defensive line. Nevertheless, Davis played a pivotal role for the Crimson Tide as a junior and notched 1.5 sacks, 5.5 tackles for a loss, six QB hurries and 55 total tackles. As a 3-4 defensive end, Davis isn’t likely to fill up the stat sheet, but he's considered one of the top defensive linemen in America and will be treated as such this time next year.
Trevon Diggs, DB (Sr., 6-2, 200)
After three Alabama defensive backs drafted in 2018, we saw just one this year: safety Dionte Thompson. And although Diggs is the only defensive back on this list, that doesn't mean he's the only member of the Tide secondary we should expect to be drafted in 2020. Xavier McKinney posted outstanding numbers as a sophomore in 2018 and Jared Mayden and Shyheim Carter are poised strong senior seasons. As for Diggs, even though missed the final eight games of last season due to a foot injury, he broke up six passes, picked off one, forced a fumble, and recorded 20 tackles. A healthy senior season could make Diggs a first-rounder.
Najee Harris, RB (Jr., 6-2, 227)
He's not a household name among most NFL fans given he's spent most of the last two years sharing carries with Damien Harris and Josh Jacobs, but with that pair now set to play on Sundays, Najee Harris has an opportunity to be the primary running back for Alabama in 2019. A former 5-star recruit, Harris has displayed explosiveness in limited opportunities, including a team-best 6.7 yards per carry in 2018, with good size. His relatively low mileage as a ball carrier should also appeal to pro teams. Of course (and especially given Jacobs' rise), we should also keep an eye on Brian Robinson Jr., who has impressed fellow players and coaches and is in line for an expanded role this year.
Anfernee Jennings, LB (Sr., 6-3, 259)
Jennings recovered from a late-season 2017 knee injury to become arguably the most productive all-around defensive player for the Crimson Tide in '18. Jennings is Alabama's leading returner in tackles for a loss (14.0) and sacks (6.5), and he posted 51 total tackles, an interception, 11 pass breakups, and two fumble recoveries across 15 games as an edge defender.
Jerry Jeudy, WR (Jr., 6-1, 187)
Tua Tagovailoa's top target should follow in the footsteps of former Crimson Tide wideouts Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley to become a first-round draft pick in 2020. After playing a secondary role to Ridley as a true freshman in 2017, Jeudy exploded onto the national scene as a sophomore last year. Jeudy racked up 1,315 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns on 68 catches — an eye-popping 19.3 yards per catch — to earn All-American honors in addition to the Biletnikoff Award, given annually to the best receiver in the nation.
Alex Leatherwood, OT (Jr., 6-6, 314)
Though he started at right guard as a sophomore, expect Leatherwood to return to the position he played as a 5-star high school recruit and replace Jonah Williams at left tackle in 2019. Leatherwood has the size and skill for the position, but his versatility and experience also make him an attractive option for pro teams in search of a boost up front. And though Leatherwood is the most naturally gifted player on the Alabama offensive line, right tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. (who is actually the one protecting the left-handed Tua Tagovailoa's blindside), is also a strong candidate for the 2020 NFL Draft should he decide to leave as a junior.
Terrell Lewis, LB (Sr., 6-5, 252)
Pro scouts and talent evaluators will dive deep into his injury history given he missed 10 games in 2017 with an arm injury and all of 2018 due to knee surgery, but a healthy Lewis has the talent to become one of the pass rushers in college football. Lewis' overtime sack against Georgia in the CFP National Championship Game two seasons ago was overshadowed by the walk-off Tua Tagovailoa touchdown pass on the next Alabama possession, but the play set up the victory by forcing the Bulldogs to settle for a field goal.
Dylan Moses, LB (Jr., 6-2, 235)
Few college linebackers possess the all-around skill set Moses flashed as a sophomore in 2018. Capable of playing both inside and outside, Moses earned All-SEC recognition while leading the squad with 86 tackles and posting 10 tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks. He's undersized compared to the traditional NFL prototypes, but extremely athletic and capable of success at any level.
Henry Ruggs III, WR (Jr., 6-0, 190)
He's not a prototypical 6-foot-5 red zone threat, but Ruggs has a nose for the end zone. Ruggs led all Alabama receivers with six TD catches as a true freshman in 2017, and though he ranked just third on the team with 741 receiving yards last year, Ruggs turned 11 of his 46 receptions into scores while averaging 16.1 yards per catch. Day 2 seems likely for Ruggs, but another high-scoring season could push the junior into the first round conversation if he opts to leave.
Tua Tagovailoa, QB (Jr., 6-1, 218)
Get used to hearing the phrase "Tank for Tua" over the next 12 months. The last two drafts have cemented the fact a quarterback no longer needs to measure in at 6-foot-5 to be a first-rounder, or even the No. 1 overall pick. And given Tagovailoa's pinpoint precision as a passer, the lefty QB is sure to top several draft boards in spite of his 6-foot-1 stature.
A quick recap of his credentials to date: Tagovailoa became an Alabama folk hero as a true freshman and unseated a two-year starter (and one of the most productive signal-callers in school history) for the top job as a sophomore. He spent the 2019 regular season as the Heisman front-runner while throwing for 3,966 yards and 43 touchdowns with just six interceptions, averaging 11.2 yards per pass while completing 69 percent of his throws. He also led the Tide to an SEC title and back to the CFP National Championship Game. Assuming he comes anywhere close in 2019, Tagovailoa's name will be called very, very early should he declare as a junior.