Will April 27, 2023 Be The Highlight For Alabama Football This Season?
April 27, 2023 will go down in the annals of Alabama Football History. And the Crimson Tide has plenty of annals.
Despite boasting a ridiculous 18 National Championships and the most players on NFL rosters (63) in 2022, Alabama has never had the first player selected in the NFL Draft. That changed last night.
In 1987, Cornelius Bennett was picked 2nd by the Buffalo Bills right behind Heisman Trophy Winner Vinny Testarverde taken by the Tampa Buccaneers. In other words, ‘Biscuit’ held ‘highest drafted Alabama player’ honors for more than 35 years.
The streak came to an end when Bryce Young, the 2021 Heisman Trophy Winner, was picked 1st by the Carolina Panthers. Two picks later, the Houston Texans traded up to take Linebacker/Edge Rusher Will Anderson with the 3rd pick in the draft.
Perhaps the most surprising pick in the entire 1st Round was the Lions taking running back Jahmyr Gibbs with the 12th pick.
All in all, a tremendous night for Alabama Football.
Thing is, will it be the best night for Alabama Football in 2023?
Nick Saban & Company have done a tremendous job going from Jalen Hurts to Tua Tagovailoa to Mac Jones to Bryce Young. On April 28th, 2023, who exactly is the Tide’s starting QB for the upcoming season?
Following a lackluster spring practice and A-Day Game, Saban dipped into the transfer portal for Notre Dame QB Tyler Buchner. While adding depth to the QB room, that doesn’t exactly show a ton of faith in Jalen Milroe or Ty Simpson.
And you don’t have to remind me Alabama doesn’t rebuild, they reload. I’m very well aware.
But it’s not just Young, Anderson & Gibbs that have to be replaced. Brian Branch, Jordan Battle, Tyler Steen, DJ Dale, Byron Young, Henry To’oto'o are all very talented players and expected to be drafted. Are their replacements expected to be better?
The two best players on the team this upcoming season are LB Dallas Turner and DB Kool-Aid McKinstry, both will probably be Top 10 picks in 2024.
But as good as the Tide have been over the last few years, the defense hasn’t been as dominating as it had in the past. And while certainly not bad, the current crop of wide receivers don’t necessarily match up well with the ones before them.
I am not suggesting Alabama is looking at a 7-5, Independence Bowl type of season. Far from it. But I do have a difficult time looking at their current roster and see a National Championship contender.
I’m sure ‘Belief in Saban’ is abound in Tuscaloosa, which is well-deserved. I just won’t be very surprised if April 27, 2023 is the highlight of the Alabama Football season.