Alabama players who could be heading to the NFL draft
{{ timeAgo('2021-01-14 05:00:00 -0600') }} football Edit

A look at Alabama players considering their futures

While Alabama continues to celebrate its national championship win over Ohio State, the next few days will feature some serious decisions from certain Crimson Tide players.

The deadline to declare for the NFL draft is on Monday. In addition, due to COVID-19, the NCAA passed a rule giving all players an extended year of eligibility. That means even more Tide players will be contemplating whether or not to return for the coming season.

Last year, Alabama saw receiver DeVonta Smith, running back Najee Harris and offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood all pass up the draft to return for their senior seasons. Those decisions all paid off as they each won player of the year honors at their respective positions while improving their draft stock en route to another title-winning season.

Here’s a look at some Alabama players who could be considering their futures in the coming days.

Draft possibilities 

Christian Barmore

Why he should go: Barmore is in a position to strike while the iron is hot. The redshirt sophomore defensive lineman earned defensive MVP honors during the national championship game after recording five tackles, including a sack and two stops for a loss. Barmore finished the season with a team-high eight sacks, including at least one in five of his final six games.

Why he should stay: We saw Smith improve his draft status by staying another year this season. Barmore could do the same thing on the opposite side of the ball next season. The 6-foot-5, 310-pound defensive lineman is currently being projected as a late first-round pick by several draft analysts. However, if he was able to expand on his success in the coming season, he has the talent to vault into the top-10 next year.

Mac Jones

Why he should go: The storybook season just got its storybook ending. After sitting behind Jalen Hurts and Tua Tagovailoa earlier in his career, Jones finally got his chance to shine this season. The redshirt junior made the most of the opportunity, passing for a school-record 4,500 yards to go with 41 touchdowns through the air. He also set NCAA single-season records with a 77.4 percent completion rate and a 203.06 passer-efficiency rating.

Jones’ record-breaking year has propelled him into the first round of several NFL mock drafts. The redshirt junior is set to lose his two best receivers to the draft this season and would be well-suited to follow them to the league.

Why he should stay: While the best financial decision for Jones would be to leave for the draft, he could make a run at becoming one of Alabama’s greatest players of all-time if he elects to return. After spending most of his career in the shadows, the star quarterback would enter the season as the frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy Award and could look to turn that time in the spotlight into a higher first-round projection next year.

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Alabama defensive lineman Christian Barmore (58) is one of several Crimson Tide players with draft decisions to make. Photo | Getty Images
Alabama defensive lineman Christian Barmore (58) is one of several Crimson Tide players with draft decisions to make. Photo | Getty Images