Draft Stock Update For Crimson Tide: Offense
With the Crimson Tide off this week, it's favorable timing that a few of the top NFL Draft analysts have updated their boards ahead of the Spring selection meeting.
Let's see how some of the top draft-eligible Crimson Tide offensive players stack up through the following outlets:
- ESPN | Mel Kiper's Top-25 Board and Position Rankings
- ESPN | Todd McShay's Top-32 Board
- The Draft Network | Kyle Crabbs's Top-100 Board
Evan Neal appears to be a consensus top-5 pick for most scouts. He's especially popular with the top draft analysts. He's 3rd on Todd McShay's board and 5th on Mel Kiper's board and also Kyle Crabb's top-100 board on The Draft Network.
"He's an elite left tackle prospect with a massive frame and stellar physical traits," Kiper said of Neal. "He is the complete package, excelling as a run-blocker and also in moving his feet as a pass protector."
He mirrors and slides really well, and speed rushers struggle to get around his long frame," McShay said. "On run blocks, Neal excels with a quick first step and excellent angles."
If the NFL Draft were tomorrow, the top 5 picks would be:
- Detroit Lions
- Philadelphia Eagles (via Miami Dolphins)
- Houston Texans
- New York Jets
Most of those teams have franchise left tackles. The Jaguars would be the most likely to keep Neal at left tackle while the other franchises could look to bookend their offensive lines with a talent like Neal.
Of course, the top of the draft isn't set just yet and there are 32 teams in the NFL that would love to have the services of Evan Neal. He's massive, athletic and scheme and position versatile.
John Metchie may still be a first-round prospect, but he's not the lock that Neal is. Metchie lands at 26th on McShay's top-32 board, 37th on Crabbs top-100 board and Mel Kiper has him as the 10th wide receiver in his position rankings.
Metchie isn't as talented as his predecessors out of the box. He's doesn't have Ruggs's speed, Waddle's athleticism, Jeudy's route running, or Smith's hands. It may not seem fair, but Metchie will be compared against the original Ryde Outs throughout the process.
McShay talks about what Metchie does bring to the table, saying "But one thing that really stands out is his competitiveness, which shows up in his willingness to lay a block on a defender. Metchie isn't a burner, but he has a large toolbox of skills..."
Metchie leads the Crimson Tide in receptions, but not yards or touchdowns through eight games. He's strung together a couple of elite performances though, and a strong finish to the season will help him solidify a position as a first-round wide receiver in an otherwise strong class.
Jameson Williams is creating a lot of buzz around his name. He's quickly jumped into first-round consideration after scoring six of his eight touchdowns from 50+ yards out and displaying dangerous speed.
As such, Kiper jumped Williams all the way to 11th on his top-25 board, making him the second receiver in his ranking.
He can take the top off the defense with his speed, and he has shown that he can track the ball and adjust while it's in the air," Kiper said. "Williams has been Alabama's best receiver this season, and I didn't expect the Ohio State transfer to have such an immediate impact."
McShay was a bit more conservative, putting Williams at 28th on his board.
"Williams is still working through the nuances of route running, and he can occasionally be a body catcher, but he tracks and adjusts to balls in the air well," McShay said in his analysis.
The Draft Network was much more conservative as Crabbs finished his top-100 rankings with Williams. Every player mentioned from here on out was ranked higher than Williams in The Draft Network's top-100 board.
While McShay and Crabbs weren't quite as bold as Kiper, the latter is probably on the right track. Williams will likely post the fastest 40-yard dash of the receivers expected to go in the first two rounds which is a sure-fire way to skyrocket his stock.
If Williams and Metchie are both selected in the first round, it'd be an unprecedented third-straight NFL Draft with two receivers selected in round one from Alabama.
A handful of players for Alabama have seen their individual draft stock fall, but none likely as badly as Billingsley.
Kiper has Billingsley out of his top-25 and fourth on his tight end rankings, a position that doesn't crack his top 25. Crabbs has him down to 57th.
Billingsley has a ton of athletic upside and has shown some improvement as a blocker, however, his benching through the first few weeks of the season led to a serious dip in production. Now that he's out of the dog house, Billingsley has developed an uncharacteristic case of drops.
If Billingsley's stock continues on its current trend, it may be more beneficial for him to return to Tuscaloosa. After all, Trey McBride and Jalyn Wydermyer have proven to be consistent weapons that will be drafted in the first two rounds while Isaiah Likely and Cole Turner are rising prospects. A handful of games may not be enough opportunity for Billingsley to rekindle his once-promising first-round hopes.