Four Crimson Tide Featured in McShay Way-Too-Early 2022 Mock
Truly, the NFL Draft season never ends. ESPN's Todd McShay turned around a week after the 2021 NFL Draft and released a first round mock draft for next year's selection event.
After six Crimson Tide players were selected in the first round of this year's NFL Draft McShay is predicting four Alabama alumni in next year's. That would extend Nick Saban's record for most first rounders by one coach at one school to 43, giving him a ten point advantage over second place in just two years.
Despite a full, uninterrupted season lying ahead for these prospects to present more film to the NFL, these players have already made a name for themselves. Expect to hear them often throughout the 2021 season.
9th Overall - Evan Neal, OT
The new left tackle for the Alabama Crimson Tide has been mightily impressive in his first two seasons in Tuscaloosa. As a freshman, he started 13 games at right guard and as a sophomore, he started 13 games as the right tackle.
The 6'7"-350lb lineman has garnered respect from draft scouts for his abilities and versatility. McShay has him as the third offensive lineman selected in this mock draft, behind Mississippi State's Charles Cross and Miami's Zion Nelson. Both players have extensive tape as a left tackle, the one thing Neal lacks.
Still, Neal already ranks as the best option for teams looking for a guard or right tackle and after a full season as Bryce Young's blindside protector, Neal could climb the drat boards even further in an effort to be the first lineman selected in next year's draft.
22nd Overall - John Metchie, WR
John Metchie is the third receiver selected in McShay's mock draft, once again showing Metchie has already captured the interest of the NFL.
In his sophomore season, thrust into the second receiving role, Metchie caught 55 passes for 916 yards and six touchdowns.
Metchie now finds himself as the number one pass catcher after four straight Crimson Tide receivers were drafted in the first round in two consecutive drafts. Metchie has an opportunity to shine on his own and become the fifth first-rounder in three years from Alabama.
29th Overall - Christian Harris, LB
The first true off ball linebacker taken in McShay's mock is the uber-athletic Christian Harris.
It's no surprise Harris has attracted the eyes of NFL scouts heading into his third season as a full-time starter. The former wide receiver and defensive back in high school made a near seamless transition to linebacker as a freshman and never looked back. In two years, he's totaled 140 tackles, 4.5 sacks and an interception.
Thanks to his uncanny speed and intimidating hit power, Harris has grown into the mold of the modern linebacker that is an asset in pass coverage and a heat seeker in run defense.
30th Overall - Josh Jobe, CB
Josh Jobe can make himself a lot of money with a solid 2021 season. He takes over the void left by No. 9 overall pick Patrick Surtain on the outside after a season of eating the targets of quarterbacks too fearful to test his teammate.
Jobe will have to start strong and instill that same fear into opposing quarterbacks, proving he's a lockdown cornerback in the coming draft class. Taking on those extra reps should prove valuable to Jobe as he heads into his senior campaign.
As the fifth cornerback taken in McShay's mock draft, there's still room to move up the boards, but it also indicates that next year's class could be a deep one and Jobe will have to make the most of every target headed his way to stand out.