NFL Mock Draft Has Former Bama Player Firmly in the First Round
Former Alabama linebacker Drew Sanders has been getting a ton of attention and accolades recently. His great first month has gotten the attention of ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. who is known for his NFL mock drafts.
Kiper has brought Sanders into his latest 2023 draft rankings (subscription required) and rocketed him up the board all the way to No. 14.
Sanders had 24 total tackles and 12 solo tackles for Alabama last season. So far this season he has already amassed 31 total tackles and 16 solo tackles through the Razorback's first four games. Sanders also has 6.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks. His sack total is tied with Jacoby Windmon of Michigan State for first in the nation.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban weighed in on Drew Sanders as his team prepares for a matchup with their former teammate.
"I'm happy to see him do well. He's a fine young man. He did a good job for us here, and you always like to see guys like that do well. We hated to lose him, but the way CFB is right now, you've gotta be able to deal with those kind of things," Saban said.
All of Sanders early-season success has led to early-season rewards. Sanders won SEC Co-Defensive player of the week in week 2 thanks to his monster game against South Carolina. Sanders recorded 11 tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks and forced two fumbles against the Gamecocks.
Sanders was also just named the Butkus National Linebacker of the month. The Butkus Award for the most outstanding linebacker of the entire season will be announced in December. An Alabama player has won the yearly award four times with Reuben Foster being the most recent in 2016. An Arkansas player has never won the award since it was introduced in 1985.
Alabama will take on Arkansas this Saturday at 2:30 with the potential first-round draft pick wearing a different shade of red.