Alabama football: 6 Crimson Tide players that will be future NFL studs

Mac Jones, DeVonta Smith, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports)
Mac Jones, DeVonta Smith, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports) /
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Jalen Waddle, Alabama Crimson Tide
Jaylen Waddle, Alabama Crimson Tide. (Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports) /

player. 829. Pick Analysis. WR. DeVonta Smith. 2. Scouting Report. Alabama Crimson Tide

And just like that, Alabama has become a pro football factory at the wide receiver position. It was not all that long ago it was three yards and a cloud of dust in Tuscaloosa. Now it seems like eons ago Julio Jones and Amari Cooper were the first two stars at wide receiver in this era of Alabama football. The one guy who seems too good to fail might be DeVonta Smith.

Of his contemporaries, Smith may not be the speedy vertical threat of Henry Ruggs III, nor the ultimate game-changer of Jerry Jeudy. What sets Smith apparent is his great possession receiving skills and outstanding hands. He looks to be a more reliable version at the next level over Cooper. Though he needs to put on some muscle, he could be Jones’ former NFL teammate Roddy White.

If it all goes according to plan, Smith could be the next Marvin Harrison. He is the type of player who could be on a hall-of-fame trajectory if he has a Peyton Manning or a Ryan throwing him the football. It would not be shocking if in the next three-to-five years Smith is one of the 10 best receivers in the NFL. If he does not make it to multiple Pro Bowls, he underachieved in the NFL.

WR. Alabama Crimson Tide. Pick Analysis. Jaylen Waddle. 1. player. 829. Scouting Report

Unless your team needs a franchise quarterback and wants to kick the tire on Jones, there is no more intriguing 2021 NFL Draft prospect on the Crimson Tide than Jaylen Waddle. Though his college career is likely done after suffering a broken ankle on the opening kickoff vs. the Tennessee Volunteers, Waddle has the makings of the next Odell Beckham Jr. at the professional level.

Smith may be more of a Jarvis Landry to Waddle’s Beckham, but we all can see it now. Waddle will be the most electrifying of the four most recent star receivers to play for the Crimson Tide. No, he’s not going to be Jones because nobody is going to be Jones, but Waddle will be better than Cooper, possibly as productive when he is out there like Calvin Ridley is with the Atlanta Falcons.

Waddle may not have the consistency to be a true No. 1, but it sure feels like there is an All-Pro in his future. This is a player who will be successful no matter where he is drafted. What remains to be seen is if he will play on special teams as a return specialist at the next level. If he does, then the NFL spectators will be better for it. Despite the variance, you know a star when you see one.

2021 is shaping up to be potentially one of the best draft classes in Alabama football history.

dark. Next. 2021 NFL Draft Big Board

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