Alabama’s 2021 team made it all the way to the national championship, but fell short to the Georgia Bulldogs. The talent the Crimson Tide had on that squad was a mix of young stars and draft-eligible players, many of whom have decided to declare for the 2022 NFL draft.
Big-time difference makers won’t be back next season like wide receivers John Metchie III and Jameson Williams are gone, as well as the offense line leader Evan Neal.
Nick Saban and his coaching staff are tasked with finding their replacements this offseason.
CBS Sports’ Chip Patterson put together a list of replacements for college football’s biggest stars that are moving onto the NFL.
For Evan Neal, Patterson predicts J.C. Latham or Tommy Brockermeyer will step in to fill the left tackle position.
“The top two prospects from Alabama’s 2021 signing class were both five-star tackles, and the efforts to get those commitments were likely done with the expectation that Neal would be on his way to the NFL after his third year with the Crimson Tide,” writes Patterson. “Latham, the No. 1 tackle and No. 3 overall prospect in the 2021 recruiting class, played on special teams and got in work at guard in the Cotton Bowl due to injury. Though Brockermeyer, the No. 2 tackle and No. 6 overall prospect in the 2021 class, did not see any game action in 2021, he’s likely going to play a factor in this replacement wave up front on offense because Nick Saban is tasked with replacing both starting tackles in 2022.”
Next … filling in the WR void
Both John Metchie III and Jameson Williams could have been considered Alabama’s WR1 in 2021. With both of them gone, who fills in that void?
Patterson believes rising sophomore Ja’Corey Brooks will step up into the role.
“Though Brooks was a special teams contributor all season (and a strong one at that, with a blocked punt to his name), it was a late-season breakthrough at receiver that has set the stage for his emergence in the Crimson Tide passing attack,” writes Patterson. “Brooks totaled 15 catches for 192 yards and two touchdowns during his true freshman season in 2021, all of that production coming in the final six games of the year. The game-tying touchdown against Auburn in the Iron Bowl hinted at what’s to come in big games in 2022, where he’ll be joined by several other highly-touted underclassmen in the effort to keep the passing attack productive in the absence of two 1,000-yard receivers.”
Roll Tide Wire will continue to share updates regarding the 2022 Alabama Crimson Tide depth chart.
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