NFL

Alabama’s Bryce Young, Will Anderson Jr., Jahmyr Gibbs will enter the NFL draft

Alabama’s Bryce Young, Will Anderson Jr., Jahmyr Gibbs will enter the NFL draft

A trio of first-round picks Alabama — quarterback Bryce Younglinebacker Will Anderson Jr. and running back Jahmyr Gibbs — announced they will be leaving school early Monday to enter the NFL draft.

Alabama coach Nick Saban said, “There may be other guys in the future who make decisions about what they do.” But only those three players appeared in Monday’s announcement.

ESPN’s Todd McShay Young, a junior and the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner, projects to be the first choice, if at all Houston Texans pick up The Texans have a 55.7 percent chance of the No. 1 pick, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index projections.

Anderson, who won back-to-back Bronko Nagurski trophies as the nation’s top defensive player, is projected by McShay to be a top-three pick.

Anderson led the SEC in sacks (10) and tackles for loss (19.5) this season. He also led the nation in tackles (50).

McShay projects Gibbs to be a late first-round pick. The former Georgia Tech transfer led Alabama in rushing (926 yards) and receiving (44 catches) this season.

The trio made the surprising decision to sit out Alabama’s game against Kansas State in the Allstate Sugar Bowl last week. Young threw five touchdown passes in the 45-20 win.

A former five-star prospect from Pasadena, Calif., Young spent his first season at Alabama as a senior linebacker. Mac Jones2021 first round pick and starting quarterback New England Patriots.

In his first season as a sophomore, Young. The 6-foot-1, 195-pounder had 47 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He won the Heisman Trophy, led Alabama to an SEC championship and made an appearance in the College Football Playoff National Championship game, losing to Georgia.

Despite dealing with a shoulder injury and not having the same caliber of receivers to work with as a junior, Young continued to excel, throwing for 3,328 yards and 32 touchdowns with five interceptions. He also had 185 yards and four touchdowns.

Young injured his throwing shoulder in the Oct. 1 win at Arkansas. He missed the next week’s game against Texas A&M.

When he returned, starting every game the rest of the season, his reps were managed in practice to limit pain. Saban said no structural damage was done and there was no threat to Young’s long-term health.

Saban can turn to backups Jalen Milroe and Ty Simpson as Young’s replacement.

Milroe was the primary backup this season, starting Young against Texas A&M. Milroe, a former four-star prospect, rushed for 300 yards and a touchdown. But the redshirt freshman was consistent as a passer, completing 31 of 53 attempts for 297 yards and five touchdowns with three interceptions.

Simpson, a true freshman and former four-star prospect, had 5 pass attempts for 35 yards.

Last month, Alabama signed the No. 4 and No. 5 pocket passers in the 2023 class in Eli Holstein and Dylan Lonergan, respectively.

Alabama, which lost two games in the regular season, narrowly missed out on making the College Football Playoff, finishing fifth in the final rankings.

The Crimson Tide will open next season at home against Middle Tennessee on September 2nd. Next Saturday, they will take on Texas.



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