Mac Jones, Jaylen Waddle Among Alabama Players Entering 2021 NFL Draft


Days after winning the national championship, Alabama quarterback Mac Jones, wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, defensive back Patrick Surtain II and defensive lineman Christian Barmore have all declared for the 2021 NFL draft.

All four have the potential to be first-round picks. 

Jones, a redshirt junior who was a 2020 Heisman Trophy finalist, still has two seasons of eligibility left given the additional year that the NCAA added across all college athletics due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He ended this season with 311 completions on 402 attempts—a completion percentage of 77.36. He also threw for 4,500 yards and 41 touchdowns with four interceptions.

Waddle saw the majority of his season impacted by an ankle fracture in October against Tennessee, but he returned for the national championship game this past Monday despite, hauling in three catches for 34 yards.

"My hat's off to him," head coach Nick Saban said on Tuesday morning. "I had the same injury, so I know the difficulties coming back from that. You're healed but your ankle is so stiff, it's difficult to sort of get the flexibility and the flexion back so you can explode like you want to, especially when you drop your weight on that foot, which comes when you're slowing down, trying to make a cut.

"I have a lot of respect for Jaylen Waddle. His mental toughness and his ability to be able to come back."

During his three-year career with the Crimson Tide, Waddle tallied 106 receptions for 1,999 yards, averaging over 18 yards a catch, and 17 touchdowns (plus three special teams scores).

Surtain decided to forgo his final two years of eligibility to enter the draft. During his junior season, he recorded 38 tackles with 3.5 of those tackles for a loss. He tallied one interception, one fumble recovery and 12 passes broken up—the most on the Alabama defense this past season.

Barmore, who is 6-foot-5, 310 pounds, was the national championship game's defensive MVP, finishing the blowout victory over Ohio State with five total tackles, two tackles for loss and one sack. He finished his 2020 season with 37 total tackles, 22 solo stops, 9.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks, three passes defended and three forced fumbles. 

The draft is currently slated to take place April 29 through May 1 in Cleveland.