Projecting Alabama's Depth Chart, Post-Draft Decisions: Defense
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — It’s the other side of the coin: A football team that has a lot of injuries suddenly finds itself with numerous players with valuable experience.
Alabama had to make do at a lot of positions during the 2019 season, especially in the defensive front seven where numerous freshmen were pressed into service.
A year later it’ll reap some rewards from those setbacks with a more veteran defense.
Consequently, there’s going to be some serious competition at a lot of spots including weakside linebacker, outside linebacker and defensive end.
Alabama won’t release its first official depth chart until the first Monday of the 2020 regular season, when the Crimson Tide returns to Arlington, Texas, for another high-profile meeting with Southern California on Sept. 5.
That doesn’t mean we can’t take an early shot at what it might look like.
This is more geared toward the spring, and how the Crimson Tide offense will look when it opens practice in mid-March — so it’s heavily influenced by where players were lined up for Citrus Bowl workouts.
A couple of early enrollees made the three-deep as Drew Sanders Chris Braswell will both have an opportunity to earn immediate playing time at outside linebacker (and special teams). It wouldn’t be surprising to see an inside linebacker taking reps on the outside, either.
We’re only going two deep at the safety spots as incoming freshmen Brian Branch and Malachi Moore won’t arrive until summer. The guess here is that versatile Kristian Story will begin his collegiate career at safety as well.
Something to keep an eye on this spring is the star position, the extra defensive back who lines up over the slot in obvious passing/spread situations. If Patrick Surtain II slides over it could allow incoming junior-college transfer Ronald Williams to play corner in the nickel package. Overall, there’s a bit of guesswork and position battles will continue throughout the spring and fall, but non-early enrollees are not considered because they’re still months away from arriving on campus.
Alabama Early Projected Depth Chart
DE Byron Young (47)/Christian Barmore (58), Phidarian Mathis (48)
DT DJ Dale (94), Phidarian Mathis (48), Stephon Wynn Jr. (90)
DE LaBryan Ray (89), Justin Eboigbe (92), Braylen Ingraham (52)
SLB Chris Allen (4), Jarez Parks (23), Drew Sanders/Chris Braswell
MLB Dylan Moses (7), Shane Lee (35), Markail Benton (36)
WLB Joshua McMillon (40), Christian Harris (8), Jaylen Moodey (42)/Ale Kajo (10)
JLB King Mwiikuta (30)/Ben Davis (1), Kevin Harris II (44)
CB Patrick Surtain II (2), Ronald Williams, Marcus Banks (26)
CB Josh Jobe (28), Jalyn Armour-Davis (22), Scooby Carter (11)/Brandon Turnage (14)
FS Jordan Battle (6); Eddie Smith (25)
SS Daniel Wright (3), DeMarcco Hellams (29)
Star Patrick Surtain II, Jalyn Armour-Davis (22)
P Skyler DeLong (10)/Will Reichard (16)/Ty Perine (99)
FG/KO Will Reichard (16), Joseph Bulovas (97)
Holder Mac Jones (10)
LS Thomas Fletcher (45)
PR Jaylen Waddle (17)
KR Jaylen Waddle (17)/Brian Robinson Jr. (24)
Tide in Transition
This is the 12th, and final part of a series on BamaCentral: