Top 10 2021 NFL Matchups Involving Former Alabama Players

BamaCentral ranks the most exciting and pivotal matchups between Crimson Tide alumni during the 2021 NFL season
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Every week during the 2021 NFL season is going to feel like a reunion of former University of Alabama players.

That's just what happens when coach Nick Saban sees over 100 of his players drafted and developed 39 first-round picks since he has arrived in Tuscaloosa back in 2007.

It's also what makes every season during the NFL season so exciting for the neutral Crimson Tide fan. 31 of the 32 franchises employ at least one Crimson Tide alumni and 21 teams have at least two.

With the full schedule officially released on Wednesday evening, BamaCentral has ranked the top ten most exciting and pivotal matchups between Crimson Tide alumni in 2021. 

All times are listed in central.

Honorable Mention

Week 15 - Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers, Dec. 19, 12 p.m

  • What makes this meeting between the Titans and Steelers so intriguing is the running backs. Current back-to-back league rushing champion and 2015 Heisman trophy winner Derrick Henry versus Alabama's all-time leading rusher in Pittsburgh's Najee Harris.

Week 12 - New England Patriots at Atlanta Falcons, Nov. 18, 7:20 p.m

  • This will probably be many Alabama fans' best and first chance at seeing New England's rookie signal caller Mac Jones on the professional stage in person.

Week 6 & 16 - Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos, Oct. 17, 3:25 p.m, Denver Broncos at Las Vegas Raiders, Dec. 26, 3:25 p.m

  • Henry Ruggs III versus Patrick Surtain II twice a year? Sign us up.

Top 10 Matchups Involving Former Alabama Standouts

10. Week 2 & 18 - New York Giants at Washington Football Team, Sept. 16, 7:20 p.m, Washington Football Team at New York Giants, Jan. 9, 12:00 p.m

  • Who doesn't like a divisional rivalry that has a ton of Crimson Tide flare on the defensive side of the ball? Safety Xavier McKinney and linebackers Reggie Ragland and Ryan Anderson are all in line to all contribute for the Giants while Washington's defensive linemen Jonathan Allen and Da'Ron Payne and safety Landon Collins will look to stifle New York's offense. Long snapper Carson Tinker is also currently employed by the Giants and wide receiver Cam Sims will look to build on a solid 2020 for the WFT.

9. Week 11 & 18 - Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans, Nov. 21, 12 p.m, Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans, Jan. 9, 12 p.m

  • It remains to be seen what Mark Ingram II's role is with the Houston Texans in 2021 but anytime two of Alabama's Heisman Trophy winners link up, it's appointment television.

8. Week 8 & 17 - Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns, Oct. 31, 12 p.m, Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers, Jan. 3, 7:15 p.m

  • One of the league's best rivalries that will see former Crimson Tide talent all over the the field in Cleveland safety Ronnie Harrison, linebacker Mack Wilson, defensive lineman Damion Square and offensive lineman Jedrick Wills Jr. and Pittsburgh safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, defensive end Isaiah Buggs, running back Najee Harris and offensive lineman JC Hassenauer.

7. Week 4 - Baltimore Ravens at Denver Broncos, Oct. 3, 3:25 p.m

  • Former Alabama defensive backs Marlon Humphrey and Anthony Averett will be tasked with locking down Denver wideout Jerry Jeudy. With Patrick Surtain II and Kareem Jackson patrolling the secondary for the Broncos, this one could decide which former Crimson Tide duo is the best.

6. Week 13 - Washington Football Team at Las Vegas Raiders, Dec. 5, 3:05 p.m

  • There's a chance at least five starters on the Raiders offense could be Alabama guys with offensive linemen Alex Leatherwood and Lester Cotton, either running back Josh Jacobs or Kenyan Drake and wide receiver Henry Ruggs III. The aforementioned Washington defense, which could have three former Crimson Tide standouts, will have its hands full.

5. Week 3 & 18 - Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys, Sept. 27, 7:15 p.m, Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles, Jan. 9, 12:00 p.m

  • Philadelphia is slowly becoming Alabama of the northeast after acquiring the likes of quarterback Jalen Hurts, wide receiver and 2020 Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith and offensive linemen Landon Dickerson and Ross Pierschbacher. Dallas cornerback Trevon Diggs will have a tough matchup on Smith but Cowboys wide receiver Amari Cooper won't make it easy on a shaky Eagles secondary.

4. Week 10 - Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins, Nov. 11, 7:20 p.m & Atlanta Falcons vs Dallas Cowboys, Nov. 14, 12 p.m

  • A nice little double-dip for Crimson Tide fans in Week 10, who can get to watch Miami quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and wide outs Jaylen Waddle and Robert Foster go up against Humphrey and Averett of the Ravens on that Thursday night, then see Atlanta's Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley and Dallas' Cooper all on the same field that Sunday afternoon.

3. Week 3 - Miami Dolphins at Las Vegas Raiders, Sept. 26, 3:05 p.m

  • A total of 10 Alabama players will be action, mainly on the offensive side of the ball with the likes of Tagovailoa, Waddle, Foster, Miami offensive lineman DJ Fluker, Ruggs, Jacobs, Drake, Leatherwood and Cotton. Dolphins defensive end Raekwon Davis will look to cause havoc for Raiders quarterback Derek Carr.

2. Week 1 - Philadelphia Eagles at Atlanta Falcons, Sept. 12, 12 p.m 

  • Three of Alabama's greatest wide receivers ever in Smith, Jones, and Ridley plus Hurts, Dickerson and quarterback AJ McCarron, who the Falcons recently signed to back up Matt Ryan? Yeah, this is a great way to kick off the season.

1. Week 1 & 18 - Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots, Sept. 12, 3:25 p.m, New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins, Jan. 9, 12 p.m

  • If Mac Jones earns the starting job in New England, it will be the first time in over five decades that Alabama quarterbacks will face off against one another. New England's defense should be getting a jolt back with the return of linebacker Dont'a Hightower, who opted out in 2020. Running back Damien Harris, linebacker Anfernee Jennings and defensive tackle Christian Barmore headline the slew of former Crimson Tide stars for the Patriots.