The Alabama Crimson Tide started the season with another dominating performance by obliterating the Miami Hurricanes in a one-sided affair. Both teams have plenty of 2022 NFL Draft prospects who had some stiff competition. See who shined and who will need some work to make it into the NFL.
Evan Neal, Offensive Tackle
Neal was a dominant performer absolutely obliterating the Miami offensive line. He was pancaking linemen in pass protection without even a second thought. The blend of size, speed and athletic ability is unmatched in college football right now. He can move to the second level in the run or be an elite, but violent, pass protector. When you see his feet move as quickly as they do with a good bend, it means the pop is coming to throw defenders off-balance. An easy top 5 prospect in the 2022 Draft.
Brian Robinson, Running Back
Robinson had a solid game overall and flashed some NFL ability with a tough run style and good movement when making contact. He did have a bad fumble at one point and was in a rotation with Sanders and Jase McClellan. That Alabama RB potential is out there for Robinson to be a top 100 pick, but he is not there yet.
John Metchie III, Wide Receiver
Metchie had a very solid game and seemed to be in sync with new QB Bryce Young. A big catch early in the game where he avoided contact to take it to the house was huge to set the tone. Metchie may not be the elite prospect Jerry Jeudy or DeVonta Smith were, but he has good athletic ability and has improved in getting open and being able to do more after the catch. A player whose stock is trending up for sure.
Darrian Dalcourt, Center
Dalcourt played center and got pushes up the middle often. A talented mover who can clear holes during ISO runs, he showcased NFL ability here. Look for more out of him and this offensive line as the season progresses.
Josh Jobe, Cornerback
Jobe was solid in the game, often forcing Miami WRs to make tough contested catches. He made tackle regularly and seemed comfortable mirroring routes. He may not be an elite CB but can show he belongs in the top 50 with continues good play.
Byron Young, Defensive Line
Young helped man the line to stop the Miami rush up the middle. He stayed at home and player well with stout legs and a good push. He wasn’t too noteworthy in the game at standing out.
Justin Eboigbe, Defensive Line
Eboigbe is a stout player who plays the run extremely well. His mobility on the line has its moments, but he is best when reading and reacting to a RB while disengaging from blocks. He did this a few times in the game and really forced things to go a different direction. He is intriguing from an NFL Draft perspective as a role player.
Phidarian Mathis, Defensive Line
Mathis ran hot and cold in his effort in the game, especially when Alabama was up big, but he seemed to take up space well and fill his gap. A good athlete as well, he should be drafted. The discipline to play within the system is admirable, but the upside may not be there for him to be a high end selection.
Christopher Allen, EDGE
Allen benefited from being opposite Will Anderson in the defense, but he showed some pass rush burst of his own. Got in on a sack and was pinning his ears back all game. Likely a later round selection, but there is some definite talent there that Allen could be putting together.
Emil Ekiyor, Jr., Guard
Ekiyor played RG and was dominating in his performance. He was pancaking defenders and looked to get to the second level at times. He can be a bit slow off the snap, but once he gets ahold of a defender, it leads to punishment. Excellent engagement and an intriguing specimen for the NFL.
Will Reichard, Kicker
Reichard is one of the most consistent kickers in college football. He nailed all 3 FG attempts, including one from 51 yards. A solid leg and excellent accuracy, he should be on an NFL team come next year.
Christian Harris, Linebacker
Harris continued being the star on defense he was for Alabama last season. Covering Tight Ends, playing the run, and getting involved as a blitzer, Harris can do it all. He is always moving his feet and finding ways to change direction quickly. An obvious high Football IQ player, Harris is in line to be a first round selection.
Henry To’o To’o, Linebacker
The Tennessee transfer played a good game and had command of his defense and the playcalls. He didn’t have spectacular stats and often was moving with the pack to make plays. I want to see more dominance for him to be a top pick.
Trey Sanders, Running Back
The former 5-star recruit rotated in with Brian Robinson and Jase McClellan to have a solid day. He showed good movement ability in space and using his leg movement to break tackles. A nice long TD run toward the end of the game showcased the upside Sanders has when he finally gets his shot as the lead back.
Daniel Wright, Safety
Wright isn’t a well known name in the Alabama secondary, but he had a solid outing. Providing deep coverage often and making clean tackles was a solid effort. He may not have the upside of many of the front end players for Alabama, but he could make an NFL team.
Jordan Battle, Safety
Battle was excellent in coverage and really stopped Miami from using their TE Mallory throughout the game. Due to the excellent coverage, he was only in on some group tackling of runners and receivers throughout the game. Battle is competing to be one of the top safeties off the board in the NFL Draft and helped himself with a good game.
Jaylen Moody, Linebacker
Moody rotated in toward the end of the game and showed some promise of why he was a top recruit, but there won’t be enough playing time for him to make a dent this year.
Shane Lee, Alabama
Lee was a key player two years ago as a freshman but seems to have fallen out of favor and is not getting playing time.
Jahleel Billingsley, Tight End
Billingsley didn’t come into the game until second half due to being in Nick Saban’s doghouse for missing practices. The athletic tight end didn’t do much in the game and might be getting passed on the depth chart which doesn’t bode well for his NFL future.
LaBryan Ray, Defensive Line
Ray did not play in the game due to injury.
Zion Nelson, Offensive Tackle
Nelson had some good battles with Will Anderson throughout the game. He was up and down, but showed athleticism and a kick slide to make Anderson and others on Alabama work hard. The upside is there for Nelson even if he got beat numerous times during the game. Alabama moved Anderson away from him at times to get an easier match-up. Nelson has the juice to be a Top 100 pick and potentially a first round selection.
Tyrique Stevenson, Cornerback
The Georgia transfer was a shining spot of Alabama’s defense. He had a nice physical tackle early in the game and was flying around trying to make a play. Though he struggled on an island in coverage, there were traits to like that should get him drafted.
Bubba Bolden, Safety
Bolden is a highly touted prospect for the Hurricanes, but he was ejected early in the game for a targeting penalty. He was in on early tackles and may have helped stop the run game more had he been on the field. Bolden has Top 100 potential, but didn’t get to play much in this game.
D’Eriq King, Quarterback
As expected, D’Eriq King was not up to snuff in this game. He was pressured often and threw some bad passes that were or near intercepted. He was injured briefly early in the game, but returned later and looked less than 100%. Even despite this, he never was an NFL passer and not being able to compete a little with Alabama likely cements that. Maybe someone gives him a shot in the late rounds as a gadget player or at another position.
CamRon Harris, Running Back
Harris led the team in rushing, but it wasn’t much of a performance. He simply lacks the explosion to make a dent and get through the line of scrimmage for big yardage. It hasn’t improved from last season and a rotation with other RBs is likely. Look for Harris to be a late rounder at best, but likely an undrafted free agent onto an NFL team.
Al Blades, Jr., Cornerback
Blades had a rough outing in general as he was picked on a few times in the passing game. A good physical player, he struggled to match the play speed of the Alabama receivers. He should bounce back, but this was not a good game for him.
DJ Ivey, Cornerback
Ivey, like most of the DBs in this game, struggled against the talent of Alabama. He has trouble mirroring and not allowing easy separation.
Jonathan Ford, Defensive Line
Ford was knocked around throughout the game leading to big holes for runners. It wasn’t a pretty sight to see him try to best the Alabama offensive line.
Jordan Miller, Defensive Line
Miller had some shining moments and some terrible ones. On one pass play, while engaged with the LG, Evan Neal came and pancaked him right to the ground with force. But, he did have a fumble recovery later to get the Turnover Chain and seemed to improve as the game went on. An intriguing late round possibility.
Nesta Jade Silvera, Defensive Line
Silvera is one of the more athletic defensive linemen of the Miami group and he was a focus for the Alabama offensive line. There were a few times he got pressure up the middle and forced Bryce Young to move around in the pocket, even if that wasn’t enough. Overall, a solid game with an arrow pointing up.
DeAndre Johnson, EDGE
Johnson had the unfortunate task of going up against Evan Neal often. He had trouble finding any way to rush the passer from that end, even reverting to chaining pass rush moves together sloppily. It wasn’t a great performance but understandable given the competition.
Navaughn Donaldson, Guard
Donaldson played RG and struggled for much of the game. He couldn’t get a handle on the bigger defensive linemen in terms of matching in strength and didn’t have the athleticism to match up with pass rushers. It was a rough game against a top competitor.
Lou Hedley, Punter
Hedley was a highlight for Miami averaging over 44 yards a punt (including a booming 54 yarder) and getting some within the 20 yard line. One of the top Punters of the class.
Gurvan Hall Jr., Safety
Hall was seemingly involved on every play whether he was playing the run or pass. Always in a good spot with good tackling ability, Hall was a nice positive for the Miami defense. Though he did get beat in coverage a few times, it was overall a solid performance by someone who was giving it 110%. He is a player I’ll be watching for in the future.
Will Mallory, Tight End
Mallory only had two catches but was clearly one of the better weapons for Miami. They got away from him quickly when the team was down multiple scores, but he showed great ball tracking skills and body control to make tough catches.
Charleston Rambo, Wide Receiver
The Oklahoma transfer was a favorite target for D’Eriq King and was a solid shallow route runner to make easy catches. He has improved his catch radius and catch technique which should bode well for Miami in the future. Once a potential Top 100 pick, Rambo will need to step it up to get back tot hat type of draft capital.
Mike Harley, Wide Receiver
Harley is the big play receiver and had some nice catches on smooth routes for Miami. He could be a late round flyer with his ability to get up and go off the line and do some damage after the catch.
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