An embarrassing defeat at the hands of Clemson in the National Championship game doesn’t diminish the talent the Alabama Crimson Tide will continue to pump into the NFL.
The powerhouse program held their pro day on Tuesday, and the Bengals and every other franchise is in attendance.
Alabama Pro Day is the place to be today:— Andrew Groover (@APGroover) March 19, 2019
Patriots HC Bill Belichick
Bengals HC Zac Taylor
Raiders GM Mike Mayock
49ers GM John Lynch
Steelers GM Kevin Colbert
Lions GM Bob Quinn
Titans GM Jon Robinson
Bills GM Brandon Beane
Saints GM Mickey Loomis
Panthers GM Marty Hurney
The top player coming out of Tuscaloosa, and maybe in the entire 2019 NFL Draft class, is interior defensive lineman Quinnen Williams. Having just turned 21 late last year, Williams dominated college football in 2018 as a redshirt sophomore.
Talented defensive lineman aren’t uncommon for Alabama’s standards, but Williams’ production is indicative of a Pro Bowl/All-Pro career, and a terrific NFL combine performance confirmed his standing as one of the very prospects this year. He is going to stand on that performance rather than participate in the pro day.
Williams will likely be long gone by the time the Bengals pick at 11th overall, but another Williams may still be on the board, offensive tackle Jonah Williams that is.
A three-year starter with experience at both right and mainly left tackle, Williams is also just 21 years old but has some of the most consistent tape of any player in this class, period. What he lacks in prototypical size, he makes up in technique that most in the NFL lack well into their careers.
If the Bengals were to draft him, he could easily play right guard for a year or two before the team parts ways with either Cordy Glenn and or Bobby Hart, where Williams could then move outside like Andrew Whitworth did a decade ago.
The next prospect likely to go off the board for the Crimson Tide is running back Josh Jacobs. Most analysts have pegged Jacobs as the best pure runner in this class, but a lack of production and athleticism testing should be causes for concern. Regardless, there’s next to no chance the Bengals use their first round pick on a running back.
On day 2, things get more interesting from the Bengals’ perspective. Safety Deionte Thompson figures to come off the board around when the Bengals pick in the second round, as does linebacker Mack Wilson, who would fill a much bigger need. Wilson is another younger prospect but like most Alabama linebackers before him, lack high quality production. Wilson also tested as an average athlete for his size, so the second round would definitely be his ceiling.
Tight end Irv Smith Jr. and edge rusher Christian Miller could also be possibilities at the 42nd overall pick for Cincinnati. Going into the third and fourth rounds, names such as defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs and interior offensive lineman Ross Pierschbacher will start to enter the picture.
It’s looking like another strong class for the Crimson Tide, and like always, the Bengals and the rest of the NFL are taking notice.