Alabama could have a big day coming when the NFL draft arrives in April. The latest mock drafts have up to five Alabama players going in the first round. Defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick looks like he’s in good position to be a top-five pick.
All three mock drafts have Fitzpatrick going to the Cleveland Browns with the fourth overall pick. Amari Cooper went fourth overall in 2015, but the last Alabama player to go higher than that was Trent Richardson in 2012 (also to the Browns). Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey is a name experts are often comparing Fitzpatrick to in these mock drafts.
R.J. White of CBS Sports believes that if the Browns, who also own the first overall pick, land Sam Darnold and Fitzpatrick, they win the draft.
Wide receiver Calvin Ridley projects to be the second Alabama prospect selected in the draft. His selection ranges from eight overall to the Chicago Bears, in the Bleacher Report draft to 16th overall to the Baltimore Ravens according to CBS Sports. Ridley is projected to go 15th overall to the Arizona Cardinals according to NFL.com.
CBS Sports actually has Defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne going ahead of Ridley as the 13th overall pick to the Washington Redskins. If that scenario plays out, it would reunite Payne with former Alabama teammates Jonathan Allen and Ryan Anderson.
The rest of the mocks aren’t as high on Payne. Bleacher Report projects him at 21st to the Buffalo Bills and NFL.com has him 30th to the Minnesota Vikings.
Linebacker Rashaan Evans is the final Alabama player all three mock drafts have going in the first round. Three of the four mocks have Evans heading to the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 28th overall pick. That would have Evans taking over for Ryan Shazier, as his NFL future is murky at this time. NFL.com slots Evans 31st to the Super Bowl bound Philadelphia Eagles.
CBS Sports is the lone site that projects a fifth Alabama player in round one. Safety Ronnie Harrison is projected to go 32nd overall to the other Super Bowl team, the New England Patriots. With Patrick Chung headed to free agency, Harrison would be a good fit for the Pats.
The 2018 NFL draft will be held on April 26-28 in Arlington, Texas.