The first two weeks of free agency were a frenzy. Many players, including former Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron switched teams, with McCarron signing with the Buffalo Bills and former Alabama offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.
With free agency helping settling some of the NFL team’s needs, there is a bit of a clearer picture of what teams need and may focus on, one month out from the NFL draft.
Four is the lucky number for the Crimson Tide, as the each mock has four Alabama players mocked in its first round.
The early run expected on quarterbacks, the slow evolving safety market in free agency and the fact some teams have Florida State’s Derwin James ranked ahead of Minkah Fitzpatrick have caused the Alabama defensive back to slip in some mocks.
Fitzpatrick is mocked to go seventh to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by SI, NFL.com and Bleacher Report. CBS Sports and ESPN both have him slipping to ninth to the San Francisco 49ers and Walter Football has Fitzpatrick out of the top 10, falling to the Washington Redskins at 13.
Most mocks have Ridley going somewhere in the middle of the first round. Both SI and Bleacher Report mock Ridley to the Baltimore Ravens (a common theme in past mocks). NFL.com has Ridley going 19th to the Dallas Cowboys, CBS Sports has him going 22nd to the Buffalo Bills and Walter Football has him going 29th to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Perhaps the most interesting fit for Ridley is ESPN mocking him to the Atlanta Falcons and joining a fellow former Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones.
Linebacker Rashaan Evans‘ is mocked to be picked anywhere between 19 and 25. Bleacher Report and ESPN are the highest on Evans, mocking him 19th to the Cowboys. NFL.com and Walter Football both have Evans going 22nd, but Walter Football has him selected by the New York Giants after the Bills trade for the second overall pick, NFL.com mocks him as a Bills pick. CBS Sports projects Evans to the Cincinnati Bengals at 21 and SI has him mocked to the Tennessee Titans at 25.
Defensive lineman Da’Ron Payne has the most variance of where he’ll go in the draft. Bleacher Report does not mock him going in the first and SI has him going 11th to the Miami Dolphins as a replacement for Ndamukong Suh. Walter Football has him 16th to the Ravens, ESPN has him going 16th to the Los Angeles Chargers, CBS Sports mocks him 20th to the Detroit Lions and NFL.com pegs him 26th to the Falcons.
Safety Ronnie Harrison is a first-round pick in one mock, Bleacher Report, where he is projected to go 32nd to the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.
ESPN’s Todd McShay ranked his top 32 NFL draft prospects this week and he has four Alabama players on his list: Fitzpatrick (6), Payne (15), Evans (16), Ridley (18).
The 2018 NFL draft will be held on April 26-28 in Arlington, Texas.