Where the 2022 Alabama football roster stands after transfer portal, NFL Draft exits
Alabama football's 2022 roster could still experience more change, but the significant movement seems to have passed.
Immediately after the College Football Playoff championship, a number of players entered the transfer portal, most of whom were reserves. Then, a handful of others declared for the NFL Draft. The deadline was Monday.
Entering the transfer portal doesn't preclude players from staying. It allows other teams to contact them. For the purpose of looking at the 2022 roster, we'll proceed as if those players will not stay in Tuscaloosa.
Here's a look at each position and what the departures mean.
Departures: Paul Tyson (transfer)
Analysis: Even with the departure of Tyson, this position group is in great shape. Bryce Young, the Heisman Trophy winner, will maintain his spot as the starter. Plus, Jalen Milroe remains. Alabama also adds Ty Simpson, the No. 3 quarterback from the 2022 class.
Departures: Brian Robinson Jr. (draft)
Analysis: Alabama loses its top back from the 2021 season, but it returns the rest of the group that was decimated by injuries. Among that group is Trey Sanders, Roydell Williams and Jase McClellan, who was a valuable option for Young until he got hurt. Seeing what five-star Camar Wheaton can provide when healthy will also be interesting. Plus, Alabama added Georgia Tech transfer Jahmyr Gibbs.
Departures: Jameson Williams (draft), John Metchie III (draft), Slade Bolden (draft), Javon Baker (transfer), Xavier Williams (transfer)
Analysis: Once again, Alabama must replace some top talent at receiver this offseason. Losing Williams and Metchie is no different. Alabama has a young group of receivers in the wings who will have a chance to fill those spots such as Iron Bowl hero Ja'Corey Brooks. The Crimson Tide could also look to the transfer portal again to supplement this young group of pass catchers.
Departures: Jahleel Billingsley (transfer)
Analysis: Billingsley moving on to Texas was probably best for both sides. Retaining Cameron Latu was more important for Alabama this offseason after he caught eight touchdowns. Blocking tight end Kendall Randolph also returns. The addition of 2022 recruit Amari Niblack will also be fascinating. With his athleticism, he could provide a perfect complement to Latu.
Departures: Evan Neal (draft), Chris Owens (draft), Pierce Quick (transfer), Tommy Brown (transfer),
Analysis: Alabama will undergo more shuffling on the offensive line with both starting tackles heading to the pros. Replacing Neal won't be easy, and it will be interesting to see who ends up moving to left tackle. Amari Knight was his backup on the depth chart during the 2021 season. Alabama also has young offensive linemen with pedigree such as Tommy Brockermeyer and JC Latham. The Crimson Tide could also move a guard such as Javion Cohen to tackle as the team once did with Neal. Keeping right guard Emil Ekiyor Jr. was an important move. Seth McLaughlin also fared well at center late.
Departures: Phidarian Mathis (draft), LaBryan Ray (draft)
Analysis: Mathis was consistently one of Alabama's best players on defense in 2021. His pass rush complemented Will Anderson Jr. well. The defensive ends who remain, such as Byron Young and Justin Eboigbe, will need to step up. Young was second behind Mathis in tackles for loss (9.5) and sacks (2) among defensive linemen.
Departures: Christian Harris (draft), Christopher Allen (draft), King Mwikuta (transfer), Drew Sanders (transfer), Jackson Bratton (transfer), Shane Lee (transfer)
Analysis: The loss of Harris will be among the most significant spots for Alabama to fill in 2022. But keeping Henry To'o To'o will make that transition easier, considering his leadership and ability to organize the defense. That will allow the new inside linebacker, whether it be veteran Jaylen Moody, a younger guy such as Deontae Lawson, or someone else, to focus on playing the position. Moody removing his name from the transfer portal was significant because it brings back a player who has four seasons of experience in an otherwise inexperienced room. As for outside linebackers, Alabama remains strong with Anderson and Dallas Turner returning. Injuries could test the new depth, though.
Departures: Jalyn Armour-Davis (draft), Josh Jobe (draft), Marcus Banks (transfer)
Analysis: Armour-Davis heads to the NFL after one season as a starter. Jobe joins him, too, forgoing a fifth year he could have taken because of COVID-19. Both were starters for most of the season, but injuries to both late down the stretch allowed more opportunities for Kool-Aid McKinstry and Khyree Jackson to start. Alabama also added LSU transfer Eli Ricks, who is expected to compete for a starting spot immediately. The Crimson Tide keeping both starting safeties in DeMarcco Hellams and Jordan Battle was significant.
Contact Alabama reporter Nick Kelly: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @_NickKelly