Tidestars roll to the pros: Alabama QB Bryce Young and LB Will Anderson Jr. sign up for the NFL draft after winning the Sugar Bowl as both are expected to be among the top three players selected this April
- Alabama standout players Bryce Young and Will Anderson Jr. have both entered the NFL Draft
- Young is predicted by many to be the Houston Texans’ first pick
- Anderson, an elite pass rusher, is considered a top 3 pick by many pundits
- Crimson Tide traffic jam Jahmyr Gibbs is also moving to the NFL, according to Nick Saban
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Alabama standout players Bryce Young and Will Anderson Jr. have both signed up for the NFL Draft, where both are expected to be among the top three players to be selected on April 27th.
2021 Heisman Trophy winner Young and two-time unanimous All-American Anderson announced Monday their decision to skip their senior season, two days after leading Alabama to a 45-20 win over Kansas State in the Sugar Bowl . Tailback Jahmyr Gibbs is also moving to the NFL and coach Nick Saban said other players could follow.
They made themselves even more popular with Crimson Tide believers by not joining the ranks of bowl opt-outs among NFL prospects. Young threw for 321 yards and five touchdowns in New Orleans, potentially cementing his status as the NFL’s top pick.
Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr., left, quarterback Bryce Young, center, and head coach Nick Saban, right, stand with the trophy as they celebrate after the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game in which Alabama defeated Kansas State 45- 20 defeated
Young received a loud ovation from Alabama fans when he was substituted for backup Jalen Milroe in the fourth quarter, and later a salute from Kansas State coach Chris Klieman.
“That’s what college football is about. I was glad Bryce played,” Klieman said after the game. “That was really good for college football and really good for kids to watch.”
Anderson is one of the top pass rushers in Alabama history and is even more celebrated than Young. He is only the second two-time Nagurski Trophy winner, winning both the Lombardi Award and the Lott IMPACT Trophy as a junior.
He finished his three-year career with 34 1/2 sacks and 62 tackles for loss, behind only Derrick Thomas in school history.
Anderson finished fifth in the 2021 Heisman vote after amassing 17 1/2 sacks and 34 1/2 tackles for a loss. He had lost 10 sacks and 17 tackles last season.
Gibbs, a Georgia Tech transfer, rushed for 926 yards and seven touchdowns and gained 444 yards on 44 catches.
Alabama running back Jahmyr Gibbs (1) stiff arms Kansas State safety Drake Cheatum (21) as he carries the ball in the first half of the Sugar Bowl. Gibbs also declares himself for the draft
Assuming they lose to the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, the Houston Texans have the first pick in the NFL draft.
Young is seen as a significant upgrade over current Texas quarterback Davis Mills, a Stanford product with 10 interceptions in 13 games this season.
But they also have the Browns’ first-round pick thanks to the trade that sent Deshaun Watson to Cleveland in March.
Currently, both ESPN and Pro Football Focus are predicting that Young will go to Houston first. Meanwhile, ESPN expects the Texans to take Michael Mayer with their second pick from Notre Dame’s first round, and PFF expects Northwest offensive lineman Peter Skoronski to go to Houston with that pick.
However, Brian Branch and even Gibbs from Alabama could also be first-round options for the Texans.
Young is seen as a significant upgrade over current Texas quarterback Davis Mills, a Stanford product with 10 interceptions in 13 games this season