Alabamas Bryce Young Will Anderson Jr and Jahmyr Gibbs enter

Alabama’s Bryce Young, Will Anderson Jr. and Jahmyr Gibbs enter NFL draft

A trio of potential first-round picks in Alabama — quarterback Bryce Young, linebacker Will Anderson Jr. and running back Jahmyr Gibbs — announced Monday that they are leaving school early to compete in the NFL draft.

Alabama coach Nick Saban said, “Maybe in the future there will be other guys making decisions about what they do.” But Monday’s announcement included only those three players.

ESPN’s Todd McShay predicts that Young, a junior and winner of the 2021 Heisman Trophy, will be No. 1 overall if the Houston Texans get the pick. The Texans have a 55.7% chance of finishing No. 1, according to predictions by the ESPN Football Power Index.

Anderson, who won back-to-back Bronko Nagurski trophies as the nation’s top defensive back, is predicted by McShay as a top-three pick.

Anderson led the SEC in sacks (10) and tackles for loss (19.5) this season. He also led the nation in printing (50).

2 relatives

McShay predicts Gibbs as a late first-round pick. The former Georgia Tech transfer led Alabama to rushing (926 yards) and receiving (44 catches) this season.

The trio made the surprising decision not to withdraw from Alabama’s game against Kansas State in the Allstate Sugar Bowl last week. Young threw five touchdown passes in the one-sided 45-20 win.

Young, a former five-star contender from Pasadena, Calif., spent his freshman season in Alabama as the primary backup for Mac Jones, a 2021 first-round pick and starting quarterback for the New England Patriots.

In his first season as a sophomore, Young. who is 6 feet, 195 pounds tall, pitched for 47 touchdowns and had seven interceptions. He won the Heisman Trophy, led Alabama to an SEC championship and a College Football Playoff National Championship Game appearance, but lost to Georgia.

Despite struggling with a shoulder injury and not having the caliber of receivers he got to work with as a junior, Young continued to excel, rushing for 3,328 yards and 32 touchdowns with five interceptions. He also rushed for 185 yards and four touchdowns.

Young injured his throwing shoulder in a win on October 1 in Arkansas. He missed the following week’s game against Texas A&M.

When he returned and started every game for the remainder of the season, in practice his reps were managed to limit pain. Saban said there was no structural damage and did not endanger Young’s long-term health.

Saban could turn to backups Jalen Milroe and Ty Simpson as Young’s replacement.

Milroe has been the key reinforcement this season, beginning in Young’s absence against Texas A&M. Milroe, a former four-star contender, rushed for 300 yards and a touchdown. But the redshirt freshman was inconsistent as a passer, completing 31 of 53 attempts for 297 yards and five touchdowns with three interceptions.

A true freshman and former four-star contender, Simpson completed 4 of 5 pass attempts for 35 yards.

Last month, Alabama signed No. 4 and No. 5 pocket passers in the 2023 class in Eli Holstein and Dylan Lonergan, respectively.

Alabama, which lost two games in the regular season, narrowly missed making the college football playoffs and finished fifth in the final rankings.

The Crimson Tide open next season on September 2nd at home against Middle Tennessee. The following Saturday they will host Texas.