Alabama football produces top NFL draft picks year in and year out—some of whom go on to have stellar careers at the next level.
Three members of last year's national championship team were selected in Round 1 of this past draft—Dee Milliner, Chance Warmack and D.J. Fluker. They went No. 9, No. 10 and No. 11, respectively, and all three will be asked to play big roles for their new teams as rookies.
This year's team features a handful players who certainly have first-round talent. Here are the prospects from the 2013 Alabama football program who have the best chance to be selected in Round 1 of the 2014 NFL draft.
Cyrus Kouandjio, Offensive Tackle
I know what you're all thinking.
Alabama producing first-round offensive linemen? Surely you jest!
In all seriousness, however, Kouandjio may end up becoming a better professional offensive lineman than both Fluker and Warmack.
Blessed with prototypical size, the 6'6", 311-pound Kouandjio was phenomenal as a sophomore last season as Alabama's starting left tackle. He allowed only 3.5 sacks in 2012 (h/t rolltide.com) and is still developing his technique.
NFL Network's Albert Breer listed him as one of his top players to watch this upcoming season:
Albert Breer @AlbertBreer
Some '14 draft names you wanna watch: Jadeveon Clowney (duh), Taylor Lewan, Jake Matthews, Cyrus Kouandjio, Marqise Lee, Sammy Watkins.2013-4-28 19:30:48
It'll be interesting to see if Kouandjio ends up becoming the first offensive tackle to be taken off the board in 2014. He'll likely be contending with Jake Matthews out of Texas A&M and Taylor Lewan out of Michigan.
C.J. Mosley, Outside Linebacker
Mosley will be a highly coveted linebacker heading into the 2014 NFL draft.
His ability to play in any scheme makes him extremely valuable, as more and more NFL teams have been moving to what they call "multiple" schemes on the defensive side of the ball.
A strong pass-rusher off the edge, Mosley is already a skilled 3-4 outside linebacker adept at dropping back into coverage—a rarity for prospects heading into the NFL.
Bleacher Report NFL draft Featured Columnist Wes Stueve was impressed when he took a closer look at Mosley's tape recently:
All his natural talent combined with the intelligence Stueve mentioned will surely earn him a first-round selection in the 2014 NFL draft.
Adrian Hubbard, Outside Linebacker
Hubbard has shown flashes of brilliance in his first two seasons at Alabama, and he'll really have a chance to shine this year as a featured player for Nick Saban's defense.
At 6'6" and 248 pounds, Hubbard possesses more of a prototypical 3-4 outside linebacker frame than Mosley.
He showed the speed and power last year to get to the quarterback, registering seven sacks, 11 tackles for loss, four quarterback hurries and three forced fumbles.
NFL teams will fall in love with Hubbard's strength at the point of attack. He's not just a flashy edge-rusher who will run himself out of plays upfield. Instead, given proper coaching, Hubbard has the ability to turn into an elite pass-rusher in the NFL.
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