Potential is always a difficult thing to measure, which is why so many high school recruits don’t pan out at the collegiate level, and why so many college prospects fail to make a dent in the National Football League.
There are too many variables and possibilities to take into consideration while doing something like trying to guess how University of Alabama players might do in the 2015 NFL draft.
At best it’s a shot in the dark…
…but here’s taking one anyway.
While Alabama has numerous established seniors on the roster heading into the 2014 season, including linebacker Trey DePriest, nose tackle Brandon Ivory and wide receiver DeAndrew White, its best pro prospects for 2015 are juniors Amari Cooper and Landon Collins, with running back T.J Yeldon a solid third due to his position.
In his “way-too-early” mock draft for 2015 (with the disclaimer, "This mock draft should carry zero weight in the decision process for underclassmen after the season"), ESPN’s Todd McShay (subscription required) has Cooper second overall and Collins 10th, both to the Cleveland Browns. Mel Kiper Jr., on his too-early big board (subscription required), has Cooper sixth and Collins 20th.
So the super-early indications for 2015 are that Alabama will, like usual, have a couple of strong first-round possibilities assuming the upcoming season goes well, it continues to progress and has no major setbacks.
Otherwise there are roughly a dozen Crimson Tide players who are on NFL radars for next year. Although most would probably be considered Day 3 candidates (Rounds 4-7), Alabama could be looking at its fourth straight year of having eight or more draft picks.
They all have a long way to go, but here’s a position-by-position rundown.