As the season rolls to a close for Alabama the players must stay focused on the next game. As fans we have the luxury to look ahead of next year, and next year will see a new and powerful lineup on the Tide's offensive line.
The lineman corps has the possibility of losing up to four players, but William Vlachos is the only certain departee, as 2011 is his redshirt senior year.
Vlachos looks to be a sure 2012 NFL Draft pick, and will likely go in the middle rounds, as many draft pundits have him as a top-five center nationally.
Barrett Jones is a redshirt junior this year, but his sky-high draft stock will be too much to keep him at Alabama, as Nick Saban strongly supports players declaring early if the first round looks likely, as is the case for Jones.
Chance Warmack at left guard could declare early, but with little to no draft stock it would be foolish for him to take a risk at the free-agency. I expect he will stick around.
D.J. Fluker is the strange case. He's only a redshirt sophomore this year, but his size and athleticism would ensure he gets drafted, but his lack of experience and need to work on technique would make him a much lower pick than he has the potential for. I also expect him to stay, despite being one of the top-ten tackles eligible for the draft.
Regardless of who stays or who goes, the new front five is going to be a mean bunch.
Here is a glance at what the 2012 Alabama Crimson Tide offensive line could look like, including their class and projected weight.