Alabama had a good defense this year. Not surprising, right? The Crimson Tide has strung together an impressive run of dominance over the past decade or so, and has continually produced big-time NFL talent.
This year is no different as the Crimson Tide has seven prospects who are projected to be drafted within the first three rounds, including four potential first-rounders — Jonathan Allen, Reuben Foster, Tim Williams and Marlon Humphrey.
Foster lead 'Bama in tackles last season with 115 total (60 solo) and had 13.0 tackles for a loss and 5.0 sacks, recording a pair of passes defended, too. Allen totaled 69 tackles (33 solo) and 10.5 sacks, with 16.0 tackles for a loss and a pair of defensive touchdowns.
Williams was a sack specialist for the Tide last season, as he had just 31 total tackles but recorded 9.0 sacks and 16.0 tackles for a loss. Humphrey had a strong showing in a vaunted defensive backfield, registering a pair of interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), five passes defended, a forced fumble and 36 tackles.
The four prospects all have a shot to be drafted in the first round, with Allen and Foster generally considered first-round locks and Humphrey and Williams mocked in and out of the first round depending on the analyst.
Reuben Foster, ILB
Jonathan Allen, DT
Marlon Humphrey, CB
Tim Williams, OLB
These four aren't the ony big-name defensive prospects — defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson, outside linebacker Ryan Anderson and safety Eddie Jackson are all considered second-to-third round prospects.
The Alabama Crimson Tide defense was special in 2016, and that will be well-reflected in the 2017 NFL Draft.