It’s no wonder that after top recruiting classes in 2008-2013 that Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide continue to churn out top tier NFL talent, and 2013 is no exception. Three of the top prospects at their positions declared their intent to enter the 2013 NFL Draft with eligibility remaining on Friday, including running back Eddie Lacy, offensive tackle D.J. Fluker, and star cornerback Dee Milliner.
All three prospects have more than adequate replacements at ‘Bama, and all three project as first year starters in the National Football League.
Lacy, Fluker, and Milliner are all ranked in the top three to five at their respective positions here at NFL Mocks, and all three should easily be top 64 picks by the time April rolls around.
After Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram and another Heisman finalist in Trent Richardson, it seems that Eddie Lacy has gone largely unnoticed by the Crimson Tide. Perhaps that is because he was the only one of the star-studded trio to share a backfield with another 1,000 yard rusher like Lacy did in 2012 with freshman T.J. Yeldon.
In his career as a member of the Crimson Tide, Lacy ran for 2,402 yards and 30 touchdowns, averaging barely a hair under seven yards per carry in the process. If and when he measures out at the NFL Scouting Combine or Alabama’s Pro Day, I think we’ll be talking about Lacy as the top running back prospect in this year’s crop of players. Of course, his statistics at Alabama could have been beefed up by a stellar offensive line, probably the best in the country. However, that doesn’t mean he won’t be running behind a great offensive line in the NFL. If Lacy can sneak to the bottom of the first round, I think a playoff team should take a shot on him and get a solid back with size, speed, power, and agility.
Fluker is a 6’6″ 335 pound All-American who was pretty overshadowed by center Barrett Jones and Chance Warmack the last couple of years at ‘Bama, but he’s a top tier prospect in his own right. He’s started 35 career games and should be an immediate starter for an NFL team, most likely at right tackle but I’m sure he could kick inside to guard as well if needed. He is a big, powerful, durable player who is in the top three-five at his position.
Milliner may be the highest drafted of the group. He is a 6’1″ 200 pound cornerback who is physical and was a unanimous All-American in 2012. He is nearly a lock to be a top 1o selection come time for April’s Draft, and should be a shut-down corner in the future for some NFL team. As we’ve seen with former top prospects like Morris Claiborne, Patrick Peterson, and Dre’ Kirkpatrick, who have taken some time to figure out the NFL game. Milliner will be much the same, though getting drafted in the top 10, there will be high expectations for him.
This is a trio of players that is expected to make a big impact in the NFL, so big news out of Alabama today.