Monday morning, three juniors for Alabama's football program announced that they would skip their senior season and enter the 2023 NFL Draft.
It was no surprise to see Will Anderson, Jahmyr Gibbs and Bryce Young declare for the NFL Draft, as all three are projected to be first-round picks, with Anderson and Young expected to be selected in the first five picks. Underclassmen have until January 16 to declare for the draft, so there could be more departures for the Crimson Tide if defensive backs Brian Branch and Eli Ricks decide to leave early.
Will Anderson finished the season with 51 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, 10 sacks and returned an interception back for a touchdown. While his numbers weren't as great as last season, they are still very impressive stats considering the number of double teams he encountered throughout the season. Anderson's 34.5 career sacks and 62 career tackles for loss rank him second in program history in both categories, trailing only Derrick Thomas.
Anderson's impressive numbers led him to receive many individual awards and trophies over his career. Anderson was voted a unanimous All-American for the second straight year and brought home the Nagurski Trophy a second year in a row, only the second player in the award's history to receive the Nagurski Trophy twice in a career. He also received the Bednarik Award, which is presented to the nation's top defender, as well as the Rotary Lombardi and the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which are given based on a player's performance on the field and their character off the field.
The decision for Bryce Young to declare for the NFL Draft is no surprise, as he is expected to be the first selection in the upcoming NFL Draft. Like Anderson, Young's numbers this season were not as good as last year but were still impressive. Young finished the season with 3,328 passing yards and 32 touchdowns, making him the only Alabama quarterback to throw for over 3,000 yards in two seasons. Over the course of his three years with the Crimson Tide, Young passed for 8,677 yards and 85 touchdowns with a career 66% completion rate.
In 2021, Young won the Heisman Trophy, as well as the Manning and Davey O'Brien awards, which are presented to the nation's top quarterback. In 2022, Young earned second-team All-American honors from USA Today and Pro Football Focus and second-team All-SEC from the Associated Press.
Junior running back Jahmyr Gibbs was the third Alabama player to announce his decision to forgo his senior season for the NFL Draft. Gibbs led Alabama in all-purpose yards, recording 1,597 yards and 10 touchdowns. Gibbs led the team in rushing with 926 yards and also was a big piece in the passing attack, leading the Crimson Tide in catches with 44 for 444 receiving yards.
Gibbs was selected by USA Today as a second-team All-American in the all-purpose spot, as well as a third-team All-American by the Associated Press in the all-purpose slot. He also was recognized as second-team All-SEC by the Associated Press, both as a running back and all-purpose player.
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