Alabama football: evaluating 2019 replacements

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SANTA CLARA, CA – JANUARY 07: Najee Harris #22 of the Alabama football Crimson Tide dives for the endzone against the Clemson Tigers in the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Levi’s Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

The 2018 Alabama football team loses six seniors and saw a school record seven underclassmen declare for the 2019 NFL Draft.

While the annual coaching carousel continues for the Tide, the attention turns to an Alabama football team that returns a handful of seniors, a Junior class loaded with weapons, and a few fresh faces. Now that the deadline for players to announce for the 2019 NFL Draft has passed, we take a look at potential replacements for the Alabama football team next season.

Note: There is no breakdown of the quarterback and wide receiver positions for the 2019 Alabama football season. All four starting wide receivers are returning next season, and both the starting quarterback and the back-up quarterback have the same last name (Tagovailoa).

Running Backs/Tight Ends

Running Backs

Losing: Damien Harris and Joshua Jacobs

Returning: Najee Harris and Brian Robinson Jr.

New Faces: Trey Sanders – Five star running back out of IMG Academy will look to push Brian Robinson Jr. and other new-comer Keilan Robinson for the number two spot in the Alabama backfield.

Tight Ends

Losing: Irv Smith Jr. and Hale Hentges

Returning: Miller Forristall and Major Tennison

New Faces: Jahleel Billingsley – Alabama football got this four star tight end out of Chicago. Billingsley compares to Irv Smith Jr. as a versatile tight end who can move well in space. At six-foot-four he even ran plays at quarterback in wildcat formations in high school.

Analysis

Will Alabama football miss the departing running backs and tight ends? Yes, however it is Najee Harris time in Tuscaloosa. Harris has shown flashes of being a number one back in the Alabama backfield, but has had to split carries with two 2019 NFL Draft picks. A full workload in 2019 should reflect that the backfield belongs to Najee.

Any other year Alabama football would probably worry about losing both starting tight ends, but with all four starting wide receivers returning, the offense will have plenty of receiving options in 2019.

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