These Are The Top 10 Active Alabama Players In The NFL, If I Had To Choose Just 10

These Are The Top 10 Active Alabama Players In The NFL, If I Had To Choose Just 10

Which former Crimson Tide player reigned supreme in college and the pros?

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These Crimson Tide has dominated college football over the last 10 years and have produced the most first-round picks of all other FBS teams within that time span. But how do they match up against each other? Well, in honor of 10 years worth of sending players to the NFL, let's rank the active Alabama players in the league.

10. Mark Barron

Selected 7th overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Barron played a lot of solid football for some mediocre Bucs teams. Even though he never broke through into the elite safety conversation, he has found his niche as a hybrid linebacker/safety with the Los Angeles Rams. He has led the team in tackles each of the last three seasons and is only continuing to improve at the position.

9. Derrick Henry

With the retirement of Demarco Murray, Henry is entering the 2018-19 season as the clear-cut number one back for the Titans. Last year when Murray was out with an injury he filled in extremely nicely averaging 4.2 yards per carry and pilling up 740 yards and 5 touchdowns. But what solidified Henry's spot on the list was his playoff performance against the Kansas City Chiefs where he rushed for 152 yards on 23 carries. Now entering his third NFL season Henry can easily move up on this list with more snaps.

8. Marcell Dareus

Recently, Dareus has struggled to stay on the field, whether it has to do with suspension or inconsistency. But for the first five seasons of his career, he was an absolute problem for offenses. Dareus was the 3rd overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft and he made an immediate impact. He tallied 30.5 sacks and 253 tackles along with two pro bowl appearances and a single all-pro selection. It's hard to say if Dareus's play will ever reach the heights of what it was at the start of his career. But maybe he can still be an important piece to the defensive-minded Jacksonville Jaguars.

7. Amari Cooper

Cooper has shown flashes of being a great receiver in the league. He recorded over 1,000 receiving yards in the first two years of his career and was selected to the pro bowl in both of those seasons. Yet Cooper hasn't been able to bring it all together. The Alabama legend has struggled with dropped passes his entire NFL career, and no more so than the 2017 season where he only had a 50% catch percentage. But if Cooper is able to bounce back from the down year, and continue to improve, then we might be watching reruns of his college games on Sundays.

6. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

Along with having one of the best names in the NFL, HaHa is also among the best safeties in the league. That is saying a lot coming from the general of the Packers defense. He has been the lone bright spot in a secondary that has been proclaimed as one of the worst in the league. He has picked off 10 passes in the last three years and has either lead the team or finished second in tackles since he entered the league.

5. Mark Ingram

The former Heisman trophy winner hasn't been handed anything in the NFL. Ever since he was drafted by the Saints in 2011 schemes and adjustments had halted him from being a three-down back. But now he has turned himself into a complete running back. Over the last two years, he has rushed for over 2,000 yards, caught over 700 yards and scored a total of 22 touchdowns. He has also been elected to two pro bowls in his career and is less than 1000 yards away from becoming the Saints all-time leading rusher. With accolades like that, one would think it's hard to keep him at 5 until you see who's actually ahead of him.

4. Landon Collins

Pro football focus grades Collins as one of the best defensive players in the league, and those guys are pretty trustworthy. Collins who struggled some in his rookie year took off like a rocket in his second season. He tallied 125 tackles and five interceptions and was named to the pro bowl. Even though this past season was viewed as a disappointment, he was still able to record over 100 tackles and intercept two passes. The hard-nosed safety is also the centerpiece to a Giants defense that is viewed as one of the best in the league. And if Collins stays off the injury list, he could be trending into the all-time great territory.

3. Dont'a Hightower

Are the numbers flashy? No. Has he played a full season? No. Has he made a pro bowl? No. But his impact on the football field is unquestionable. Hightower has been regarded as the only elite player amongst a revolving cast of New England defenders. He makes sure everyone is in the right spot, and you can tell whenever he's on the field teams seem to steer clear of him. But what sets Hightower apart from the previous seven players are his performances on the biggest stage. He has two Super Bowl rings and has made humongous plays in those games. He stopped Marshawn Lynch at the goal line in Super Bowl XLIX which lead to the Malcolm Butler interception. He also stripped Matt Ryan in Super Bowl LI, which started the Patriots historic comeback.

2. C.J. Mosley

Consider this when you think about how good C.J. Mosley has been. When he was drafted he was expected to step right in and fill the gap of one the greatest linebackers of all-time Ray Lewis. And he did it no questions asked. Since he first stepped onto the field Mosley has terrified defenses not only in the run but also the passing game. In his first four seasons, he has accumulated nearly 500 total tackles, 30 pass deflections, 8 interceptions and is a three-time pro bowler. Oh, and he did all of this before his 26th birthday. He was a beast at Alabama and he has adapted extremely well to the NFL. If he continues on this path he may start getting more and more comparisons to Lewis.

1. Julio Jones

Was there ever any doubt? Julio Jones is the best all-around receiver in the NFL and has been for quite some time now. Jones has caught over 75 passes 4 times, racked up over 9,000 receiving yards and caught over 40 touchdowns. But he's also made these catches over multiple defenders, which has become a staple of his play. No one else in the league can go up for a ball like Julio can. Whenever Matt Ryan throws a pass in his direction, no matter how many people are around him you can't help but think that Jones will come down with the ball. But flashy plays and regular season stats doesn't paint the whole picture of what has made him so special. Jones has put up multiple big-time playoff performances and has helped get Atlanta to the Super Bowl. As of right now no other Alabama player has played at the level of Julio Jones and done it for such a long period of time. And he doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon.


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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.
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I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn’t sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It’s obvious your calling wasn’t coaching and you weren’t meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn’t have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn’t your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that’s how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “it's not what you say, its how you say it.”

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won’t even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don’t hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That’s the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she’s the reason I continued to play.”

I don’t blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn’t working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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6 Reasons (For 6 Rings) It Sucks To Be Anything But A Patriots Fan

The dynasty lives on.

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The Patriots dynasty lives on with their sixth Super Bowl win this Sunday, leaving Tom Brady sporting rings on both hands. This win left Patriots fans in a frenzy and the rest of the world in awe at the total domination of the New England program. Although I am not a Patriots fan, it is hard not to acknowledge the impressive talent on both the coaching and athlete side of the Patriots sports program. Despite cheating, murder scandals, and questionable affection with their children, the Patriots still consistently manage to win championships. It pains me to say it, but at the end of the day the New England Patriots are just THAT good.

1. No matter how good of a season your team is having, the Patriots are always having a better one.

11-5 in the AFC East.

2. You can't root for Brady, no matter how good you know he is.

We all know Brady is perhaps the best quarterback of all time, which is painful to watch as the fan of another team.

3. They have the easiest schedule.

Let's face it, the AFC east isn't exactly a challenging schedule, especially for a team like the Pats.

4. You'll never have Belichick coaching your team.

Unfortunately, your coach just isn't as good.

5. The Patriots get an entire region as their fan base.

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3 teams in New York compete for fan bases, while the Patriots are gifted an entire region of support.

6. As much as we hate to admit it, they're just THAT good.

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