Alabama NFL Draft prospects: Who's leaving early and who's returning to school

After winning the national championship in thrilling fashion on Monday night, the draft eligible underclassmen at Alabama have less than a week to decide on their future before the Jan. 15 deadline. After a day to decompress and discuss matters with coaches and families, NFL Draft announcements started leaking out of Tuscaloosa on Wednesday. 

The following players have decided to enter the 2018 NFL Draft, according to AL.com

  • DL Da'Ron Payne: Right now, Payne is listed as one of the top 30 prospects in the draft class on CBS Sports. He's only 20-years old, and yet he was the most physical force in the trenches during both of Alabama's playoff wins, earning defensive MVP honors in both the Sugar Bowl and the title game. 
  • WR Calvin Ridley: After three productive years in Tuscaloosa, Ridley is going to capitalize on what could be a first-round stock as one of the first wide receivers selected in the NFL Draft. Ridley is currently No. 37 in our prospect rankings, listed as the No. 5 wide receiver in the class. 
  • RB Bo Scarbrough: The physical force that is Scarbrough is reportedly set to take his game to the next level. He ran for 596 yards and eight touchdowns this season after totaling 812 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2016.  
  • DB Ronnie Harrison: He had three interceptions and tied for a team-high 74 tackles in 2017. The 6-foot-3, 214-pounder is ranked as the No. 3 strong safety prospect in our rankings.
  • DB Minkah Fitzpatrick: One of the most versatile players on Alabama's defense, Fitzpatrick has played cornerback, safety and nickel during his three years in Tuscaloosa. He had 60 tackles, eight for loss and one interception as a junior in 2017. Fitzpatrick is the No. 6 overall prospect on the CBS list of NFL prospects and the top-ranked free safety. 

According to AL.com, running back Damien Harris has decided to return for his senior season instead of turning pro. Harris has run for 1,000 yards in each of the last two seasons and now he'll lead another loaded running back room that also returns Josh Jacobs and Najee Harris, who served as the closer in Alabama's title game win against Georgia. Defensive lineman Isaiah Buggs tweeted that he intends to return to school for his senior season.

CBS Sports Writer

Chip Patterson has spent his young career covering college sports from the Old North State. He's been writing and talking about football and basketball for CBS Sports since 2010. You may have heard him... Full Bio

Our Latest Stories