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Jumbo Package: Alabama football makes history again at the NFL Draft

Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

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2023 NFL Draft - Round 1 Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

Happy Friday everyone. Sorry we’re a little late today as real life intervened.

Baseball faces a tall task this weekend against top ranked LSU in Baton Rouge, and softball hosts the Bayou Bengals for their final home series of the season and in the career of Montana Fouts.

As you already know, the Carolina Panthers took Bryce Young with the first pick of last night’s NFL Draft first round. Not only was Bryce the first Alabama player in the common draft era to go atop the draft, but when Will Anderson went two picks later Alabama became the only team of the era to boast the first offensive and defensive player off the board in the same draft.

Proud papa Nick Saban was there, looking dapper in his pink coat.

Fans in Charlotte seem quite excited by the pick.

All three are lifelong Charlotteans. All attended Olympic High School, not 10 miles away from where they stood on Thursday night. All have been Panthers fans since Charlotte got its NFL franchise in 1993 and played its first season in 1995.

And all three agree: Bryce Young — the undersized but dazzling Alabama quarterback that the Panthers traded up to No. 1 overall to get — can deliver something that this franchise, this team, has craved for too long. Hope. “It gives the city hope,” McGill said. “You know, being here in Charlotte, it’s starting to grow. We got a lot of transplants coming here. And sports kind of bring everybody together. I love to see everybody here. Perfect day.”

Bryce is about to be a very wealthy young man, and not just based on that NFL deal.

According to Fox Business, Jordan Brand keeps its roster of NFL athletes limited in an effort to maintain some level of exclusivity. The brand’s first signee dates to 1999, when star wide receiver Randy Moss inked a deal.

Other notable Jordan athletes who play in the NFL include Davante Adams, Dak Prescott, Cam Jordan, Devin White, Jarvis Landry, Tyrann Mathieu and Deebo Samuel.

During his time at Alabama, Young wore Nike.

In addition, SNICKERS® Ice Cream, part of Mars, announced a partnership with Young earlier this week and presents the “SNICKERS Bryce Cream Bar.”

Guess we’ll soon get to see what people would do for a Bryce Cream Bar.

The Athletic gave the pick of Young a B-.

Nobody is questioning Young’s ability, just his size. Young’s frame (5-foot-11, 204) has led to fair speculation about how he could handle the NFL pounding. Other quarterbacks with his height have successfully adapted in recent years (Drew Brees, Russell Wilson, Kyler Murray), but they had thicker bodies. That’s a huge question mark despite Young’s prowess at Alabama, where he set single-season school records for passing yards (4,872) and touchdowns (47) in 2021 when he won the Heisman Trophy.

Perhaps the best physical comp for Young is Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton, who threw for 47,003 career yards and was nicknamed “The Scrambler.” If Young can complete passes and stay healthy like Tarkenton did in an era with far less quarterback protection, he’ll be an upper-third NFL quarterback within three years. If not, this decision could haunt Carolina for the next half-decade.

Will Anderson is definitely feeling the love in Houston.

“They just have a ton of respect for me and think I’m a special player, and it gives me so much more confidence to walk in there and be myself, be Will Anderson, knowing that I have a coaching staff that really wanted me and really sees something in me,” Anderson said. “That’s what I’m big on, relationships. Just to see that, it makes you want to work 10 times harder not only for the coaches but for my teammates and the city of Houston, for my family, everything.”

He has to be stoked to play for DeMeco,

Jahmyr Gibbs also went in the first round, to Detroit, giving Saban three or more first round selections for the ninth time in the last 13 drafts.

Incredible, indeed.

The other big news of the day came in the form of a transfer, and fortunately everyone was level headed about it.

“Tyler was certainly the guy at Notre Dame last year and got injured,” Saban continued. “Played in the bowl game and played very well so we felt like he would add a lot of competition and we think he has the right kind of character and attitude to be a positive influence on the team.”

Notre Dame also had its spring game Saturday when its quarterback competition gained clarity. Wake Forest transfer Sam Hartman went 13 for 16 with 189 yards, two touchdowns and without an interception. That was good for a 24-0 win over the team quarterbacked by Buchner who was 8-for-18 passing with 44 yards and an interception.

So, Buchner had a “no contact” designation when he entered the portal, meaning he reached out to Alabama. Sounds to me like he sold the coaches on coming in to compete for the job, and the coaches felt like it might light a fire under the guys who were already here.

There were rumors that Buchner may have been brought in because Jalen Milroe was planning to transfer. Not so, says Tony T.

Players only have a couple more days to enter the portal and be eligible for the 2023 season at their new schools.

Last, Sam Walters is making some waves.

Sam is a 6’9” marksman with long arms, which makes him perfect for Nate Oats’ system. Can’t wait to see him in action.

That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.

Roll Tide.