When Nick Saban started winning national titles in Alabama, the team was known for its defensive intensity and complete domination of opponents. Guys like Julio Jones and Mark Ingram paved the way for offensive talent in Tuscaloosa, but in the early years of the dynasty they weren’t the recipe, they were the icing on the cake.
As college football began to shift toward a more offensive game, coach Saban and the Tide pivoted and began investing more in quarterbacks and skill position players. Blake Sims and Jalen Hurts were the first to lead Alabama to stop relying so much on defense, but Tua Tagovailoa was the man who completely changed the way Alabama played offense. Granted, if you have skill positions like Jerry Jeudy, Najee Harris, or Josh Jacobs, you lean into that.
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As a result, according to Pro Football Focus, Alabama has produced some of the best young skill players in the NFL. Their top 10 players under the age of 25 include both Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith. The dolphins have Waddle pair up with Tyrek Hill and the Eagles let Smith team up with AJ Brown to form the top two receiving duos in the NFL. Smith is a Heisman Trophy winner and knocks on the door as a Super Bowl winner, with some calling Waddle’s speed and after-catch skills generations.
— PFF (@PFF) May 20, 2023
Roll Tide Wire will continue to follow Waddle and Smith.