Blog Entry

Alabama losing talented duo to the NFL

Posted on: January 12, 2012 2:23 pm
Edited on: January 12, 2012 2:28 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli

if Alabama plans on defending its national championship, it'll have to do so without two of its most talented players from the 2011 team. It was announced at a press conference on Thursday afternoon that running back Trent Richardson and defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick were all leaving school to enter the NFL Draft.

While both players are great, Trent Richardson is the biggest household name, as he went to New York this season as a Heisman finalist. Richardson rushed for 1,679 yards and 21 touchdowns for the Tide in 2011 and finishes his Alabama career with 3,860 total yards and 42 total touchdowns. Richardson is ranked as the top running back in the 2012 draft class by, and is projected to go in the first five picks of the draft.

As for cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick, he's not exactly a slouch. Kirkpatrick had 29 tackles and broke up 9 passes this season while also forcing 2 fumbles. He did not have an interception in 2011, but that's because opposing quarterbacks tested him as little as possible. has Kirkpatrick ranked as the second best cornerback prospect in the 2012 draft, behind only LSU's Morris Claiborne. He's expected to go within the first ten picks of our mock draft.

So if it wasn't already clear, this is a lot of talent leaving Tuscaloosa early, and it doesn't even include the seniors like Courtney Upshaw and Mark Barron that are graduating. Of course, this is where we point out that Alabama had four players drafted in the first round of last year's NFL Draft, and that loss of talent didn't stop the Crimson Tide from winning a national title this season.

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Since: Aug 20, 2006
Posted on: January 13, 2012 12:55 pm

Alabama losing talented duo to the NFL

Not sure any of the teams currently holding picks in the top 10 spots will go get a RB, but it's likely one of the lower teams will trade up to get him in the 6-8 range.  Barring that, in no way does he fall past Seattle or KC, who could both use a younger, powerful every down back like Richardson.

Since: Jan 7, 2009
Posted on: January 12, 2012 11:14 pm

Alabama losing talented duo to the NFL

Tom, You know as well as everybody else, that Richardson may have top 5 talent. But unless you don't know how to draft, he won't be going until the middle or end of the first round. It's to easy to pick up good running backs in every round. The players that are going to shoot up the draft boards are pass rushers and offensive linemen. Then next will be the big, fast WR's. In this time in the NFL, it's all about your 3rd, 4th and 5th reciever. If you have quality WR's, you have a great advantage. Because most teams don't have 1 really good DB. It's all about matchups. Of course, the TE position is starting to become a glamour position. If you have one of those that can get deep, you really put defense's in a bind. All of this guessing about who goes where doesn't even start to matter until the Combine is over.

Since: Dec 10, 2009
Posted on: January 12, 2012 8:34 pm

Alabama losing talented duo to the NFL

Cmon the Rams are taking Blackmon done deal. Richardson is going to the Clowns. Kirkpatrick is second best corner on his team. The linebacker is the prize.

Since: Jan 26, 2011
Posted on: January 12, 2012 6:46 pm

Alabama losing talented duo to the NFL

Nick Saban has a ton of talent leaving, but he's got more in the pipeline and it won't affect the Alabama Crimson Tide from being in the hunt for another BCS Championship again next season! I'd love to see the Redskins be able to trade up with the Rams for RG III!

Since: Dec 30, 2006
Posted on: January 12, 2012 5:49 pm

Alabama losing talented duo to the NFL

Rams will trade back with the Redskins, who'll move up for RGIII, then they'll pick up Richardson.

Man oh man I just love people who say things like they're experts on a subject, when their "original" thinking actually came from predraft sites like who predicted this move a couple days before lordtwang. So keeping getting your (again) "original" ideas from other websites and then posting them on cbs' message boards.

Your statement is so matter of fact as if because said it, oops I mean because "you" said it that it will surely happen... we'll see.

Here's some excerpts from, which oddly enough seems to have formed you "original" commentary and ideas on what might happen in the draft between the Redskins and Rams. (Unlike others on this message board, I just wanted to give some credit where credit was due.)

 Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin, QB, Baylor  
TRADE!!! I've never predicted a trade in my mocks prior to this because deals seldom occurred in the top five. With the new CBA, however, there's a much greater chance that a transaction like this could happen. 

I just don't see Robert Griffin falling to No. 4, given how many teams have a huge need at quarterback. The Redskins, Browns, Seahawks, Dolphins and maybe even the Jaguars would all consider moving up for him. With so much demand for Griffin, the Rams would be absolutely insane not to accept the best offer, especially given how many needs they have. 

Of the teams I listed, Washington is most likely to move up for Griffin if it can't acquire Peyton Manning. Daniel Snyder loves making splash moves in the offseason, and there's no doubt that he would be willing to deal tons of draft picks for the right to acquire a franchise quarterback - something he's never had while owning the Redskins. 

To move up to No. 2, Snyder will have to surrender No. 6 overall selection, April's second-rounder, next year's first-round pick and perhaps a third-rounder in 2013. Maybe the Rams can get more from someone else, but I think that's pretty fair. 

If the Rams keep this selection, it will be Matt Kalil. I've seen Justin Blackmon mocked here, but Kalil is the no-brainer pick. 

St. Louis has way too much invested in Sam Bradford to have him suffer David Carr syndrome. The offensive line is a mess, as right tackle Jason Smith stinks and left tackle Rodger Saffold is too overmatched to be stationed on the blind side. With general manager Billy Devaney gone, the Rams can part ways with Smith if they wish. He's been an enormous bust. 

Also, Kalil is a much better prospect than Blackmon. It's not even close. He's the best left tackle prospect since Joe Thomas, and aside from Andrew Luck, he's the top player in this class.

 St. Louis Rams: Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama  
I can't imagine this pick being very appealing to Ram fans, but I can certainly see it happening. Trent Richardson is by far the best player available, with the next prospect on the board being a distant Riley Reiff. 

Steven Jackson will be 29 in July. He already has more than 2,150 carries under his belt - a dreaded number for NFL running backs. If he doesn't completely break down next season, he definitely will in 2013, so why not acquire a perennial Pro Bowler at the position now? 

Remember, this new front office has no allegiance to Jackson, and Richardson won't cost very much because of the new CBA, so the Rams will be able to keep both of them on the roster before cutting ties with Jackson the following offseason.  

Since: Oct 2, 2008
Posted on: January 12, 2012 5:29 pm

Alabama losing talented duo to the NFL

In 2012 at best they can backdoor their way to a BCS berth the way Georgia did in '07 and Arkansas in '10 and at worst they'll have a 2010 season and reload in 2013 for an SEC title run maybe make it three out of five waterford crystals.   A lot of defensive power is going pro and it will be so hard to replace that but the offense should be better in '12. 

Since: Aug 16, 2011
Posted on: January 12, 2012 5:18 pm

Alabama losing talented duo to the NFL

Rams will trade back with the Redskins, who'll move up for RGIII, then they'll pick up Richardson.

Since: Mar 15, 2011
Posted on: January 12, 2012 4:09 pm


Alabama's loaded at these positions---look for another title run in 2012.  Saban's built a machine in alabama that will be hard to beat.

Since: Sep 24, 2006
Posted on: January 12, 2012 4:03 pm

Alabama losing talented duo to the NFL

Alabama will be just fine ... plus you know Saban is a better coach when he is amidst personnel turnover (he has proven that he gets tired of the status quo) ... talented personnel, that is.

Since: Aug 6, 2010
Posted on: January 12, 2012 4:02 pm

Alabama losing talented duo to the NFL

I was thinking that the Rams might be too intrigued by Richardson to pas him up.  Jackson wont last too much longer.  But if they are smart they would get an OLineman or WR

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