How does Jedrick Wills’ decision to declare for the NFL Draft impact Alabama’s OL?
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Alabama football has one draft-eligible junior that has made his plans official to turn professional.
Jedrick Wills Jr., a two-year starter at right tackle, posted via Twitter on Saturday that he will forgo his senior season. A native of Kentucky, he guided an offensive unit that allowed 12 sacks in 381 pass attempts and produced a 1,000-yard rusher in Najee Harris.
Seven4 Out✌? 1Łuv BamaNation?#RollTide 4eva pic.twitter.com/VeiqtayH6b
— Jedrick Wills Jr.® ➕?☄️? (@JWills73) January 4, 2020
In his departure, Evan Neal will be expected to kick out to right tackle.
Neal, like Alex Leatherwood, played at guard in his first year as a starter.
The five-star from the state of Florida made the All-Freshman Team for the Southeastern Conference and did not allow a sack through 13 games in 2019. He set Harris up to collect five 100-yard rushing performances, including four versus SEC schools.
Neal guided the junior running back to 136 yards on 24 carries with two scores versus Michigan in the Citrus Bowl.
RELATED: Breaking: Tackle Jedrick Wills announces he will leave Alabama
At 6-foot-7, 360 pounds, Neal is ready to be a leader.
As far as the unit from left to right, Alabama could be looking at Leatherwood, Emil Ekiyor, Landon Dickerson, Deonte Brown and Neal as the set up. This would be a dominate group for any quarterback and rushing attack to play behind.
Wills had an incredible career with the Crimson Tide, as he was on a SEC Championship team (2018) and a College Football Playoff National Championship squad in 2017.
He assisted Tua Tagovailoa to be the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy in 2018, and his protection led to Jerry Jeudy, DeVonta Smith, Henry Ruggs and Jaylen Waddle all being 1,000-yard receivers for their careers.
Tide fans will wish the best for Wills, but next year’s offensive line will be nasty.
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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.