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Alabama in the Pros

Four Alabama alums open NFL’s Top 100 Players for 2021

Josh Jacobs carries tha ball
Mark J. Rebilas - USA TODAY Sports

Football has returned … at least professionally.

The college football season starts in three weeks, but the National Football League is having preseason games.

RELATED: Mac Jones gaining momentum as eventual Patriots starting QB per New England media

On Sunday, NFL Network aired the Top 100 Players for 2021.

The list is voted on by the players and Nos. 100 to 41 came out. Four alums from the University of Alabama were named — Josh Jacobs, Ryan Kelly, Calvin Ridley, and Minkah Fitzpatrick — and Fitzpatrick was the highest-ranked.

Alabama players on NFL Top 100 for 2021

-Ryan Kelly, C: No. 69 (Indianapolis Colts)

-Josh Jacobs, RB: No. 68 (Las Vegas Raiders)

-Calvin Ridley, WR: No. 65 (Atlanta Falcons)

-Minkah Fitzpatrick, S: No. 52 (Pittsburgh Steelers)

Ryan Kelly was taken at No. 18 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Last season, he helped Philip Rivers total 4,169 passing yards with a passer rating of 97. He also cleared the way for Jonathan Taylor to have a dominant rookie season. The Wisconsin standout recorded 1,169 yards rushing with 11 scores.

Kelly was voted to the Pro Bowl and earned second-team NFL All-Pro honors.

Josh Jacobs was chosen at No. 24 overall in the 2019 NFL Draft. As the No. 1 running back for the Las Vegas Raiders, he had a second consecutive 1,000-yard season. Jacobs was eighth in the league for yards (1,065) and tied for fourth in touchdowns (11).

Calvin Ridley was picked at No. 26 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. After two seasons of totaling 800+ yards, Ridley exploded for a 1,300-yard campaign with the Falcons in 2020. He set career-highs for receptions (90) and yards (1,374) with nine scores.

Minkah Fitzpatrick was drafted at No. 11 overall in 2018.

He played his first 18 games with the Miami Dolphins, and then was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 30 games with the Steelers, Fitzpatrick has nine career interceptions, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, 20 passes defended, and three touchdowns. He has twice earned first-team All-Pro honors (2019, 2020) and has been to two Pro Bowls (2019, 2020).

All four players won at least one national championship at Alabama.

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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.

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