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Wide receiver Calvin Ridley is projected to go in the top 10 of Mel Kiper's mock draft.

Alabama football: Mel Kiper Jr. has 4 Alabama players going in first round of his mock draft

Matt Speakman

Alabama football drives the conversation here at the Rammer JammerSEC Country’s daily Alabama athletics recap, but we’ll cover news for every facet of the Crimson Tide. Every morning, we’ll be here for the latest on Alabama football, basketball and every other sport on campus.

Grading Alabama’s prospects

ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. released his newest mock draft. He has four former Alabama players being selected in the first round. Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is projected to go to the New York Jets at No. 6. Wide receiver Calvin Ridley is predicted to go No. 8 to the Chicago Bears, with Kiper Jr. noting that Ridley is the best receiver in the class. According to Kiper Jr., defensive lineman Da’Ron Payne will go No. 17 to the Los Angeles Chargers, while linebacker Rashaan Evans is projected to hear his name called at No. 28 to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Kiper Jr. also said that running back Bo Scarbrough will be selected somewhere in the draft’s fourth to sixth rounds but added that he expects the running back to make an NFL roster. He also weighed in on quarterback Jalen Hurts, who cannot declare until next season. He said Hurts is not a pro prospect as a quarterback.

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In other headlines …

Firing back at writer

Leading up to Alabama’s Iron Bowl loss, The Big Lead writer Jason McIntyre wrote a column saying it was Saban’s worst team since 2010. Then, after winning a national championship, Alabama got ahold of that article and let McIntyre have it on social media. Players such as linebacker Christian Miller and defensive lineman Raekwon Davis sent tweets at McIntyre about the column he wrote.

Getting a fair chance

It’s safe to say that Alabama has a lot of questions to answer on the offensive side of the ball heading into 2018. The biggest question of all is who will play quarterback for the Crimson Tide. While most think it will be national championship hero Tua Tagovailoa, some believe Hurts can still compete for the job. Outside of the quarterback situation, Alabama has to replace players such as Ridley and center Bradley Bozeman. Our own Marq Burnett took a shot at predicting Alabama’s offensive depth chart in 2018.

Around the capstone

Alabama women’s basketball lost to No. 16 Texas A&M 73-54 at home.