Why the 2018 Alabama Crimson Tide had the best offensive roster of all time (2023)

Why the 2018 Alabama Crimson Tide had the best offensive roster of all time (1)

John Bazemore/Associated Press

College football has a rich history. Nothing but the story it providesAlabama Crimson Tide. Over the years, Alabama football has been one of the most dominant collegiate athletic programs in the state, winning 15 national titles, 29 conference championships and tied for second all-time with 953 wins in program history. Of the great teams that have come through Tuscaloosa, one team looked poised to win it all in dominant fashion, but fell short. That team was the iteration of the Tide in 2018. Let's take a look at one of the most talented rosters in college football history that couldn't get the job done.

The depth of the back room

It is extremely rare in history for a program to have a Heisman Trophy finalist at quarterback. Well, in 2018, Alabama's running back room consisted of three players who would have finished in the top three of the Heisman voting at some point.

Alabama's 2019 QB room was INSANE:

• Jalen boli (Eagles QB)
• Tua Tagovailoa (QB the Dolphins)
• Mac Jones (Patriots quarterback)
• Taulia Tagovailoa (mariscal de campo de Maryland)

This could have been the BEST college QB room of all time?pic.twitter.com/ZtsCqZTs5q

— NFL Rookie Watch (@NFLRookieWatxh)January 28, 2023

The current president, Tua Tagovailoa, set the college football world on fire during thestate championship gameJan. 8, 2018, in which he came off the bench for Jalen Hurts and led the Tide to an overtime win over Georgia. He would be the starter for the 2018 season and he did not disappoint. The Hawaii product threw for 43 touchdowns and nearly 4,000 yards while finishing second in Heisman voting behind Kyler Murray. Tagovailoa was eventually drafted fifth overall by the Miami Dolphins and has had a strong NFL career to date.

The man he replaced in the title game, Jalen Hurts, stayed at Alabama for another season, rooting for Tagovailoa. He would eventually transfer to Oklahoma where, like Tagovailoa, he finished second in the Heisman voting to Joe Burrow. Hurts led both Alabama and Oklahoma to the playoffs, falling in the second round, where he was retained by the Philadelphia Eagles. He is now one of the highest paid players in the NFL and one of the best running backs in the league.

Third-tier running backs in college football are often never heard from again. Mac Jones is an exception. After being the third quarterback in 2018, Jones waited his turn and finally got his chance in 2020. He threw for 41 touchdowns and finished third in Heisman voting, although there is a real argument that he should have won against teammate DeVonta Smith.

It's absolutely crazy that Jalen Hurts, Tua Tagovailoa and Mac Jones threw for touchdowns on their last pass to Bryant-Dennypic.twitter.com/Olxz7DK2xt

— Alex Brehm (@ajbrehm24)January 17, 2021

This running back room is the best running back room in college football history from top to bottom. All three had elite college careers and are enjoying varying degrees of success in the NFL. But this isn't even the craziest position group on the team.

Receivedweapons galore

Jerry Judy. Jaylen Waddle. Henry Ruggs III. Devonta Smith. Irv Smith. You'll be hard-pressed to find a receiving talent pool that can sniff the level of greatness this group has produced. Sure, the 2019 LSU Tigers had Ja'Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson, but things got pretty rough after that.

Throw away.

Bama had an NFL WR room 🐘#NFLDskica pic.twitter.com/7OtcxC9603

— ESPN (@espn)April 30, 2021

Jeudy, Waddle, Ruggs and Smith were selected in the top 15, while Irv Smith Jr.

Like the running backs, the top five receivers have had varying levels of success at the NFL level. They're all solid for the league's elite players, and the fact that Alabama had five of those guys in 2018 is absolutely insane.

a wild stud of runners

There have been some great rooms in college football history. Georgia with Nick Chubb, Todd Gurley and Sony Michel may come to mind as the greatest ever. While they may have top talent, no one can deny the borderline depth that Tuscaloosa's backroom possessed in 2018.

Josh Jacobs announced that he will switch to the number 8 jersey, the same number he wore at Alabama

Jacobs was a BEAST for the Crimson Tide🐘


— PFF College (@PFF_College)May 22, 2023

There were five running backs on that team who are currently in the NFL. Damian Harris,i Jacobs, Najee Harris, Brian Robinson Jr. and Jerome Ford have all had extremely successful NFL careers and are enjoying NFL success as well.

Both Harris (New England Patriots) and Jacobs (Las Vegas Raiders) were selected in the first three rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft and have enjoyed major league success, with Jacobs even leading the NFL in rushing yards in 2022. Najee Harris will finish in the top five of the 2020 Heisman voting, becoming the first pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers after a stellar senior season.

Brian Robinson waited a long time for his turn, but he certainly made the most of it. He gained over 1,600 yards from scrimmage and scored 16 total touchdowns. The fifth-year senior played well enough in his senior season to be selected by the Washington Commanders in the third round of the 2022 draft.

Most fumbles forced in a season by an Alabama RB since 2014

🥇Brian Robinson jr. ('21): 79
🥈Derrick Henry ('15): 76
🥉Najee Harris ('20): 71pic.twitter.com/aT5VRWsBo7

— PFF College (@PFF_College)March 4, 2022

Jerome Ford would eventually transfer to the University of Cincinnati after not seeing much playing time at Alabama. In Cincinnati, he ran for almost 2,000 yards and scored almost 20 touchdowns in two seasons. He was selected in the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns.

Overall, I've never seen a college quarterback with five NFL players, especially four players who would be drafted in the first three rounds of their respective drafts.

ofensive line studs

The runners were excellent on their only right but also ran after some stallions in front. This group of offensive linemen had six players eventually drafted in the NFL, but were outsold by first-rounders Alex Leatherwood, Jonah Williams and Jedrick Wills.

Alabama sports highest PFF rating since 2014:

1. Jonas Williams (2018) – 89.2
2. Wills of Jedrick (2019) – 88,8
3. Evan Neal (2021.) – 84,9 👀pic.twitter.com/GTeJ42EXvn

— PFF College (@PFF_College)January 8, 2022

Now, these six players have had varying degrees of success in the NFL, but that doesn't take away from how dominant they were in college.

In total, this offense had a Heisman Trophy winner and four other players who earned Heisman votes, there were 12 first-round picks on this offensive depth chart, and there are at least 13 players to look forward to in 2023 starting Sunday. . I've never seen anything like the amount of talent on a depth chart.

January 7, 2019: In a 44-16 win over Alabama,#Clemsonbecomes the first college football team to go 15-0 in a season in the modern era. Trevor Lawrence threw for 347 yards and 3 TDs and Justyn Ross had 6 catches for 153 yards and a TD.pic.twitter.com/O9tDsjTKxu

— Tiger Sports razvod (@Tiger_Timeline)January 7, 2022

What Clemson did to them in the national championship game when they beat them 44-16 will always amaze me. To compare the NFL, it reminds me of the Patriots in 2007. A lot of people don't remember how dominant they really were because they couldn't get the job done. The same can be said for the 2018 Alabama Crimson Tide and their hilariously elitist offense. They are the best offense in college football history to never win it all.

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