Alabama football depth chart predictions after spring: Offensive line

After a few years of subpar offensive line play, Alabama expects to be much better up front in 2024. The Crimson Tide’s transfer portal class was led by two likely starters on the line in left tackle Kadyn Proctor and center Parker Brailsford. Another portal addition, Geno VanDeMark, should give the Tide quality depth.

With these additions, Alabama will have a solid and fairly experienced top-6 on its offensive line, but will also have to rely on unproven commodities.

1. Kadyn Proctor (sophomore)

2. Wilkin Formby (redshirt freshman)

3. Olaus Alinen (redshirt freshman)

Proctor plans to reclaim his position at left tackle after starting every game as a true freshman in 2023. The former five-star should now be on the downhill portion of the proverbial learning curve, and has the ceiling to become one of the top tackles. professional prospects in college football.

Formby and Alinen were also among the class of 2023 signees who will look to provide depth, or possibly compete for the right tackle job, after returning to scoring last season.

1. Tyler Booker (junior)

2. Geno VanDeMark (Redshirt Junior)

3. Joseph Ionata (freshman)

4. William Sanders (freshman)

Booker is entering his third season on the program and is now a true veteran. A former five-star recruit out of IMG Academy, he worked his way into the lineup as a true freshman and has been a fixture in the lineup ever since. Now draft eligible and hungry for that elusive national championship, Booker should have his best season yet in 2024.

VanDeMark was a huge portal pickup and could be the top reserve at all three interior offensive line positions. Ionata and Sanders are early enrollees 3-stars who could redshirt this fall.

1. Parker Brailsford (redshirt sophomore)

2. Geno VanDeMark (Redshirt Junior)

3. Casey Poe (freshman) OR Roq Montgomery (redshirt freshman)

Even with Seth McLaughlin, Terrence Ferguson and James Brockermeyer all leaving Tuscaloosa, the presence of Washington transfer Parker Brailsford alone could mean the Tide are upgrading at center. Brailsford proved to be one of the better centers in the country last year, despite being undersized. Ideally, he can play in every game, but the addition of VanDeMark gives Alabama some security. VanDeMark’s versatility could do wonders for an offensive line unit that lacked depth heading into the spring.

1. Jaeden Roberts (redshirt junior)

2. Geno VanDeMark (Redshirt Junior)

3. Casey Poe (freshman)

Jaeden Roberts burst onto the scene midway through the 2023 season, leaving Bama fans wondering why he didn’t start all the time. He joins Booker and Brailsford on the interior attacking line, forming a trio that could dismantle opposition defensive lines. Add in Kadyn Proctor and this offensive line is one right tackle away from Joe Moore Award-winning potential on paper.

1. Elijah Pritchett (redshirt sophomore)

2. Miles McVay (redshirt freshman)

3. Naquil Betrand (redshirt freshman)

The only position on this line that leaves Alabama fans in doubt is right tackle. Pritchett seems the easy favorite, but there are certainly concerns about his abilities. Pritchett was slow to get his chances last season and regularly got burned by simple speed rushes.

While he is also a former five-star player with limited playing experience, he doesn’t seem to get the same grace as Kadyn Proctor. After a serious injury in 2022, last fall was essentially a true freshman season for Pritchett as well. That’s why I think we could have been more patient with his development as a fanbase.

On the contrary, heading into 2024, I’m not opposed to Pritchett being on a short leash if he doesn’t show significant improvement early in the season. He will have another offseason under his belt and will be two years removed from his injury, so he shouldn’t suffer from the same mistakes that plagued him last season.

In addition to any questions on the ground, Pritchett’s inability to stay out of trouble is concerning, to say the least. He has made the news twice in the past six months for non-football related reasons, bringing unnecessary negative attention to the program.

If Pritchett can’t get it done both on and off the field, there are plenty of young prospects working hard to make a run at the right tackle job this summer. Redshirt freshmen Wilkin Formby, Olaus Alinen, Miles McVay and Naquil Betrand could all be in the mix.

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