Alabama vs. LSU players in the NFL: Which school has the better pros?

Sporting News

Alabama will host LSU in the latest "Game of the Century" on Saturday afternoon. The SEC college football powerhouses also will have a big presence during all of Sunday's NFL games.

The Crimson Tide and Tigers, with their annual immense draft talent, are both well represented in the pro game. Alabama has 60 active players in the NFL going into Week 10 to lead all programs. LSU has 44, good for a close fifth behind 'Bama, Ohio State, Miami and Florida.

But beyond the quality, which of the SEC West arch rivals has the best current NFL quality? Let's find out.

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Alabama players in the NFL, by the numbers

  • Active players: 60

  • Regular starters: 37

  • Pro Bowlers: 9

  • First-team All-Pros: 4

LSU players in the NFL, by the numbers

  • Active players: 44

  • Regular starters: 23

  • Pro Bowlers: 11

  • First-team All-Pros: 3

Quarterbacks

It's AJ McCarron and no one else here, so we'll table this debate for when Alabama's Tua Tagovailoa and LSU's Joe Burrow are in the league battling as first-round picks in the 2020 draft.

Advantage: Push

Running backs

Josh Jacobs, Derrick Henry and Mark Ingram give the Tide an impressive triumvirate of feature backs with the latter two continuing to deliver as Heisman Trophy winners. Then there's also Kenyan Drake and T.J. Yeldon to change the pace. The Tigers have the force of Leonard Fournette, but with Derrius Guice still on the mend, the next best guy is Darrel Williams. It also hurt LSU's volume that Jeremy Hill, Spencer Ware, Alfred Blue and Stevan Ridley didn't play through '19.

Advantage: Alabama

Wide receivers

Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Amari Cooper are also special triplets to get 'Bama on the board. But then here comes LSU with Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry and D.J. Chark. Given how things are going for the Falcons' duo vs. the Browns' duo, plus Cooper's experience vs. Chark, roll with the Tide again.

Advantage: Alabama

Tight ends

O.J. Howard hasn't been great yet at living up to massive first-round expectations and Irv Smith Jr., although promising, is a rookie second-rounder. But LSU counters with only rookie fourth-rounder Foster Moreau.

Advantage: Alabama

Offensive linemen

'Bama is hanging on here with Andre Smith at tackle, joined by D.J. Fluker and Cam Robinson. Young center Ryan Kelly and Bradley Bozeman help the case, too. But LSU has the ageless Andrew Whitworth and solid Trai Turner. The Tide have the volume, but the Tigers have greater past and present impact.

Advantage: LSU

Defensive linemen

Alabama has a mixed bag here with Quinnen Williams, Da'Ron Payne, A'Shawn Robinson, Dalvin Tomlinson, Jonathan Allen, Jarran Reed and Marcell Dareus. Danielle Hunter and Arden Key have brought it as pass rushers for LSU. At tackle, you have young nose Davon Godchaux and venerable Michael Brockers. Hunter is the best overall player here but there's too much strength in numbers for Bama's 3-4 linemen.

Advantage: Alabama

Linebackers

Alabama cleans up well here with Dont'a Hightower, C.J. Mosley, Rashaan Evans, Mark Barron and Mack Wilson. LSU comes out swinging with Kwon Alexander and Deion Jones, whle Devin White also has the look of a superstar. But Hightower and Mosley have each done it for a long time.

Advantage: Alabama

Secondary

For 'Bama, Marlon Humphrey and Minkah Fitzpatrick are the biggest playmaking defensive backs. Eddie Jackson, Landon Collins, Ronnie Harrison and Kareem Jackson round out a solid group. Patrick Peterson and Tre'Davious White are the LSU stars at cornerback, but they also are now backed up by Donte Jackson and Greedy Williams. Jamal Adams and Tyrann Mathieu make for a terrific safety combination.

Advantage: LSU

Alabama vs. LSU: So who has the better pros?

Although LSU has some good credentials and great depth in its own right, 'Bama, with a history of greater recent success offensively and defensively under Nick Saban, wins out. But maybe a big Tigers win on Saturday that restore their national championship buzz to the same level of the Saban and Les Miles days can turn the Tide in this ongoing epic NFL roster battle.

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