During his final season with the team, Payne registered 53 tackles, a sack, an interception, a fumble recovery and three passes defended, marking his most productive year at Alabama. He finished third on Alabama's all-time career receiving list, only trailing Amari Cooper and D.J. Hall. Most mock drafts peg Ridley as a first-round draft pick.
"In announcing my entrance into the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft, I know that those who come after me will take this program to even greater heights", Ridley said.
In addition to Ridley, AL.com reported on Wednesday that backup running back Bo Scarbrough will also turn pro, while top running back Damien Harris, a junior, will be returning to Alabama. All told, he caught 224 career passes for 2,781 yards and 19 touchdowns.
After the Crimson Tide defeated the Georgia Bulldogs on Monday night to win the College Football Playoff National Championship Game, the star wide receiver announced he will be declaring for the 2018 NFL Draft. "The future of this program is indeed in great hands". He caught the game-tying touchdown in the fourth quarter. He had 967 yards receiving with 5 touchdowns this season.
Alabama has several players with eligibility left who are projected high in the draft, including defensive tackle Da'Ron Payne and safety Minkah Fitzpatrick.