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To keep up in the offense-friendly game of college football, teams have to have guys who can cover.

Alabama has plenty, even without Patrick Surtain II. The question remains how exactly the Crimson Tide will use the talent it has at corner, star and safety positions.

Here's a look at Alabama’s defensive backs.

Departed starters: Patrick Surtain II (drafted by the Denver Broncos)

Returnees: Jalyn Armour-Davis (redshirt junior), Marcus Banks (junior), Jordan Battle (junior), Brian Branch (sophomore), Jalen Edwards (redshirt sophomore), Clark Griffin (sophomore), DeMarcco Hellams (junior), Josh Jobe (senior), Julian Lowenstein (redshirt sophomore), Jacobi McBride (sophomore), Malachi Moore (sophomore), Sam Reed (junior), Jahquez Robinson (sophomore), Joshua Robinson (redshirt senior), Kristian Story (sophomore), Carson Ware (redshirt sophomore), Daniel Wright (redshirt senior)

Additions: Terrion Arnold (freshman), Kadarius Calloway (freshman), Khyree Jackson (junior), Kool-Aid McKinstry (freshman), Jarelis Owens (junior), Devonta Smith (freshman), Jordan Tate-Parker (junior), Kaine Williams (freshman)

Analysis: Losing Surtain is no small loss. There's a reason he was a top 10 ten pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Without Surtain, his former counterpart at corner will be the focal point of the position in Jobe. The senior defensive back finished 2020 with 55 tackles, two sacks and 11 pass breakups. How he performs as the top corner remains to be seen, but the bigger question about the position is: who will start opposite him? The Crimson Tide has options, and camp will likely help sort out who earns the most time. Of course, the type of coverage Alabama is in will dictate how many defensive backs are on the field, too. Some of the contenders who could see time in that second spot and/or playing time in general include, but are not limited to, Banks, Armour-Davis and McKinstry. He not only has maybe the best name on the roster, but McKinstry is also a five-star recruit who could play early for the Crimson Tide. As for the star position, Moore and Branch both have experience there and will likely each see the field this season. At the safety spot, Battle is expected to start again and Hellams and Wright will compete for the spot next to him. Hellams earned starts in big games late last season and made the most of them. He tallied 12 tackles against Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl.

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This article originally ran on annistonstar.com.

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