Alabama Crimson Tide linemen Evan Neal, Phidarian Mathis enter NFL draft

Is Alabama or Georgia the team to beat next season? (1:14)

The SEC Now crew explains the "sky is bright" for the Tide next year by the best offensive player and defensive player in college football returning to the program. (1:14)

Alabama will be without arguably its best lineman on each side of the ball next season.

Offensive tackle Evan Neal, a projected top-five pick, announced on Thursday that he will forgo his senior season and declare for the NFL draft.

His decision comes less than 24 hours after defensive lineman Phidarian Mathis, a top-10 player at his position, said Wednesday that he would be turning pro.

An unusually athletic 360-pound left tackle, Neal accounted for a team-high 30 knockdown blocks during the regular season and earned All-American honors.

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. lists Neal, a junior, as his top offensive tackle and third best prospect overall.

Mathis, who had 12 tackles for loss and nine sacks this season, is the No. 5 defensive tackle in the draft, according to Kiper.

A senior from Louisiana, Mathis could have played one more year in college by using the free year of eligibility afforded to athletes because of COVID-19 disruptions in 2020, but he chose instead to declare for the draft in a message he posted to Twitter.

Outside linebacker and former All-SEC selection Christopher Allen signed with an agent this week, signaling his intent to enter the draft.

A senior, Allen was injured during Alabama's season opener against Miami and did not play the rest of the 2021 season.