Please tell me how Hightower and Upshaw looked about average.
Are you joking? Bama fans hyped them up to be the most NFL ready LB's ever in college football. Hightower had about 60 tackles. Same for Upshaw, who took over for Suggs and only got 1.5 sacks in a system set up for getting lots of pressure from the OLB spots. The hype didn't match the production. They looked like average LB's even though Bama/Saban are supposed to be a LB factory.
How about Rolando McClain. He's had a great career. What about Nico Johnson, who they claimed was a 1st round lock. Then dropped to the 4th round.
Saban has a great college system, but his players almost always need way more development in the NFL. Dre Kirkpatrick not even knowing how to backpedal. Kareem Jackson needed 3 seasons to become average. Mark Barron was abused in coverage for the majority of his rookie year and on top of that he missed tackles that should be second nature to him.
Point is all these players have big potential. But hardly any have been NFL ready from the get-go. Which is one of the biggest claims by Bama proponents.