Alabama’s First Round NFL Draft Picks Under Nick Saban
In 2008, not a single Alabama player was drafted into the NFL. That was following Nick Saban's first season as head coach. Since then, Alabama has been on a tear unmatched in it's glorious history, and the NFL has taken notice. Beginning with Andre Smith in the 2009 Draft, 14 former Crimson Tide players have been taken in the top round. Nearly every year, Saban brings in top rated recruiting classes, and those fruits have shown in both wins and representation in the NFL.
Those players taken include:
OT Andre Smith- Cincinnati Bengals, 6th overall
LB Rolando McClain- Oakland Raiders, 8th overall
CB Kareem Jackson- Houston Texans, 20th overall
DT Marcell Dareus- Buffalo Bills, 3rd overall
WR Julio Jones- Atlanta Falcons, 6th overall
OT James Carpenter- Seattle Seahawks, 25th overall
RB Mark Ingram- New Orleans Saints, 28th overall
RB Trent Richardson- Cleveland Browns, 3rd overall
S Mark Barron- Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 7th overall
CB Dre Kirkpatrick- Cincinnati Bengals, 17th overall
LB Dont'a Hightower- New England Patriots, 25th overall
CB Dee Milliner- New York Jets, 9th overall
OG Chance Warmack- Tennessee Titans, 10th overall
OT DJ Fluker-San Diego Chargers, 11th overall
How these players have fared in the professional ranks remains mixed. Rolando McClain is no longer in the league, while Julio Jones is considered to be one of the top receivers in the NFL.
So who's next? It's always a crapshoot trying to guess where players will be picked, but it appears to be a safe bet that both safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and linebacker C.J. Mosley will be taken in the first round. At the end of last season, offensive lineman Cyrus Kouandjio seemed like a lock to be a top ten pick. But a lackluster bowl performance, unimpressive Combine results, and report of a botched knee surgery have sent his stock spiraling to second-round status.
Eyebrows were also raised when quarterback AJ McCarron claimed teams have told him he could get drafted in spots 16-35, despite most scouts and analyst listing him as a 3rd round prospect at best.
While most Alabama fans would love to see all four players go among the first 32 picks, the safe number would be to expect just two former Tide players to go then (Clinton-Dix and Mosley). It may not be the most successful draft for the Tide, but two more would still give Bama 16 1st round players since 2009. And as long as this team is full of 5-star prospects, you can expect many more 1st rounders over the next few years.