Alabama has record-tying six players taken in First Round of NFL Draft
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama football had a school-record six players selected in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft on Thursday night in Cleveland, Ohio.
The six picks – which ties the NFL Draft record for first-round choices in a single year (Miami (Fla.), 2004) – included wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (No. 6, Miami Dolphins), defensive back Patrick Surtain II (No. 9 Denver Broncos), wide receiver DeVonta Smith (No. 10, Philadelphia Eagles), quarterback Mac Jones (No. 15, New England Patriots), offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood (No. 17, Las Vegas Raiders) and running back Najee Harris (No. 24, Pittsburgh Steelers).
The six first-round selections for the Crimson Tide moves Saban’s career total to 44 first-round picks, including 39 at Alabama. The six first-round selections surpass Saban’s previous best of four first round picks, which came in the 2011, 2012, 2017, 2018 and 2020 drafts.
Below are the 39 first-round selections for Alabama in the last 13 NFL Drafts:
2009 – Andre Smith (No. 6, Cincinnati)
2010 – Rolando McClain (No. 8, Oakland), Kareem Jackson (No. 20, Houston)
2011 – Marcell Dareus (No. 3, Buffalo), Julio Jones (No. 6, Atlanta), James Carpenter (No. 25, Seattle), Mark Ingram (No. 28, New Orleans)
2012 – Trent Richardson (No. 3, Cleveland), Mark Barron (No. 7, Tampa Bay), Dre Kirkpatrick (No. 17, Cincinnati), Dont’a Hightower (No. 25, New England)
2013 – Dee Milliner (No. 9, New York Jets), Chance Warmack (No. 10, Tennessee), D.J. Fluker (No. 11, San Diego)
2014 – C.J. Mosley (No. 17, Baltimore), Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (No. 21, Green Bay)
2015 – Amari Cooper (No. 4, Oakland)
2016 – Ryan Kelly (No. 18, Indianapolis)
2017 – Marlon Humphrey (No. 16, Baltimore), Jonathan Allen (No. 17, Washington), O.J. Howard (No. 19, Tampa Bay), Reuben Foster (No. 31, San Francisco)
2018 – Minkah Fitzpatrick (No. 11, Miami), Da’Ron Payne (No. 13, Washington), Rashaan Evans (No. 22, Tennessee), Calvin Ridley (No. 26, Atlanta)
2019 – Quinnen Williams (No. 3, New York Jets), Jonah Williams (No. 11, Cincinnati), Josh Jacobs (Oakland, No. 24)
2020 – Tua Tagovailoa (No. 5, Miami Dolphins), Jedrick Wills Jr. (No.10 Cleveland Browns), Henry Ruggs III (No. 12, Las Vegas Raiders), Jerry Jeudy (No. 15, Denver Broncos)
2021 – Jaylen Waddle (No. 6, Miami Dolphins), Patrick Surtain II, (No.9 Denver Broncos), DeVonta Smith (No. 10, Philadelphia Eagles), Mac Jones, (No. 15, New England Patriots), Alex Leatherwood, (No. 17, Las Vegas Raiders), Najee Harris, (No. 24, Pittsburgh Steelers)
Alabama head coach Nick Saban passed Joe Paterno for the most first round draft picks from a single school with a total of 39 during his time in Tuscaloosa. Paterno and Saban were tied for the all-time lead at 33 apiece entering this evening’s draft.
Saban has produced a total of 44 first-rounders for his career, the most by any one coach in NCAA history. That number is 11 more than Paterno, who had 33 first-rounders.
Alabama has totaled 41 first-round selections since 2000. That total is nine better than Ohio State’s and Miami’s 32, who trail in second. LSU sits in third with 31 with Florida, Georgia and USC tied at 25 to round out the top five.
Alabama is the first school to have four wide receivers drafted in the first round in a two-year span. (2020 – Henry Ruggs III, Jerry Jeudy; 2021 – DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle)
Only four other programs have ever had two wideouts taken in the first round in the same year. They include Florida (1997 – Ike Hilliard, Reidel Anthony), LSU (2007 – Dwayne Bowe, Craig Davis), Miami (2001 – Santana Moss, Reggie Wayne) and Ohio State (2007 – Ted Ginn Jr., Anthony Gonzalez). Alabama has now accomplished that feat twice in consecutive years.
With the New England Patriots’ selection of Mac Jones at No. 15 overall, Alabama joins Oklahoma as the only school to have quarterbacks selected in the first round in back-to-back years. (Tua Tagovailoa in 2020 and Mac Jones in 2021)
Alabama tied Miami for most first round draft picks in a single year with six.
With Alabama’s six selections in this evening’s first round, the Crimson Tide had produced multiple first-round picks in 10 of the last 13 NFL Drafts with single first-round selections in 2009, 2015 and 2016.