Home High School The 2021 NFL Draft’s big winners on the recruiting trail

The 2021 NFL Draft’s big winners on the recruiting trail

(Photo: Gary Cosby Jr., USA TODAY Sports)

Always Alabama.

Over half of the 10 Crimson Tide players that heard their name called went in the first round as the six selected on Thursday in receiver Jaylen Waddle, cornerback Patrick Surtain II, receiver DeVonta Smith, quarterback Mac Jones, offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood and running back Najee Harris tied Miami’s 2014 draft class as the most first rounders a school has produced in history.

Nick Saban has now produced 39 first rounders in his time at Alabama, passing Joe Paterno for the most in history at one school. Nearly 37 percent of the 106 players Alabama has had selected under Saban have gone on night one.

Offensive tackle Landon Dickerson was the fifth pick in the second round and defensive tackle Christian Barmore (who didn’t even play high school football till his senior year) was the sixth, giving Alabama a NFL Draft record eight players going in the Top 38.

Waddle and Smith give Alabama four wide receivers selected in the first round over a two-year span joining Henry Ruggs and Jerry Jeudy from the year before. That’s the first time that’s ever happened for one school in draft history.

With Jones being selected by the New England Patriots and Tua Tagovailoa the year before by the Miami Dolphins, the Crimson Tide become just the second school to have back-to-back first rounders at the quarterback position joining Oklahoma.

Four times Saban has had at least 10 Alabama players selected under his watch, and this is five years where they’ve had at least nine. Offensive lineman Deonte Brown and long snapper Thomas Fletcher complete the 2021 Alabama draft class.

Going back to 2011, Alabama has finished with the 247Sports Composite’s No. 1 recruiting class nine times including a 2021 haul that is tabbed the best in our network’s history. With that, it appears Draft Night will continue to be the Tide’s night for years to come.


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