2021 NFL Draft Recap: Historic Draft for Alabama Football Sees 10 Players Selected

The Crimson Tide tied the Ohio State Buckeyes for the most amount of players drafted
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The seven rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft are over and done, and a total of 10 former Alabama players have joined the ranks of professional football.

The Crimson Tide's 10 players drafted tied Ohio State for the most players drafted in 2021. Georgia finished second with nine total players drafted.

On Thursday, a record-tying six Crimson Tide players found their respective NFL franchises in the first round. Wide receiver Jaylen Waddle was the first Alabama player off the board, packing his bags as the No. 6 pick and heading to Miami to join former Crimson Tide quarterback and teammate Tua Tagovailoa with the Dolphins.

Cornerback Patrick Surtain was the second Alabama player drafted, being picked at No. 9 by the Denver Broncos. The Broncos also drafted wide receiver Jerry Jeudy in 2020 and now have a weapon on both offense and defense that originated in Tuscaloosa.

Heisman Trophy-winner wide receiver DeVonta Smith was drafted at No. 10 by the Philadelphia Eagles. Like Waddle, Smith will also be reunited with a former teammate in quarterback Jalen Hurts. Together, the duo will look to be quite a formidable combination on offense on day one of the 2021 NFL season.

Up next was quarterback Mac Jones. While Jones projected to go much higher in many mock drafts, the teams with the higher picks ultimately decided to draft around him, resulting in him falling to No. 15 and the New England Patriots. However, Jones could not have a better program to start out his professional career with, as head coach Bill Belichick has a solid history of building teams around talented quarterbacks like Tom Brady.

The biggest first-round surprise for former Alabama players came with the No. 17 pick by the Las Vegas Raiders. Offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood, who was projected to go low first round or quite possibly even the second round, was drafted early by the Raiders. Las Vegas already has former Alabama wide receiver Henry Ruggs III and running back Josh Jacobs — both players that Leatherwood has played with before during his time with the Crimson Tide.

The final first-round pick for Alabama was running back Najee Harris, who was drafted as the No. 24 pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Harris will be a day-one starter for the Steelers, who's top running back on the roster before Harris' arrival was Benny Snell, Jr.

On Day 2, Alabama football saw two players drafted in the second round. Center Landon Dickerson and defensive lineman Christian Barmore were drafted back-to-back, with Dickerson being picked No. 37 overall by the Philadelphia Eagles and Barmore at No. 38 by the New England Patriots.

For both franchises, Dickerson and Barmore were the Eagles' and the Patriots' second former Alabama player selected. Dickerson joins teammate DeVonta Smith in Philly while Barmore will join Damien Harris and Mac Jones in Foxborough.

After the first three rounds of the NFL Draft, the Crimson Tide had seen eight players drafted. With Dickerson and Barmore being drafted, Alabama was the fastest team in draft history to have eight players drafted at 38 picks.

The Crimson Tide wasn't quite finished yet, though. The third and final day of the draft concluded on Saturday, and two more Alabama players joined the ranks of the NFL.

Rounds four and five went by without a Crimson Tide player being selected. However, two were drafted in the sixth. First to go was offensive guard Deonte Brown, who was drafted by the Carolina Panthers at No. 193. At pick No. 222, the Panthers once again saw potential in a former Alabama player, drafting long snapper Thomas Fletcher.

With Fletcher's drafting, the NFL draft has now had a long snapper drafted for seven-consecutive seasons.

While Alabama had 10 total players drafted, two notable players went untouched by NFL teams in linebacker Dylan Moses and tight end Miller Forristall. Moses was later announced to have signed as an undrafted free agent with the Jacksonville Jaguars. However, Forristall's future remains uncertain.

All in all, the 2021 NFL Draft once again solidified Alabama's status as an NFL-level talent producer. With the 10 players drafted, coach Nick Saban has now seen 106 athletes depart Tuscaloosa and be taken in the NFL draft since his arrival in 2007.