After a record-setting first round of the 2021 NFL Draft on Thursday night, the six former Alabama football players that were drafted were welcomed to their respective teams on Friday.
Wide receiver DeVonta Smith was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles as the No. 10 pick, reuniting him with former Crimson Tide/Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Jalen Hurts.
It didn't take long for Hurts and Smith to meet each other on Friday.
Hurts and Smith played with each other for two seasons at Alabama prior to Hurts transferring to Oklahoma. Together, Smith was a consistent target of Hurts, and the two should be expected to connect often this season.
On ESPN NFL analyst Adam Schefter's podcast not too long ago, Hurts had a lot of positives to say about Smith.
“DeVonta Smith is like a smooth criminal," Hurts said. "Such a smooth route runner. He attacks the ball, has strong hands, and size is never an issue with him because he has such strong hands. He’s a hell of a player himself.”
Smith will no doubt be a day-one starter for the Eagles, and has a solid chance at being highly productive early on in his career.
Along with Smith, former Crimson Tide quarterback Mac Jones was also introduced to his new team in the New England Patriots. Jones was picked at No. 15 in Thursday's first round after falling further than many mock drafts predicted him to go.
On Friday, the Patriots released this video showing team owner Robert Kraft welcoming Jones to Gillette Stadium.
Ironically, Jones has two former Auburn quarterbacks ahead of him on the Patriots roster in Cam Newton and Jarrett Stidham. The Patriots just recently re-signed Newton last month, and in recent days it has been reported that the Patriots were fine with starting Newton and Stidham early on in the season.
That was before Jones arrived on the scene, though.
The situation in New England could turn out how it did with the Miami Dolphins and Tua Tagovailoa last year in that Jones might be slowly integrated into the team's offense as the season progresses. That being said, Jones is far healthier than Tagovailoa was in his early days with the Dolphins, so Jones being the day-one starter for the Patriots wouldn't exactly be a surprise.
However, with Newton having recently re-signed with the team, it's likely that Newton will still be the first quarterback under center when the next season begins.
Running back Najee Harris was hailed as one of the best fits with his new team in the Pittsburgh Steelers. Drafted as the No. 24 pick, Harris was already in Pittsburgh on Friday to join his new franchise.
The Steelers also tweeted out a video of Harris, who stated that he was ready to go to work.
Like Smith, Harris is expected to be a day-one starter for the Steelers, who ranked last in the NFL in rushing in 2020 with just 3.6 yards per rush. After lead back James Connor signed with the Arizona Cardinals, Benny Snell Jr. was the team's top rusher left on the depth chart, who rushed for just 368 yards on 111 carries last season.
Harris is a three-down back who will solve all of Pittsburgh's rushing problems. In addition to having great perception and athletic ability, Harris is also a solid pass-catcher — a skill that will likely be heavily utilized by an aging Ben Roethlisberger.
And finally, corner Patrick Surtain II was also welcomed by his new team in the Denver Broncos. Surtain was drafted at No. 9 to the dismay of the Dallas Cowboys, who telegraphed to the nation that he was their favorite player heading into the draft. Ironically, it was Surtain being drafted by the Broncos that resulted in the Cowboys willingly trading their No. 10 pick to the Eagles, who swiped Smith at No. 10.
Broncos general manager George Paton was thrilled with the selection of Surtain.
"I'm very, very excited, because we got one hell of a player in Patrick," Paton told NFL.com. "Once it was our turn and he was there for the taking, there was no question in my mind that it was the right move. Teams were calling, and we had our chances to move down, but at that point, they were gonna have to blow us away."
The Broncos signed another cornerback in Kyle Fuller last month and also have Bryce Callahan on the roster. Surtain will face the most competition of any Crimson Tide player drafted, but will likely see a substantial amount of playing time in the 2021 season.
This story will be updated when Jaylen Waddle and Alex Leatherwood have been introduced with their respective teams.