The Denver Broncos have apparently seen the light.
Two years ago, the Broncos were tied for having the fewest Alabama players on their all-time roster with 10, along with the Minnesota Vikings and Houston Texans.
The Texans were understandable, they'd only been around since 2002.
The Broncos were founded in 1960, the Vikings in 1961.
But then Denver drafted wide receiver Jerry Jeudy in 2020, and cornerback Patrick Surtain II in 2021, both in the first round. Between those acquisitions and other moves, the Broncos moved off the top of the list.
The Texans finished the 2021 season tied for the top spot, but took a step toward moving back after selecting wide receiver John Metchie III and linebacker Christian Harris in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Poised take over as the least Crimson Tide franchise in the NFL is the Los Angeles Chargers, who haven't drafted an Alabama players since tackle D.J. Fluker in 2013, when the franchise was still located in San Diego.
It makes sense, though, since the franchise is located on the other side of the country, and in the heart of a conference other than the SEC. Minus the Cardinals, who spent most of their years in Chicago and St. Louis, none of the AFC or West teams have been especially known for drafting Alabama players, although some who led their teams were Kenny Stabler, Shaun Alexander and Derrick Thomas.
As for cold-weather franchises, Joe Namath and Bart Starr obviously did pretty well leading northern teams. So did Cornelius Bennett and John Hannah.
Of course, another way to look at it is every NFL franchise has had at least 11 former Alabama players over the years, which is remarkable.
As for which franchises have had the most, the numbers pretty much line up with the draft with one major exception, the Detroit Lions.
If you saw our All-Time Alabama Players Drafted by Team database, you know that Washington has selected the most Crimson Tide players over the years, followed by the Packers, Cardinals and Giants.
Before selecting Jameson Williams in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Lions had drafted just 13 Crimson Tide players, yet 32 had played for the franchise that's been around since 1929. It was initially known as the Portsmouth Spartans of Portsmouth, Ohio, and moved to Detroit in 1934.
Most Crimson Tide Players All-Time
(Through 2021 season)
- Washington Commanders 37
- Green Bay Packers 32
- Detroit Lions 32
- Arizona Cardinals 28
- Miami Dolphins 27
- New York Giants 26
- Philadelphia Eagles 26
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24
Fewest Crimson Tide Players All-Time
(Through 2021 season)
- Houston Texans 11
- Los Angeles Chargers 11
- Minnesota Vikings 12
- Jacksonville Jaguars 12
- Carolina Panthers 12
- Buffalo Bills 14
- Cleveland Browns 14
- Denver Broncos 14
- Seattle Seahawks 14