Talk of the Tide: The One NFL-Draft Feat Alabama, Nick Saban Looking to Accomplish

Talk of the Tide: The One NFL-Draft Feat Alabama, Nick Saban Looking to Accomplish

Talk of the Tide: The One NFL-Draft Feat Alabama, Nick Saban Looking to Accomplish

With the 2021 NFL draft a week away, the Crimson Tide is aiming to make more history
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Alabama coach Nick Saban has accomplished nearly every feat imaginable in his career. 

He's atop the college football mountain with the most national championships with seven and he's helped produced the most first-round draft picks in the NFL ever with 33.

Thirty-three. That's 10 more first-round selections than losses (23) he has procured during his time in 14 seasons in Tuscaloosa. No other college team has had more than 21 in that same stretch.

But there's still one more NFL-draft feat that hasn't been done since in 17 years and it's certainly attainable for the Crimson Tide come next Thursday's event in Cleveland — most first-round picks from the same school in the same year. 

Miami set the record with six in 2004 with the likes of defensive back Sean Taylor (5th), tight end Kellen Winslow (6th), linebackers Jonathan Vilma (12th) and D.J. Williams (17th), offensive lineman Vernon Carey (19th) and defensive tackle Vince Wilfork (21st). 

It's certainly likely Alabama will tie LSU's five first-round picks from 2020 this year, as the debate will rage on between who was better, the 2019 Tigers or 2020 Crimson Tide.

Quarterback Mac Jones is still rumored to be the choice at No. 3 for the San Francisco 49ers and the betting markets are showing that with him being the odds-on favorite to end up in the Bay Area. 

Like Jones, the wide receiver duo of DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle are essentially locks to hear their names called on the first night. Both could even go inside the top 11 to teams like the Miami Dolphins, New York Giants, Detroit Lions, or Philadelphia Eagles on the clock. 

Defenders like Christian Barmore and Patrick Surtain II headline their respective position groups. A defensive tackle like Barmore is a rarity and is a valued commodity in the league nowadays, while Surtain to the Dallas Cowboys at No. 10 overall has picked up steam across many mock drafts. 

That makes five. What about the sixth? 

Here's where the drama comes in on Thursday night. How do teams value the running back position? Where will the Crimson Tide's all-time leading rusher end up? 

Najee Harris could go as soon as No. 18 to Miami and reunite with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. No. 23 and 24 are both interesting landing spots as well, with the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers there, respectively, who are both in need of a bell cow tailback. 

What about No. 30 to the Buffalo Bills? 

Buffalo had one of the worst rushing attacks in the entire league a season ago and will almost assuredly select a running back at some point across the three days. 

There's also first-round surprises every single year. Alabama could see an offensive linemen like Landon Dickerson or Alex Leatherwood, from its Joe Moore Award winning group, chosen within the first 32 picks and set a new standard.

Even if Alabama was to get five in the first round, it would be the most in the Saban era. The Crimson Tide coach has had four first-rounders in the same season five times (2011, 2012, 2017, 2018, 2020).

However, tying the all-time record would be just another feather in the cap for the game's most legendary coach. 

BamaCentral's own Tyler Martin breaks it all down in this week's Talk of the Tide.

Alabama coach Nick Saban has accomplished nearly every feat imaginable in his career. 

He's atop the college football mountain with the most national championships with seven and he's helped produced the most first-round draft picks in the NFL ever with 33.

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