Alabama hoping for a sixth straight draft with a Top 10 pick

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No college football team has churned out NFL talent the way Alabama has in recent years, and on Thursday night Alabama can set a new record for producing Top 10 draft picks.

If an Alabama player goes in the Top 10 on Thursday, it will be the sixth consecutive year that a Crimson Tide player has gone in the Top 10. Alabama’s current streak of five straight years with Top 10 picks is tied with USC (1993 to 1997) for the most by any college football program since the AFL and NFL merged their drafts in 1967.

But the streak could end on Thursday night: Alabama has three players who are widely viewed as first-round picks in safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, linebacker C.J. Mosley and tackle Cyrus Kouandjio, but none of those three is a sure thing to go in the Top 10. Alabama’s Top 10 picks in the last five years have been Dee Milliner and Chance Warmack in 2013, Trent Richardson and Mark Barron in 2012, Marcell Dareus and Julio Jones in 2011, Rolando McClain in 2010 and Andre Smith in 2009.

For a reminder of just how good Nick Saban is at recruiting and developing talent, consider this: Saban became Alabama’s coach in 2007, and not a single player from the senior class he inherited was picked in the 2008 NFL draft. The 2008 NFL draft was also the eighth consecutive draft in which no Alabama players were selected in the first round. But since 2009, Alabama has had 33 players drafted, including 14 in the first round and eight in the Top 10.

Although no college team is in the same class as Saban’s Alabama program when it comes to producing NFL talent, Texas A&M and LSU have both produced Top 10 picks for three straight years. Texas A&M will almost certainly make it four in a row on Thursday, with Johnny Manziel, Mike Evans and Jake Matthews all potentially going in the Top 10. But LSU would need receiver Odell Beckham to go higher than most people think in order to keep its Top 10 streak going.

Since 2010, the first year that Alabama was sending a class of players who had been coached by Saban for their whole careers to the NFL, the Crimson Tide have had at least five players drafted each year. With quarterback AJ McCarron and defensive end Ed Stinson sure to join Clinton-Dix, Mosley and Kouandjio, this year Alabama will have at least five players drafted again. Pretty soon, Saban will have sent enough Alabama players to the NFL to assemble a full NFL team. A team that would probably be better than the real NFL team that Saban coached in Miami.

45 responses to “Alabama hoping for a sixth straight draft with a Top 10 pick

  1. Recruiting AND developing? Sure, he developed them to a point, but how well has that translated to the NFL? If Texas is DBU and Penn St is LBU, then is Alabama Back-upU?

  2. I think this streak gets broken this year. He’ll definitely have 1st rounders but Dix is probably the best chance at top 10 and I think he’ll end up just outside.

    Aggies could have 3rd year in the last 4 with a top 3 pick if Houston or Jacksonville take Johnny Football. (#2 Von Miller ’11, #2 Luke Joeckel ’13)

  3. “Just how good is Saban at developing talent?”

    … well, Trent Richardson, Dee Millner, James Carpenter aren’t exactly tearing up the NFL. Isn’t it more that they guy with the #1 recruiting class year over year is likely to have the most top draft picks? Saban’s strength is what happens before Alabama, not after. (Pretty good “during” as well).

  4. Its very impressive what Saban has done done for Alabama university since he was hired.. but was unimpressive what he has done for Miami Dolpina…
    Overall, it seems that it easier for Saban to have fully control of his players in university and if they don’t, they can lose scholarship.. meanwhile in NFL, Saban couldn’t control real men, because what ya gonna do? cut them after wasting money and draftpick on them?

  5. wow based on that list , not so sure any of them are worth a top ten, ….jury still out on warmack

  6. I could easily see the Vikings take AJ McCarron at #8. He fits their criteria; he will be drafted way higher than his true value, he’s going to be a bust, and the Vikings can’t recognize a good Qb if it fell in their laps (they had two #1 picks in 2005 and let A. Rodgers sit in the Green Room thur both of them)

  7. For next yar pro-bowl, the worst team in NFL should play the best team in football.
    This would make teams stop tanking. Good idea?

  8. Why in the world would the Vikings draft a quarterback in the first round in 2005 when Daunte Culpepper was coming off one of the greatest seasons for a quarterback in NFL history? Packer fans criticizing the Vikings for that should be clamoring for the Packers to draft a quarterback in the first round every year.

  9. and of all those Alabama players whose the best one recently? 2nd round pick and offensive rookie of the year Mr. Eddie Lacy

  10. Why are people dumping on Dee Milliner? Dude’s developing into a great player…

  11. Name one of Bama’s players that is considered to be top 10 at his position in the NFL. Julio Jones maybe?
    Just because they get drafted high doesn’t mean they should have been.

  12. Satan’s greatest contribution was to convince the boosters to pay the most for recruits. Money is no object. He even hired two known cheaters in the offseason: Lane Kiffen and Tosh Lupoi.

  13. Let’s see Dee Milliner getting repeatedly torched & benched all of last season was one of the sub-plots for the Jets season last year

    Trent Richardson crashed and burned with Cleveland, who in very un-Cleveland like fashion was able to fleece Indy for a 1st for him…..where he promptly crashed and burned and was quickly benched in favor of the 3rd stringer

    Rolando McClain is a criminal and retired at what 23?

    Andre Smith showed up at the combine laughably overweight, was much lampooned, and while he managed to latch on as a starter at Right tackle, he was drafted to be an elite Left Tackle, which the Bengals wouldn’t dare starting him at

    Chance Warmack was beaten fairly regularly last season, I guess the jury is still out on him…..I guess

    Mark Barron starts on one of the leagues worst pass defenses, nothing spectacular about his play to warrant a top 10 pick

    Marcell Dareus is actually decent, and Julio Jones (when healthy) is a stud

    Not a high hit rate in this group, proving their team is greater than the sum of their individual parts.

  14. I’m a lifelong Tide fan and even I’m willing to admit that Julio and Lacy (and possibly Barron) are really the only top 10 talents Alabama has produced in the Saban era, and Lacy wasn’t even drafted until Round 2.

  15. People like to say Alabama produces a lot of busts, but Julio Jones and Marcell Dareus are all-star talents. Mark Barron is a quality starter, and Dee Milliner, Chance Warmack, and D.J. Fluker all showed potential last year.

  16. Yeah the vikings wouldnt know a good draft pick if it hit them in the face they should hire dennis green again if they take mosley or dix at number 8 thats crazy way to high of a pick to use on either

  17. Busts because they were broken down and used up by Saban before they even got to the NFL

  18. All this talk about these guys being “bust”? Warmack is gonna be a HOF OG. He’s Larry Allen, all over again. CBs sometime take a year or to develop and I think Milliner will be good too, just maybe not as a bump-n-run corner in that system…like a Revis, Sherman, Peterson

  19. It does seem that most of those players have been mediocre — or at least not spectacular. The lone exception of Jones, and even he has had some injury issues.

    Someone floated the theory that Alabama players are basically finished products by the time they enter the NFL, so their college career represents their ceiling rather than just a taste of their potential. This viewpoint makes sense to me. Dareus has been good, Jones has been great, but the other Alabama first round picks have been unspectacular.

  20. To the guy claiming that Vikings can’t recognize good qbs, let’s not forget that Aaron Rodgers went to a pretty stacked team, and sat a few years behind future hall of famer Brett favre; love him r hate him he’s still the best and most exciting quarterback you guys have had since Starr… And I’m a giants fan, couldn’t care less about the Vikings. Not saying you’re wrong, but a quarterback needs the proper system and mentoring to succeed. Example: Eli manning. Sat behind Warner and learned, got into a good system he could work with, and then was given weapons to succeed. Just sayin

  21. I agree with the person who said Saban guys are pretty much at their ceiling when they get to the NFL. all you need to know is this; Saban’s best friend in the NFL is probably Belichick. Belichick has drafted countless of his coaching friends’ players (lose Urban Meyer’s # please, Bill). Heck, as Pats fans we are basically rooting for Rutgers every Sunday. Now, in all the years his former defensive assistant Saban has been a college head coach, BB has drafted exactly ONE of his players in the first round. ONE. And that one was recent (Hightower). And the Pats are usually rife with SEC guys but not Saban SEC guys. Heck, he’s drafted more 1st rounders from GA (Seymour, Watson)than he’s drafted Saban guys. That says it all to me.

  22. That’s nice but how about one who’s, you know, actually good at the next level?

  23. The next Bama top 10 pick to be an impact player in the NFL will be the first. CJ Mosley will be the next Bama LB to have an average NFL career. Clinton-Dix is no Ed Reed or Troy Polamalu.

  24. You guys point out all the stars at Bama that haven’t made it in the pros.

    Is it possible that Saban and his crew are just that good of coaches that they get more out of them than NFL coaches can get?

  25. Everyone of those players sucks! Except Julio Jones and Dareus.
    And lacy sucks too.
    Honestly I wouldn’t touch an Alabama player. They seem to be busts quite often.

  26. I had to check out who those USC guys were from 93-97. USC wasnt very good during those times. 1993 was WR Curtis Conway (7) to CHI. He had three 1k yd seasons. Average player. 1994, OLB Willie McGinest (4) to NE. 3X SB champ, 86 career sacks. Good player. 1995, LT Tony Boselli (2) to JAX. Very good player, injuries cut him short. 1996, WR Keyshawn Johnson (1) to NYJ. Average player. 1997, Darrell Russell (2) to OAK. Tremendous player. Star-crossed. RIP (2005).

    Very interesting to me that people thought so highly of those USC teams. They had a 37-21-2(.616) record during that time. Not exactly setting the world on fire under John Robinson and the guys recruited by Larry Smith, too.

    Man, I love the draft.

  27. Canes have more consecutive first round picks and by far more HOF talent during that span. Bama/Satan’s got a lot of catching up to do…

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