At this point, starting for Alabama seems to be a golden ticket to the NFL. Nick Saban continues to bring in highly talented players and wracks up the wins for them.
Each April now, Alabama players seem to fill up the NFL Draft boards — especially early — and it is no secret NFL teams like players from Saban’s team.
That will appear to be the case once again this year.
Chad Reuter of NFL.com ranked the college football teams in terms of NFL talent. Once again, Alabama came out on top.
“Alabama has had more first-round picks taken from its program since 2006 (17) than any other school in the country,” Reuter writes. “Nick Saban gets enough big-time recruits to reload every year. The defense doesn’t have many returning starters, but [Jonathan] Allen and [Reuben] Foster are superstars leading the way for a bunch of future superstars. Offensively, the Tide has [Calvin] Ridley and [O.J.] Howard, and a boatload of running backs ready to take the mantle of Heisman winner Derrick Henry. It’s Saban’s world, and we’re all just tailgating in his parking lot.”
It is no surprise with all this top-end talent that Alabama is the No. 1 team in many preseason college football polls. The Tide are never short on that. And talent will always keep a team in the national conversation.
Saban’s goal, of course, is to win the title for a second straight year and continue Alabama’s championship run of the past decade. That should only increase the national profile for some of these players.
LSU though is not too far behind. The Tigers are No. 2 in Reuter’s list featuring a strong defensive front as usual. LSU Jamal Adams, Tre’Davious White and Kevin Tolliver catches his eyes. And some guy named Leonard Fournette is not too bad on the offense.
LSU has tied for the most top-100 picks in the last decade. It is no surprise to see the Tigers again near the top of the polls as their talent begins to mature.