Since the first NFL draft in 1936, Alabama has had four players selected in the first round twice — in 2011 and 2012.
Depending on the mock draft you look at for next month’s 2017 NFL Draft, at least four Crimson Tide players will be selected in the first round again in 2017 and we could see five, even six.
That’s great PR for the Alabama Crimson Tide brand. The Alabama football program can show off its college-to-NFL success, add another page in the media guide and point to that information when recruiting in living rooms across the country.
But losing that kind of talent — that much talent — in one season is cause for concern, right? Replacing Jonathan Allen, Reuben Foster, O.J. Howard, Marlon Humphrey and Cam Robinson isn’t possible without taking a step back.
Unless you’re Alabama.
How did Nick Saban and his team respond the seasons after losing four players in the first round in 2011 (Marcell Dareus, Julio Jones, James Carpenter, Mark Ingram) and 2012 (Trent Richardson, Mark Barron, Dre Kirkpatrick, Dont’a Hightower)? Only by winning back-to-back national championships.
Losing a lot of talent has become commonplace in Tuscaloosa at the end of each season. Reloading it simply part of the process. Here’s a look at the number of players taken in the past six NFL drafts and how Alabama fared the next season:
|Season||Players drafted||Alabama W-L|
|2016||7 (1 1st rounder)||14-1|
|2015||7 (1 1st rounder)||14-1*|
|2014||8 (2 1st rounders)||12-2|
|2013||9 (3 1st rounders)||11-2|
|2012||8 (4 1st rounders)||13-1**|
|2011||5 (4 1st rounders)||12-1**|
* Won College Football Playoff title in 2015; ** Won BCS national championships in 2011 and 2012.
With that in mind, here are some recent mock drafts and where they have Alabama players going in the first round.
Alabama football: Mock draft projections
|DE Jonathan Allen||4||2||3||7|
|LB Reuben Foster||9||9||17||15|
|TE OJ Howard||23||8||22||12|
|CB Marlon Humphrey||21||14||7||11|
|OT Cam Robinson||–||12||31||–|
|OLB Tim Williams||–||–||–||31|
CBS: Dane Brugler
Sporting News: Eric Galko
SB Nation: Dan Kadar
The Ringer: Danny Kelly