The Saban Factor was in full effect for Alabama football, as five players from the BCS Champion Crimson Tide were selected in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.
The Cleveland Browns moved up to select Trent Richardson third overall, where he’ll presumably be taking handoffs from Colt McCoy, last seen limping off the field in the 2009 BCS title game against Alabama.
With the 7th overall pick, the Buccaneers chose safety Mark Barron, and the Cincinnati Bengals chose Dre Kirkpatrick with the 17th pick. With the 25th pick, Nick Saban mentor Bill Belichik went with more defense, as the New England Patriots took Dont’a Hightower.
In all four cases, the teams selecting Alabama players traded up to do so.
The only disappointment of the night was that Courtney Upshaw, the Defensive MVP of the national championship game, was not selected in the first round. Fear not, however; he likely will be a high second-round pick.
We’ll have more coverage of the fallout from the first round tomorrow, so stay tuned.