Alabama Football: Latest thoughts on the Tide’s NFL Combine group

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - APRIL 25: Josh Jacobs of Alabama poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being chosen #24 overall by the Oakland Raiders during the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft on April 25, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - APRIL 25: Josh Jacobs of Alabama poses with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being chosen #24 overall by the Oakland Raiders during the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft on April 25, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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It is no secret about the steady stream of Alabama football players to the NFL. It will continue this April. Check out the latest on the Tide’s Combine invitees.

Becoming an Alabama football player is the best course for landing in the NFL. That has been true since the benefits of Nick Saban’s player identification and development began yielding NFL selections in the 2009 Draft.

The Crimson Tide had a solid NFL Draft history before Nick Saban. Riley Smith was the second NFL Draft pick ever in 1936 to the Boston Redskins. It does not appear on the nfl.com list for 1936, but other Alabama football players were selected that year. A Paul Bryant went in the fourth round to the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Since the Saban factory delivered Andre Smith, Glen Coffee, Antoine Caldwell and Rashad Johnson to the NFL in 2009, 83 more Crimson Tide players have been selected. One fact recruits choosing other schools either don’t know or ignore, is the Draft success of Alabama football former 5-Star recruits. In 2018, Mike Hummer for 247Sports calculated the 5-Star-to-First Round rate for Alabama football was an impressive 48.3 percent. He also calculated the rest of college football. The success rate was just 17 percent.

The NFL Draft success for former Alabama football players will be evident again this spring. The NFL Combine on-field workouts begin on Feb. 27. Ten former Tide players were invited to the Combine. They are Tua Tagovailoa, Xavier McKinney, Raekwon Davis, Anfernee Jennings, Jerry Jeudy, Jedrick Wills, Henry Rugg III, Terrell Lewis, Trevon Diggs and Shyheim Carter.

There is a strong chance all of them will be drafted. As many as eight of them could be chosen in the Draft’s First Round. Solid first round chances are held by Tua (subject to medical reviews), Xavier McKinney, Jedrick Wills, Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III and Trevon Diggs. Raekwon Davis is also included in some first-round Mock Drafts.

There will be drama. Will Jeudy or Cee Dee Lamb be the first wide receiver chosen? Joe Burrow is destined to be the first quarterback selected. Tua or Justin Herbert will likely be next within the top five or six picks of the Draft. Jalen Hurts will be another QB drafted. Jalen is expected to go in the second or third round, but some mocks have him in the first round.

Another look at Shane Lee. dark. Next

The Draft will again be great fun for Alabama football fans. In a rare occurrence, Auburn fans can tune in before Day Two of this year’s Draft.