Alabama Football: Biggest surprises of the NFL Draft first round

Plenty of Alabama football moves raised eyebrows

Some things were expected during the 2021 NFL Draft, but Alabama football players were part of the biggest surprises in the first round.

Choosing 32 players out of the hundreds available is always hard to predict. It’s impossible to go through an entire round without surprises. So, what were the top surprises this year?

Alex Leatherwood to the Raiders

The Raiders have now drafted an Alabama football player in the first round each of the last three years. They are seen as a team that always makes a surprising pick. It sometimes pays off, but they have had more whiffs than the average NFL franchise.

With their only pick in the first round, the Raiders selected Alex Leatherwood. They need offensive line help, so this makes sense. However, Leatherwood was not seen as a first-round player. He was likely going to be available in the second or third round.

Leatherwood has what it takes to thrive in the NFL at guard or tackle. He won’t be a left tackle in Vegas, so the value is the biggest surprise here.

Mac Jones falls to New England

Many believed that Jones would be a lock to go in the top 10. His ceiling was the San Francisco 49ers. Instead, he went to his floor with the 15th overall pick.

Still, Jones is a great football player, and the Patriots are a great fit. They have a stable front office with some young weapons. They also invested to improve the roster, so they will be ready to compete in 2021.

Jaylen Waddle goes before DeVonta Smith

This isn’t a major shock. Both Smitty and Waddle are great Alabama football players, and they are considered elite prospects. Still, the Miami Dolphins chose Waddle over the Heisman winner.

You have to think that this is because of Waddle’s speed. Still, both Waddle and Smith landed with Alabama football quarterbacks. Waddle is with Tua Tagovailoa in Miami, and Smitty will be catching passes in Philly from Jalen Hurts.

There were small surprises, like how Surtain was not the first corner drafted, but these decisions stand out after the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.