Alabama football’s success with NFL Draft picks beyond Round 1

Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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Alabama football players bring value throughout the NFL Draft

People look for the best players in the first round of the NFL Draft, but championship rosters are built past that. In fact, some of Alabama football’s best players fell out of the first round of the draft. Here are some success stories, and why they fell outside of the first round of their respective drafts.

Derrick Henry: 2016 NFL Draft, 2nd round, 45th overall, Tennessee Titans

Many think that running backs should not be drafted in the first round due to the wear and tear that they endure. That, along with his workload in Alabama, led to Derrick Henry’s fall out of the first round. Once he was available on Day 2, the Heisman winner became a great value. He has now led the NFL in rushing yards in each of the past two seasons, including a 2000-yard season in 2020. Not only that, but he signed a second contract with the Tennessee Titans. At this point, he has proven that he was worth a first-round selection.

Eddie Jackson: 2017 NFL Draft, 4th round, 112th overall, Chicago Bears

Alabama football fans knew that Jackson was going to be a steal after he went to Chicago. He was one of the Tide’s best defensive players of the Saban era, and his ability to play on special teams was an added bonus. He knew what to do with the football in his hands off of a turnover, and his range gave him value.

Unfortunately, an injury plummeted his draft stock. He was unable to show off his traits during the pre-draft process, and teams were afraid to take the risk. Still, he is one of Chicago’s best players today.