Alabama football: Every first-round pick of the Nick Saban era

Nick Saban didn't just dominate Saturdays in the SEC throughout his time in Tuscaloosa, he also dominated draft day with 44 former Crimson Tide players drafted in the first round of the NFL draft during his tenure.
Alabama head coach Nick Saban walks on the red carpet before the 2017 NFL Draft
Alabama head coach Nick Saban walks on the red carpet before the 2017 NFL Draft / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

With his surprise retirement on Wednesday evening, the Nick Saban era has come to a sudden end. It began in 2007 and after one losing season, was the most dominant stretch that college football has ever seen. 

Alabama won six national championships under Saban and made the College Football Playoff eight times since its inception in 2015. Yet, Crimson Tide fans won’t be the only ones upset about Saban’s reign coming to an end. 

Coaches and general managers across the NFL will be devastated if Tuscaloosa, the most fertile land for NFL draft prospects turns barren without Saban’s green thumb to cultivate five-stars into first-rounders. 

Among his many insane achievements, the 44 first-round picks across his tenure is one of the most incredible. Saban wasn’t just great at recruiting elite talent, he was a master of development, and many of his former players are dominating the NFL as proof. 

2009 NFL Draft

  • Andre Smith, OT, No. 6 overall Cincinnati Bengals

2010 NFL Draft

  • Rolando McClain LB, No. 8 overall Oakland Raiders
  • Kareem Jackson, DB, No. 20 overall Houston Texans

2011 NFL Draft

  • Marcell Dareus, DT, No. 3 overall Buffalo Bills
  • Julio Jones, WR, No. 6 overall Atlanta Falcons
  • James Carpenter, OT, No. 25 overall Seattle Seahawks
  • Mark Ingram, RB, No. 28 overall New Orleans Saints

2012 NFL Draft

  • Trent Richardson, RB, No. 3 overall Cleveland Browns
  • Mark Barron, DB, No. 7 overall Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Dre Kirkpatrick, DB, No. 17 overall Cincinnati Bengals
  • Dont’a Hightower, LB, No. 25 New England Patriots

2013 NFL Draft

  • Dee Millner, DB, No. 9 overall New York Jets
  • Chance Warmack, OG, No. 10 Tennessee Titans
  • D.J. Fluker, OT, No. 11 San Diego Chargers

2014 NFL Draft

  • C.J. Mosley, LB, No. 17 Baltimore Ravens
  • Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, DB, No. 21 Green Bay Packers

2015 NFL Draft

  • Amari Cooper, WR, No. 4 Oakland Raiders

2016 NFL Draft

  • Ryan Kelly, C, No. 18 Indianapolis Colts

2017 NFL Draft

  • Marlon Humphrey, CB, No. 16 Baltimore Ravens
  • Jonathan Allen, DE, No. 17 Washington Football Team
  • O.J. Howard, TE, No. 19 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Reuben Foster, LB, No. 31 San Francisco 49ers

2018 NFL Draft

  • Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, No. 11 Miami Dolphins
  • Daron Payne, DT, No. 13 Washington Football Team
  • Rashaan Evans, LB, No. 22 Tennessee Titans
  • Calvin Ridley, WR, No. 26 Atlanta Falcons

2019 NFL Draft

  • Quinnen Williams, DT, No. 3 New York Jets
  • Jonah Williams, OT, No. 11 Cincinnati Bengals
  • Josh Jacobs, RB, No. 24 Oakland Raiders

2020 NFL Draft

  • Tua Tagovailoa, QB, No. 5 overall Miami Dolphins
  • Jedrick Wills Jr. OT, No. 10 Cleveland Browns
  • Henry Ruggs III, WR, No. 12 Las Vegas Raiders
  • Jerry Jeudy, WR, No. 15 Denver Broncos

2021 NFL Draft

  • Jaylen Waddle, WR, No. 6 Miami Dolphins
  • Patrick Surtain II, CB, No. 9 Denver Broncos
  • DeVonta Smith, WR, No. 10 Philadelphia Eagles
  • Mac Jones, QB, No. 15 New England Patriots
  • Alex Leatherwood, OL, No. 17 Las Vegas Raiders
  • Najee Harris, RB, No. 24 Pittsburgh Steelers

2022 NFL Draft

  • Evan Neal, OT, No. 7 New York Giants
  • Jameson Williams, WR, No. 12 Detroit Lions

2023 NFL Draft

  • Bryce Young, QB, No. 1 Carolina Panthers
  • Will Anderson Jr OLB, No. 3 Houston Texans
  • Jahmyr Gibbs, RB, No. 12 Detroit Lions

2024 NFL Draft

  • JC Latham, OT, No. 7 Tennessee Titans
  • Dallas Turner, EDGE, No. 17 Minnesota Vikings
  • Terrion Arnold, CB, No. 24 Detroit Lions

Next. The five worst choices Alabama could make replacing Nick Saban. The 5 worst choices Alabama could make replacing Nick Saban. dark