Alabama's Last Run in the NFL Draft Under Nick Saban is Upon Us

2023 NFL Draft - Round 1
2023 NFL Draft - Round 1 / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

It feels weird even writing that Alabama's last run in the NFL Draft under Nick Saban is upon us. The run of Alabama players' names called in the NFL Draft since Saban arrived in Tuscaloosa can be called nothing short of amazing. The amount of former Alabama players who have heard their name called in the first round since 2009 is historic, and the final run should end with four players being drafted on Thursday night.

The first round run began with Andre Smith in 2009 and, based on a majority of draft projections, will end with Kool-Aid McKinstry in 2024. The numbers are staggering and it's a reason the NFL Draft has been called the Alabama Invitational over the last 15 years.

The most impressive part of the NFL draft success of former Crimson Tide players is the amount who have made a name for themselves in the league. When it is all said and done, there will be quite a few Pro Bowl players, All-Pro players, and most impressively future Hall of Fame Inductees.

Nick Saban turned one of college football's most storied programs into an NFL factory. Success on the field in Tuscaloosa has turned into a guarantee of being drafted to the league and was a key factor of why Nick Saban had so many number-one recruiting classes over the last decade plus.

It's almost perfect that the end of the Saban era in the NFL Draft will end with him being part of the broadcast on ABC Thursday night. To hear his insight about his former players like Dallas Turner and Terrion Arnold will be special. Even as he has stepped away as the head man of the program you will see his fingerprints on the program, which should contribute to a continued run of names called from the University of Alabama over the next several years.

I am excited about what the Kalen DeBoer era will bring to the NFL draft, as the amount of Washington players that will be drafted this year will be impressive and one would think it will be even easier for him in Tuscaloosa.