Ranking the 10 Best Alabama football NFL draft picks of the Nick Saban era

Nick Saban has produced 44 first-round NFL draft picks over his tenure at Alabama and will add a few more this April, but who were the best draft picks that Saban sent into the league?
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11)
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) / Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
10 of 10

Round: 2 Pick: 45. 1. Derrick Henry, RB. 35. . . player. Derrick Henry. 2016. Derrick Henry, RB

Running backs don’t get selected in the first round very often anymore, but Derrick Henry probably should have been. The Heisman Trophy winner went 45th overall in 2016, but by his third season in the league, he was the focal point of Tennessee’s offense. In 2019, he carried the ball 303 times for 1,540 yards and 16 touchdowns but crushed those career highs the very next season. 

Henry’s career year was in 2020 when he ran for 2,027 yards in 16 games with 378 yards. He was named the Offensive Player of the Year and a first-team All-Pro for the only time. 

Tennessee expected to get a feature running back when it selected Henry in the second round of the 2016 NFL draft, but nobody could have expected his dominance of the collegiate game to career over to the NFL.

dark. Next. Ranking every team of the Nick Saban era. Ranking every team of the Nick Saban era