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
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player. . 2017. Round: 1 Pick: 17. . Jonathan Allen, DL. Jonathan Allen, DL. Jonathan Allen, DL. 9. 58

When you select a highly-touted defensive end from Alabama in the first round of the NFL draft, you want a bit more than the one sack in five games that Allen posted as a rookie. However, after a down year, Allen exploded for eight sacks from the interior defensive line and has become a mainstay for Washington since 2017. 

Allen’s career started with an injury-riddled season, but he’s been incredibly durable since 2017. Over the past five seasons from 2019 to 2023, Allen has missed just four total games while racking up two Pro Bowl selections. 

While he isn’t a dominant force, getting a Pro Bowl, reliable defensive lineman in the middle of the first round is very good business in the NFL.