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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2021. Round: 1 Pick: 9. 45. Patrick Surtain II. . Patrick Surtain II, CB. 5. . Patrick Surtain II, CB. player

Denver had plenty of options when selecting the top 10 of the 2021 NFL draft, including quarterback Justin Fields, who was falling down the board, however, the QB-needy Broncos were wise to go with Surtain. 

It’s still incredibly early in his career, but it’s already obvious that the Broncos have a lockdown corner in Surtain. Through his first three seasons, Surtain has already played 50 games with seven interceptions, 36 pass breakups, and 187 tackles. He’s been a Pro Bowl selection twice and was named first-team All-Pro in 2022. 

Denver is on shaky ground as a franchise, but Surtain is part of the team’s foundation going forward and despite being an incredibly early selection, he’s been more than worth it.