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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2. 44. Julio Jones. 2011. Julio Jones, WR. . . Round: 1 Pick: 6. Julio Jones, WR. player

Back in 2011, the Atlanta Falcons went all-in on Julio Jones, trading a package of five draft picks to move up from No. 27 in the first round to No. 6. Jones was worth it, quickly turning into one of the top receivers in football. 

Jones has posted seven 1,000-yard seasons across his 13-year NFL career that culminated with 74 yards on 11 catches for the Eagles in 2023. Jones was a two-time first-team All-Pro and recorded 1,3703 yards and 66 touchdowns.  

2015 was a legendary year for Jones, catching 136 of his 203 targets for 1,871 yards and eight touchdowns. You can absolutely argue that Jones is the best NFL player that Saban ever produced, but still isn’t the best value draft pick.