Happy Friday, everyone. Softball travels to Oxford for a big series with #20 Ole Miss this weekend, and it’s probably best to shield your eyes as baseball takes on #11 LSU. Needless to say, everyone is talking about the NFL Draft this morning.
Alabama players were snubbed for the first 15 picks, which was surprising. Shank summed it up perfectly:
Seems like they keep taking players from all the teams who asses we beat ♂️— Alphonse Taylor (@SHANKK50) April 28, 2017
As usual, Funnymaine Johnson captures the feeling of Alabama fans as well:
How Bama Fans Watched The First Round Of The NFL Draft #RollTide pic.twitter.com/3X8wRogNSq— FunnyMaine.Com (@FunnyMaine) April 28, 2017
Yep, that’s about it.
Just as surprising as the number of Tide players who were forced to wait was the player who went highest:
Would the Ravens add a dominant interior pass-rusher in Jonathan Allen? How about a playmaking tight end in O.J. Howard? Or perhaps an explosive tackler in Reuben Foster?
The Ravens then delivered one of the biggest first-round surprises in team history Thursday, when they selected Alabama cornerback Marlon Humphrey with the No. 16 overall pick. Even Humphrey himself was caught off-guard.
Humphrey was generally projected to go in the first round, but some had him as a borderline first/second. It was certainly surprising to see him go before Allen. Good for him, and it’s great to see his decision to declare pay off. The next Alabama player was taken two picks later by the Ravens’ geographical rivals:
This was shaping up to be the biggest night in Jonathan Allen's still young life.
It just lasted a little longer than expected.
After being in the discussion for the No. 1 pick weeks ago, Alabama's national defensive player of the year waited more than two hours to hear his name called Thursday night in the NFL draft.
Allen hails from the DC metro area, so his family has to be thrilled. He is going to make an immediate impact.
How excited was Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston when the Buccaneers selected Alabama tight end O.J. Howard in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night?
Buccaneers general manage Jason Licht saidWinston sent him a text "with about a million smiley faces."
Getting a new tight end is almost as good as free crab legs. Amirite?
"Look, the way we like for things to get handled, that didn't get handled," Saban told AL.com. "We have the best doctors in the world in Dr. (James) Andrews and Dr. (Lyle) Cain who operate on most NFL players and his agent chose to take him someplace else. I think (Andrews and Cain) have tremendous credibility.
"So, you know, all these choices and decisions that you make have consequences and I hate it for our players when they do it, but he didn't seek my advice in what he should do. So, if that was an issue, that was an issue. It shouldn't have been an issue but if it was, I don't really know much about it."
Well, that’s interesting.
Although it took more than 15 picks, the Crimson Tide led all schools in terms of the number of players chosen in the first round. That total also tied an SEC and program draft record. Alabama saw four players drafted for the third time since the 2011 NFL Draft.
In a surprise twist as many highly-touted players fell, cornerback Marlon Humphrey was the first player off the board to the Baltimore Ravens at No. 16, and that started a run.
Defensive tackle Jonathan Allen was drafted with the very next pick (17) by the Washington Redskins, and tight end O.J. Howard made it three selections in four picks as he was chosen by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at No. 19, giving Alabama three draftees in the 2017 draft’s first 20 picks.
Nobody doubts the ability. Foster is a true three-down linebacker with multidirectional speed. But there are three questions: 1) His reported shoulder problem; 2) the off-field issues, including a diluted sample at the combine; and most interesting, 3) his struggles with drawing up plays on the board. The good news is you can work around classroom difficulties; football IQ on the field is what matters most. And San Francisco’s scheme, which will be Seahawks style under new coordinator Robert Saleh, is not overly complex. It allows for guys to pin back their ears and play. If Foster’s shoulder and maturity are sound, he has a chance to stabilize a linebacking corps that was rocked by injuries last season.
In the end, it was a great first round for Alabama with four first round picks to lead all schools. Still, it will be interesting to see how some teams that passed over Alabama players for others at the same position will fare. Some examples:
- The San Francisco 49ers took Stanford DE Solomon Thomas and the Philadelphia Eagles took Tennessee DE Derek Barnett over Jonathan Allen
- The Arizona Cardinals and Detroit Lions took Temple LB Haason Reddick and Florida LB Jarrad Davis, respectively, over Reuben Foster
- The Denver Broncos and New Orleans Saints tabbed Utah OT Garrett Bolles and Wisconsin OT Ryan Ramczyk over Cam Robinson, who is still available
This should provide some fuel for the former Bama stars.
If CBS is correct, it may be a while before we hear an Alabama player’s name called in the second round as well. They have Cam Robinson as the #24 available player, behind both ArDarius Stewart and Tim Williams.
The second round starts tonight at 6pm CT.
That’s about it for today. Have a great weekend.