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Jumbo Package: Record Setting Draft Weekend for Alabama

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Saban just continues to raise the bar.

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Monday, everyone. With the NFL Draft now in the books, there won’t be much in the way of football to report for a long three months (he says, optimistic that the offseason can be free of off-field shenanigans.) It was a whale of a draft for Alabama, though.

Alabama’s nine selections through three rounds leads all schools for the draft. The seven Alabama football players chosen in the first 55 picks on Thursday and Friday is an NFL Draft record. The nine Alabama football selections in the first 80 picks is also a first in NFL Draft history.

Do the math. Seven of the first 112 picks in this draft played defense last season for Alabama. That's an average of one Crimson Tide defender chosen every 16 picks before the fourth round was even halfway through.

That's an astounding amount of talent to lose from one unit in one year. It's not unprecedented - LSU had eight defensive players drafted in 2013 - but it has to be a serious concern for Saban and coordinator Jeremy Pruitt looking forward to the 2017 season.

To be frank, Alabama could very well match those numbers next season. Anthony Averett, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Da’Ron Payne, Da’Shawn Hand, Rashaan Evans, and Calvin Ridley should all be locks to go in the first three rounds while Robert Foster, Tony Brown, Shaun Dion Hamilton, Hootie Jones, Bo Scarbrough, Damien Harris and Ronnie Harrison all have the potential to work their way into that group.

Of course, we hope that some of those guys return for the 2018 season or it could be a tough one. Scarbinsky talks about the talent lost from last year’s defense, but I think they will be fine this year. There is linebacker talent in spades and the defensive line depth seems to have been reasonably replenished. The 2017 secondary will boast both talent and experience, a hallmark of top defenses in today’s game. Next year could be a little hairy in that area.

Oh, and remember all of the online “experts” who told you that Marlon Humphrey needed to come back to school, wasn’t even the best CB on his own team, didn’t have good ball skills, etc? Yeah...

Granted, I don’t know why all of these teams keep picking the Alabama players. According to Cowherd, they are all beat up and broken down when Saban is done with them:

Ever the troll, Colin is essentially painting Nick Saban as Coach Bud Kilmer with the trainer’s needle.

Exactly.

Auburn

Defensive lineman Montravius Adams – 3rd round, 93rd overall to the Green Bay Packers

Defensive lineman Carl Lawson – 4th round, 116th overall to the Cincinatti Bengals

Defensive back Rudy Ford – 6th round, 208th overall to the Arizona Cardinals

Defensive back Joshua Holsey – 7th round, 235th overall to the Washington Redskins

Troy

Offensive lineman Antonio Garcia – 3rd round, 85th overall to the New England Patriots

South Alabama

Tight end Gerald Everett – 2nd round, 44th overall to the Los Angeles Rams

What?

Oh, I just put that there to remind you that Troy and South Alabama each had a player selected before Auburn. Hey, fourth in the whole state ain’t bad, right?

Wrapping up the draft stuff, every year there are multiple cautionary tales of players who make the wrong decision by leaving school early to go undrafted, and this draft was no exception. One such fellow, however, is somehow making headlines over it:

So, what was the “warning shot?”

So, Mr. Evans feels snubbed.

Let’s see, Jerod. You have exactly one year as a starting QB in Division 1 football. Your numbers were pretty good in that one year, granted, but you did throw six interceptions in your last five games. Additionally, you had a very mediocre Combine where you posted well behind the pack in the 40 yard dash, vertical and broad jumps, and cone shuttle. The NFL scouting report?

"No idea why he came out early. No idea. He's not even close to being ready and it's a shame because he's one of those players who almost for sure would have gotten better with another year of learning." -- AFC regional scout

So, rather than play for another season under one of the brightest young offensive-minded coaches in college football, you get impatient and decide to bolt for a pro league that doesn’t want you yet.

Sorry, Jerod. Sounds like you snubbed yourself.

ICYMI:

This came out last week, but Vegas was apparently impressed by Alabama’s improved passing game:

That is a pretty wide spread for a game between two top-five opponents. Alabama was favored by 11.5 going into last season’s opener with #17 USC.

Basketball:

The Alabama Crimson Tide and Rhode Island Rams will begin a home-and-home series next season, a source told FanRag Sports on Sunday.

For the 2017-18 college basketball season, the first game of the series will be played in Tuscaloosa. The return game will then be held in Kingston for the 2018-19 season.

Rhode Island had a good showing this past season. As importantly, some key parts are returning for next season.

Rhode Island will be a solid addition to the non-conference resume in what should be a promising season for the Tide.

That’s about it for today. Have a great week.

Roll Tide.