Happy Monday, everyone. It was a tough weekend on the diamond as both the baseball and softball teams dropped two of three. Oh, well. At least the football team had another great draft.
We’ll open with the best shade of the weekend, thrown by Freddie Kitchens.
This was obviously tongue-in-cheek, but anything that continues the perception of LSU as a Plan B to Alabama in the recruiting game is a wonderful thing. Way to go, Freddie.
Unsurprisingly, the Tide again had the most players selected.
The five players chosen Saturday join Irv Smith Jr. (No. 50, Minnesota Vikings), Damien Harris (No. 87, New England Patriots) from day two, along with first-round selections in Quinnen Williams (No. 3, New York Jets), Jonah Williams (No. 11, Cincinnati Bengals) and Josh Jacobs (No. 24, Oakland Raiders) to make up Alabama’s 2019 NFL Draft class.
Alabama’s five selections on Saturday gives the Crimson Tide the most for any school in the 2019 Draft. Alabama’s 87 draftees over the last 11 years is the most by any program in college football in that span. LSU is second with 75 followed by USC at 70.
That’s 12 more players than LSU for those scoring at home, and that gap has widened in the last couple of drafts.
Enough about LSU, though. Wonder how our rivals did?
Schools with players taken in the 2019 NFL Draft before Auburn:— Auburn Jokes® (@TheAuburnJokes) April 27, 2019
San Jose St
San Diego St
...and Sioux Freaking Falls
Ouch. Auburn had six total selections, but only one in the top 100, and that one was 94th overall. As far as Tennessee goes, well...
That there is a quality meme, folks. Looking at conferences, of course the SEC led the way by a wide margin.
2019 draft picks by conference:— Chase Goodbread (@ChaseGoodbread) April 28, 2019
SEC - 64
Big Ten - 40
Pac-12 - 33
ACC - 28
Big 12 - 26
Indies - 7
Six of the 28 ACC players were from Clemson, leaving 22 total for the 13 other teams in that league. Yeah, Dabo has a cakewalk.
Unfortunately for those who decided not to heed it, Saban’s advice was sound.
Three rounds had passed and 102 players filled the draft board by the end of Day 2. But safety Deionte Thompson, linebacker Mack Wilson and cornerback Saivion Smith were nowhere to be found among the list of selections.
Once again they were excluded from the party just like they were back in January when the three former Crimson Tide defenders were conspicuously absent at that draft declaration news conference hosted by Saban.
It was not by coincidence.
Saban will usually only celebrate the players he gives his blessing to go pro, and it was clear Wilson, Thompson and Smith didn’t receive that endorsement.
It was assumed that Thompson and Wilson had made the correct decisions when they weren’t at the presser. No need to pile on here, but hopefully current players paid attention and will listen to the right people.
File this away under “things we’d rather not think about.”
Adding those players up, you get 12 members of the 2019 Crimson Tide who could legitimately be selected in the first round next year. Obviously, not all of those players will hear their names called, and a couple of the underclassmen could surprisingly choose to return for another season at the Capstone, but that’s a lot of talent vying for first round consideration.
That 12 number is especially gumpy where the first round is concerned, but a half dozen is highly possible, and there is a very good chance that Alabama ties or breaks its own record with 12 total choices in last year’s draft.
One that won’t yet be eligible is Josh Jobe, but he impressed big time in the spring.
“Just how confident he’s getting now and how physical is,” Smith said of what he noticed from Jobe this spring. “His confidence level is way up there now. He’s going to be real good. He makes me be more physical. It’s something that helps me and helps him too.”
Alabama linebacker Anfernee Jennings added that Jobe had a “helluva spring.”
Jobe certainly looked the part. That man has put in some work with Cochran and looks primed for a big year.
Last, Antonio Langham was finally voted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.
As a 20-year old, celebrating Alabama’s 1992 national championship win in New Orleans, Langham, a Junior, took $400 from an agent, putting his signature on a cocktail napkin as a “contract.” By today’s standards, that offense would hardly raise an eyebrow — a $400 donation to a charity, perhaps a one-game suspension and the matter would be over. Perhaps it might have been little worse at the time, had the NCAA officials in charge felt that Alabama had handled things correctly.
As it was, that small transgression was the first stone in an avalanche that ended up with Alabama on probation, Langham ineligible, a 1993 season vacated and the beginning of NCAA problems that lasted a decade.
Cecil is correct. With today’s toothless NCAA, Langham’s transgression would have warranted a slap on the wrist. Congratulations to a guy who would otherwise have been an icon in Alabama lore as the Tide returned to glory in ‘92.
That’s about it for today. Have a great week.