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Jumbo Package: Another historic draft night for Alabama

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Your latest Crimson Tide news and notes.

NFL: NFL Draft Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, everyone. Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the first round of the NFL Draft went down and Alabama owned the joint.

I attempted to find another draft from that time frame when it happened to no avail. This may well be the first time that it happened. Miami had four of the top 17 in their historic 2004 class.

One Tua Tagovailoa was overcome with joy when his Dolphins chose former teammate Jaylen Waddle.

Those two have a history of scoring lots of touchdowns together. That offense should be fun.

Najee Harris rounded out the first round for the Tide when he went #24 to Pittsburgh, tying that Miami class with six first rounders. As Alabama fans already know, he is as special a human as a ballplayer.

“Just to see him as a grown man with this kind of opportunity for him today and to know that he lived in this shelter among many other places their family had to move around and lives as a homeless man just speaks to [the thought that] anything is possible,” Kathleen Sullivan, executive director of the Greater Richmond Interfaith Program, told ABC 7 News.

Harris wasn’t just there to say hello, though. He also brought food for the current residents. He told reporters, “There was a time I needed a helping hand. They gave us an opportunity to get back on our feet. So it is my job to give back.”

What a story. He should be a great fit in Pittsburgh, where the Le’Veon Bell comparisons are obvious.

Mac Jones fell a little further than expected, but he landed in an outstanding spot.

Leading into the NFL Draft, there was reason to believe that Alabama quarterback Mac Jones would be the third player picked on Thursday night. Instead, the San Francisco 49ers chose North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance at No. 3, and Jones didn’t hear his name called until No. 15, when he went to the New England Patriots.

And that was fine by Jones.

“At the end of the day, you kind of want to just get the right fit,” Jones told reporters after being picked, “and I feel like, secretly, I really wanted to go to the Patriots all along, so I’m actually really happy that it happened.

Belichick would not have taken Mac without a strong recommendation from Saban. Something tells me that this is going to work out just fine.

The Eagles traded up to get DeVonta Smith and pair him with former teammate Jalen Hurts.

Jalen, that’s my guy,” Smith said Thursday, via Reuben Frank of NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com. “Even when I was a recruit, he was the guy trying to get me to come to Alabama. That’s my guy. I have a great relationship [with him], and I’m ready to work.”

Smith also noted how Hurts was effectively a mentor for plenty of players at Alabama.

“Jalen taught everybody the game,” he said. “He was just one of those guys that was a student of the game and taught everybody the game. When you got reps with him, he was always telling you about coverages and rotations. The connection is there, the chemistry is there. Overall, he’s just always helped everybody else be better on the field.”

Alex Leatherwood landed in Oakland Vegas, joining former teammates Josh Jacobs and Henry Ruggs III as the third consecutive first rounder from Alabama selected by the Raiders. Media types thought some dude from Virginia Tech is a better tackle prospect. Alex responded to the criticism.

“I’m not like a media guy,” Leatherwood said, via Levi Damien of USAToday.com. “I’m not the type of dude to get caught up in all that garbage because I know what my film said about me and the G.M. and the coach they know that as well, so I’m just grateful that they watched that film and they saw me as good enough to be the 17th overall pick. So, I’m more than excited to get to the program and prove them right. Not necessarily like prove all the haters, the people who made all the mock drafts and stuff wrong, but to prove myself and the Raiders organization right because I’m thankful and grateful for them.”

Pre-draft rankings will have no bearing on what happens for Leatherwood now and they’ll fade away if he helps the team to their first winning season since Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden landed their current jobs.

The man has two rings and an Outland Trophy, and people are mad that he was drafted ahead of another tackle prospect. How moronic.

The Broncos shocked a lot of folks by pulling Patrick Surtain II at #9. They were expected to go with a QB, and both Justin Fields and Mac Jones were there for the taking.

Perhaps Denver thought Miami or Detroit would take a defensive player. Maybe the Broncos expected the Panthers to take Surtain over Horn. They may have even thought a team would trade in to select Surtain ahead of them at No. 9.

Surtain fell to Denver at the ninth pick, though, and Paton and the Broncos decided the value was too good to select another player.

“We had a lot of teams — three or four teams — calling us to trade back,” Paton said. “We were in those discussions as we were on the clock. Again, it would’ve taken a haul to pass Patrick Surtain.”

Paton correctly recognized a surefire starter for a decade. Great pick.

Rounds two and three are tonight, with Landon Dickerson, Deonte Brown, Dylan Moses and Christian Barmore among the candidates to hear their names called.

Last, it has come to my attention that SEC Shorts posted a new video a couple of days ago, and it is spectacular. Enjoy.

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

Roll Tide.