The recruiting machine that Nick Saban has built in Tuscaloosa is well documented, and it has sustained because the players have been developed better than anywhere else. As Chris Hummer noted earlier in the summer:
Alabama has signed 41 draft-eligible five-stars since 2008. Those players were picked in the first-round of the NFL Draft at a 48.8% clip. The other 285 five-stars who didn’t sign with Alabama? They were selected in the first-round at an 18.3% rate. You read that correctly: A five-star who picks Alabama in the Saban era is more than doubly likely on average to be a first-round pick compared to college football as a whole.
That is nothing short of staggering.
Still, until this year even Saban hadn’t managed to match the record 2003 Miami Hurricanes draft class with six first round picks. Consider yet another achievement unlocked.
WR Jaylen Waddle, #6 overall to the Miami Dolphins
CB Patrick Surtain II, #9 overall to the Denver Broncos
WR DeVonta Smith, #10 overall to the Philadelphia Eagles
QB Mac Jones, #15 overall to the New England Patriots
OT Alex Leatherwood, #17 overall to the Las Vegas Raiders
RB Najee Harris, #24 overall to the Pittsburgh Steelers
The Tide had ten total selections in the draft, including second rounders G/C Landon Dickerson and DT Christian Barmore, plus later picks OG Deonte Brown and LS Thomas Fletcher.
The six first rounders are simply the latest milestone in a dynasty that shows no slgns of slowing down, and in fact may be gaining momentum. May all of the men above enjoy long and fruitful careers.
We are now 6 days from kickoff.