Since Nick Saban took over at Alabama back in 2007, the Tide has sent 40 players into the NFL by way of first round draft selections. 13 of those have been top 10 picks. Topping the charts, Marcell Dareus, Trent Richardson, and Quinnen Williams were each #3 overall players, and Amari Cooper went at #4.
In that absolutely mind-blowing run, though, Nick Saban has never had a #2 or #1 overall draft pick.
Is this the year that changes? It seems there is a very, very good shot that Bryce Young goes #1 to the Carolina Panthers... and Will Anderson Jr. might very well go at #2 to Houston. If the Panthers decide to go a different route, you have to think Houston would then take Young at #2.
In either case, this is set up to be a monumental draft for Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama is also likely to see Brian Branch selected sometime in the middle or end or round 1, and running back Jahmyr Gibbs could sneak into the end of the 1st.
The draft will begin at 7:00 p.m. Central tonight, and you can watch it on ABC, ESPN, or NFL Network. Take your pick on which announcer group you like the least:
ABC: Todd McShay, Rece Davis, Desmond Howard, Kirk Herbstreit (plus a second set with Robert Griffin III, Sam Ponder, and Laura Rutledge)
ESPN: Mel Kiper Jr., Mike Greenberg, Louis Riddick, Booger McFarland
NFL Network: Rich Eisen, Daniel Jeremiah, Charles Davis, Joel Klatt, Kurt Warner, and Ian Rapoport
Most years, I like the NFL Network crew with Jeremiah and Eisen better than the Disney conglomerates.
ABC looks to have a pretty solid crew from top to bottom, though. Meanwhile, ESPN is definitely the bottom of my list, though they do apparently have reporters with live access to the draft rooms of the Panthers, Texans, Colts, Seahawks, and Lions.
Here’s the draft order as of now. As always, there will likely be trades after things start. And there are only 32 picks this year, since the Dolphins had to forfeit theirs.
1) Carolina Panthers (from Chicago)
2) Houston Texans
3) Arizona Cardinals
4) Indianapolis Colts
5) Seattle Seahawks (from Denver)
6) Detroit Lions (from L.A. Rams)
7) Las Vegas Raiders
8) Atlanta Falcons
9) Chicago Bears (from Carolina)
10) Philadelphia Eagles (from New Orleans)
11) Tennessee Titans
12) Houston Texans (from Cleveland)
13) Green Bay Packers (from N.Y. Jets)
14) New England Patriots
15) New York Jets (from Green Bay)
16) Washington Commanders
17) Pittsburgh Steelers
18) Detroit Lions
19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
20) Seattle Seahawks
21) Los Angeles Chargers
22) Baltimore Ravens
23) Minnesota Vikings
24) Jacksonville Jaguars
25) New York Giants
26) Dallas Cowboys
27) Buffalo Bills
28) Cincinnati Bengals
29) New Orleans Saints (from San Francisco through Miami and Denver)
30) Philadelphia Eagles
31) Kansas City Chiefs