Four Tiders Go In NFL First Round

NEW YORK – It was expected that Alabama would have three football players taken in the first round of the NFL Draft Thursday. There was also some speculation that Marcell Dareus would be the first former Crimson Tide player selected.

Marcell Dareus was the first Alabama player drafted, though not the first player taken And when the NFL had concluded its first day of selections, a school record four 2010 Crimson Tide players had been drafted by NFL teams in the event at Radio City Music Hall

The second and third round of the NFL Draft continues on Friday evening, with rounds 4-7 wrapping up the draft on Saturday

Three of those selected – Dareus, wide receiver Julio Jones, and tailback Mark Ingram – were juniors The fourth pick was senior left tackle James Carpenter

Dareus was taken by the Buffalo Bills with the No 3 overall pick while Jones went three selections later to the Atlanta Falcons at No 6 Carpenter was No 25 overall to the Seattle Seahawks The selection by at No 28 by New Orleans completed the record day for Tide players

The four first-round selections was a school record for Alabama, breaking the mark of three set in 1993 with John Copeland, Eric Curry and George Teague all going in round one UA has now had seven first-round picks in the past three seasons under the guidance of head coach Nick Saban

"I think having four players selected in the first round says we have an institution and we have a program that attracts great people," Saban said "Not only athletically, academically and a lot of different ways, but I think it speaks volumes of our program because we have not only recruited some really good players, but we have developed them, and they have played extremely well

"It is recognized by the people at the next level that the risk of drafting players that come from our program is a little less because of the way the players work, and how they are prepared and I think that is a real positive for our university and our program "

Dareus, a native of Birmingham, was taken with the third overall pick after anchoring the Crimson Tide's defensive line a season ago He made 34 tackles with 11 tackles for loss, 4 5 sacks and 10 quarterback hurries in just 11 games Dareus was also the defensive MVP of the 2010 BCS National Championship Game and is the highest player chosen in the NFL Draft for Alabama since Cornelius Bennett was the No 2 overall pick of the Indianapolis Colts in 1987

Jones, from Foley, was the catalyst to the Alabama passing game the past three seasons and turned in the most productive year of his career in 2011 with 78 receptions for 1,133 yards and seven touchdowns He finished his career No 2 at Alabama in catches and receiving yards Jones is the Tide's fourth top-10 pick in the last three years

Ingram, out of Flint, Mich , finished his Alabama career in 2010 as the school's career leader in rushing touchdowns with 42 He became the first Alabama player to win the Heisman Trophy in 2009 and then went on to lead the Tide to a win in the BCS National Championship Game, earning offensive MVP honors Ingram is the first UA running back to go in the first round since Shaun Alexander in the 2000 draft

Carpenter, a junior-college transfer from Augusta, Ga , started every game at left tackle in his two seasons at The Capstone He opened holes to help a potent rushing attack of Ingram and Trent Richardson while also providing blindside protection to UA quarterback Greg McElroy

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