It sometimes seems that Alabama football will set all sorts of records under Crimson Tide Coach Nick Saban, even some that no one would have known existed. When five former Bama players were taken in the second and third rounds of the National Football League Draft Friday in Philadelphia, it put the selection of Alabama players in this year’s draft at nine through three rounds.
Alabama’s nine selections through three rounds leads all schools at the 2017 Draft. The seven Crimson Tide players chosen in in the first 55 picks on Thursday and Friday is a new NFL Draft record. The nine Alabama selections in the first 80 picks is also a first in NFL Draft history.
Offensive tackle Cam Robinson was the first Alabama player off the board on Friday, going to the Jacksonville Jaguars with the second pick of the second round, and 34th overall. Linebacker Ryan Anderson was the 17th player chosen in the second round, going to the Washington Redskins with the 49th overall selection. Six picks later, defensive lineman Dalvin Tomlinson went to the New York Giants with the 23rd selection of the round and 55th overall.
Linebacker Tim Williams and wide receiver ArDarius Stewart went back-to-back in the third round with Williams going to the Baltimore Ravens with the 14th pick of the round and 78th overall. Stewart went one pick later to the New York Jets.
The three second round selections up the number of Alabama players selected in the first or second round of the NFL Draft to 37 since the 2009 Draft. The Crimson Tide has seen 22 players go in the first round and 15 in the second round during that period of time.
In the first round, Alabama had the most players taken with four – cornerback Marlon Humphrey to Baltimore, defensive lineman Jonathan Allen to Washington, tight end O.J. Howard to Tampa Bay, and linebacker Reuben Foster to San Francisco.
Rounds 4-7 will take place Saturday afternoon from the Philadelphia Museum of Art to conclude the 2017 NFL Draft.
The 2016 Outland Trophy winner, Robinson was selected as one of the Crimson Tide’s permanent team captains for the 2016 season. The Monroe, La., native started every game at left tackle during his time in Tuscaloosa (43 games) and was one of the Tide’s three unanimous All-America selections in 2016. Robinson also claimed the SEC Jacobs Blocking Trophy, the Tide’s second in as many years and was a first team All-SEC selection by the conference coaches and the Associated Press.
An outside linebacker came into his own as a junior in 2015, Anderson was a senior leader on the Alabama defense in 2016. The Daphne, Ala., native earned first team All-SEC honors from the Associated Press, was tabbed to the Butkus and Lombardi Award Watch Lists and was a semifinalist for the Butkus. Anderson finished with 61 total tackles, including a team-high 19.0 tackles for loss (-100 yards), 9.0 sacks (-68 yards) along with 10 quarterback hurries, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
A dominant force up on Alabama’s defensive front, Tomlinson collected 62 total tackles and added three sacks (-28 yards), seven quarterback hurries and four pass breakups. The McDonough, Ga., native also registered 5.5 tackles for loss (-32 yards) and forced a fumble. A force in stopping the run, 55 of Tomlinson’s tackles came against the opponent’s rushing attack. A Lombardi Watch List selection, he was also selected as one of the UA coaching staff’s defensive players of the week five times in 2016.
A disruptive force on the outside for the Crimson Tide, Williams earned second team All-America honors from the Associated Press and Sports Illustrated in 2016. The Baton Rouge, La., native collected 31 total tackles and added nine sacks (-97 yards) and 16 tackles for loss (-125 yards). He also recorded 12 quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles and a pair of pass breakups. Added one fumble recovery which he returned 23 yards for his first career score.
Stewart turned in an impressive season as a junior, leading the Crimson Tide in touchdown catches (8), receiving yards (864), yards per game (72.0) and yards per reception (16.0) and was second on the team in receptions with 54 despite only playing in 12 games in 2016. Also rushed eight times for 68 yards and added two pass attempts that he completed for 12 and 24 yards and a pair of first downs.