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NFL draft reunites Alabama teammates as Crimson Tide ties record with 6 first-round picks

The Tuscaloosa News
·2 min read
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The 2021 NFL draft proved to be a setup for an Alabama football reunion — at least in the first round, were six Crimson Tide players were selected, tying Alabama with the 2004 Miami Hurricanes for most players from the same school selected in the first round of am NFL draft.

Wide receiver Jaylen Waddle was the first of six Crimson Tide players off the board in the opening round Thursday night in Cleveland, going No. 6 overall to the Miami Dolphins, where he will be reunited with former UA quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

Cornerback Patrick Surtain II was picked No. 9 overall by the Denver Broncos, who have Jerry Jeudy on their roster, giving Surtain a former Alabama wideout to practice against.

Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith was taken with the 10th pick by the Philadelphia Eagles, where Jalen Hurts — the former Alabama quarterback who transferred to Oklahoma to finish his collegiate career before entering the NFL — finished last season as quarterback.

Quarterback Mac Jones, who many speculated might go as high as No. 3 overall after the San Francisco 49ers traded up to that spot, went at No. 15, where he was drafted by the New England Patriots. He will have a former Alabama teammate in the backfield in running back Damien Harris.

Alabama's surprise pick of the first round came at No. 17, when the Las Vegas Raiders selected offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood. The burly blocker was considered a possible first-round pick, although most projections didn't have him going as high as mid-round.

At the point when running back Najee Harris went 24th overall to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Alabama players comprised 25 percent of the players who had been selected.

This article originally appeared on The Tuscaloosa News: Alabama ties 2004 Miami with 6 players picked in NFL draft first round