You can now field a complete offense and defense of first-round draft picks coached by Nick Saban.
The last remaining position on Saban’s first-round bingo card was filled Thursday night when QB Tua Tagovailoa was taken at No. 5 by the Miami Dolphins. Tagovailoa is the first QB coached by Saban to go in the first round of an NFL draft.
While that may seem surprising, it’s not when you consider the dearth of Alabama QBs in NFL draft classes. Tagovailoa is the first Alabama QB drafted in the first round since Richard Todd went No. 6 in 1976. Just six Tide QBs were taken in the entire draft in the 43 years between Todd and Tagovailoa.
Tagovailoa was the first of four Alabama players chosen in the top 15. OT Jedrick Wills went at No. 10 to the Browns and he was followed by WRs Henry Ruggs III (No. 12, Oakland Raiders) and Jerry Jeudy (No. 15, Denver Broncos).
The Tide’s four picks in the top 15 was the most but LSU ended up passing Alabama for most picks in the entire first round when the Chiefs chose RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire at No. 32. Edwards-Helaire was the fifth Tiger taken in the first round. A record 15 SEC players were drafted in the first 32 picks.
We have no idea how Tagovailoa will fare in the NFL, but we do know that we could create a pretty good team full of first rounders coached by Saban. Here’s what a starting offense and defense could look like full of first-round picks coached by Saban.
QB: Tua Tagovailoa (No. 5, 2020)
RB: Mark Ingram (No. 28, 2011)
WR: Plaxico Burress (No. 8, 2000)
WR: Julio Jones (No. 6, 2011)
WR: Amari Cooper (No. 4, 2015)
TE: O.J. Howard (No. 19, 2017)
OL: Andre Smith (No. 6, 2009)
OL: Chance Warmack (No. 10, 2013)
OL: D.J. Fluker (No. 11, 2013)
OL: Ryan Kelly (No. 18, 2016)
OL: Jonah Williams (No. 11, 2019)
DL: Marcell Dareus (No. 3, 2011)
DL: Jonathan Allen (No. 17, 2017)
DL: Quinnen Williams (No. 3, 2019)
EDGE: Julian Peterson (No. 16, 2000)
LB: Dont’a Hightower (No. 25, 2012)
LB: C.J. Mosley (No. 17, 2014)
LB: Rashaan Evans (No. 22, 2018)
DB: Dre Kirkpatrick (No. 17, 2012)
DB: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (No. 21, 2014)
DB: Marlon Humphrey (No. 16, 2017)
DB: Minkah Fitzpatrick (No. 11, 2018)
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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