With the end of another college football season comes the second most wonderful time of the year — NFL mock draft season. In a couple of the latest mock drafts, it looks like Alabama has a real shot to tie Miami’s single-year NFL Draft record of six overall selections in the first round. The Canes set the record with its 2004 draft class.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.’s latest projections features six Alabama players becoming future first rounders. His list includes Tide defensive end Jonathan Allen to Cleveland with the No. 3 overall pick, offensive tackle Cam Robinson at seventh overall to the Chargers, and linebacker Reuben Foster to the Saints with the No. 11 pick.
Kiper’s last prediction with tight end O.J. Howard seems like a bit of a stretch, given that his numbers aren’t exactly outstanding for that position, but he has made big plays in both the 2016 and 2017 national title games against Clemson.
SB Nation’s latest mock draft that was released on Jan. 9 also has six Bama players going in the first round, but with linebacker Ryan Anderson to the Patriots with the 31st pick instead of Howard.
In last year’s draft, it was the Ohio State Buckeyes that had an outstanding class, finishing just one pick shy of Miami’s 2004 record with five first rounders. The Buckeyes also set the record for the most players selected through three rounds with 10, and had a player from every position group taken with three rounds left.
Even if Alabama doesn’t tie Miami’s 2004 record, it looks like the Tide could finish with a year pretty similar to the successful one OSU had a year ago.
Miami’s 2004 draft class featured some big time household names. Safety Sean Taylor went to the Redskins, tight end Kellen Winslow II to the Browns, linebacker Jonathan Vilma to the Jets, defensive tackle Vince Wilfork to the Pats, and linebacker D.J. Williams went to the Denver Broncos.