It took longer than expected, but eventually the Tide couldn’t be kept at bay any longer.
More than two hours into the draft, a University of Alabama player was drafted in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Overall, the Crimson Tide had four players selected in the first round, tying the program record for the most players chosen in the opening round.
Cornerback Marlon Humphrey got the ball rolling when the Baltimore Ravens called his name with the No. 16 overall pick.
Called by head coach John Harbaugh, Humphrey was simply asked, “You ready to be great?”
Humphrey was quickly followed by defensive lineman Jonathan Allen, who was selected at 17 by the Washington Redskins. Allen grew up in Ashburn, Va., less than an hour from Washington D.C. He was a Redskins fan as a boy.
“This has been a long time coming,” Allen said. “I just want to prove the Redskins right for picking me.”
Allen was projected as one of the top two or three players heading into the draft but shoulder issues revealed during his Scouting Combine physical scared some teams away. He said every team he me with before the draft cleared him medically, adding that his shoulders didn’t bother him his senior season.
Two picks after Allen, dynamic tight end O.J. Howard was chosen by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the No. 19 pick. Howard will team with Jameis Winston, a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback from Florida State who played in high school at Hueytown.
Reuben Foster, also widely considered one of the best pure players in this draft class, had to wait until near the end of the first round to hear his name called. When it was, he cried.
Foster was chosen by the San Francisco 49ers with the 31st pick.
Alabama added to its consecutive years with a player chosen in the first round. The Crimson Tide has now had a player selected in the first round in every year since 2009. Over that time, UA produced 22 first-round players, more than any other program in the nation.
UA head coach Nick Saban hit the red carpet before the draft. He was in Philadelphia to support his players.
“We’re losing five guys that may go in the first round tonight and probably four or five other guys that will get drafted, so we’ve got a lot of players that are getting their dreams realized tonight, which I’m happy for them, but that creates a lot of opportunity for other guys in our program, so we’re looking forward to getting them developed,” Saban said.
Reach Aaron Suttles at email@example.com or at 205-722-0229.
2017 NFL Draft
- Cleveland: Myles Garrett, Texas A&M
- Chicago Bears: Mitchell Trubisky, North Carolina
- San Francisco 49ers: Solomon Thomas, Stanford
- Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Fournette, LSU
- Tennessee Titans: Corey Davis, Western Michigan
- New York Jets: Jamal Adams, LSU
- Los Angeles Chargers: Mike Williams, Clemson
- Carolina Panthers, Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
- Cincinnati Bengals, John Ross, Washington
- Kansas City Chiefs, Patrick Mahomes, Texas Tech
- New Orleans Saints, Marshon Lattimore, Ohio State
- Houston Texans, DeShaun Watson, Clemson
- Arizona Cardinals, Hasson Reddick, Temple
- Philadelphia Eagles, Derek Barnett, Tennessee
- Indianapolis Colts, Malik Hooker, Ohio State
- Baltimore Ravens, Marlon Humphrey, Alabama
- Washington Redskins, Jonathan Allen, Alabama
- Tennessee Titans, Adoree’ Jackson, USC
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers, O.J. Howard, Alabama
- Denver Broncos, Garett Bolles, Utah
- Detroit Lions, Jarrad Davis, Florida
- Miami Dolphins, Charles Harris, Missouri
- New York Giants, Evan Engram, Ole Miss
- Oakland Raiders, Gareon Conley, Ohio State
- Cleveland Browns, Jabrill Peppers, Michigan
- Atlanta Falcons, Takkarist McKinley, UCLA
- Buffalo Bills, Tre’Davious White, LSU
- Dallas Cowboys, Taco Charlton, Michigan
- Cleveland Browns, David Njoku, Miami
- Pittsburgh Steelers, T.J. Watt, Wisconsin
- San Francisco 49ers, Reuben Foster, Alabama
- New Orleans Saints, Ryan Ramczyk, Wisconsin