Alabama Football: Can the Tide set new NFL Draft records?

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Alabama football may set two new, team NFL Draft records in 2018; the number of first-round picks and the total number of players drafted in one year.

With less than a month until the 2018 NFL Draft, Alabama football players may set new Crimson Tide records. Last year’s NFL Draft established an Alabama football record for the total number of players drafted in one year. Ten former Crimson Tiders were drafted last year, surpassing the previous record of nine set in the 2013 Draft. Perhaps as impressive was the 10 draft selections were in the first four rounds of the Draft.

256 players will be selected in the seven rounds of the 2018 Draft. Alabama football could have as many as 14 former players among the 256 selections. Predicting NFL Drafts is as popular as NCAA basketball Bracketology. Despite massive analysis by many Draft professionals, making picks is more of a guess than a science.

In the 2017 Draft, the top picker, Charlie Campbell accurately picked nine of the 32 first round selections. If that sounds like a low number, remember all the variables. It is not as simple as choosing the first 32 players to be drafted. A correct pick requires the exact team and the exact draft slot for each player. Getting nine out of 32 correct is pretty good.

Other respected pickers did not fare quite as well. Peter King made seven correct picks and Mike Mayock got five correct. King and Mayock know the NFL better than almost anyone not on a team payroll. Often over-hyped, Mel Kiper only made two correct picks in the 2017 first round.

Four or five first-rounders?

Based on Charlie Campbell’s latest projection the Tide will have four 2018 first-rounders and maybe five. Four will tie the Tide record set in 2017, 2012 and 2011. The ‘maybe five’ scenario is driven by whether Ronnie Harrison goes first or second round. Harrison has been limited and did not run at the Combine or the Tide’s Pro Day. That may bump him to the second round.

Campbell projects Minkah will be the 9th pick to the 49ers. He has Payne at 13th to Washington and Ridley at 16th to the Ravens. He also has Rashaan Evans in the first round at 27th to the Saints.

Campbell is currently only projecting through round six. He has Da’Shawn Hand and Tony Brown going in the third round. In the fourth round, he has Bo Scarbrough and Anthony Averett being drafted. He has Brad Bozeman in the fifth round and Levi Wallace and Shaun Dion Hamilton in the sixth round.

If Campbell is correct, that means at least 12 former Alabama football players will be drafted. In addition, J.K. Scott and Josh Frazier could also be drafted. Those numbers easily blow past the previous Alabama football record of 10 selections in 2017.

Even up to the minutes before any NFL Draft begins, there are few guarantees. Many decisions are yet to be made by teams. Still, former Crimson Tide players appear to be poised to set another Alabama football record.