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2023 NFL Draft: Alabama sets draft record with first-round picks in 15 straight years

Three Alabama players were picked in the top 12 as Bryce Young went No. 1 overall

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Alabama now has the longest streak of first-round draft picks in NFL draft history.

The Carolina Panthers’ selection of Bryce Young at No. 1 overall extended Alabama’s streak with at least one first-round pick to 15 years. That’s the longest run any school has had of first-round picks and breaks a tie with Miami at 14 years in a row. The Hurricanes had at least one player picked in the first round of every draft from 1995-2008.

The Panthers traded with the Chicago Bears for the No. 1 pick earlier this spring and made Young the first Alabama player to go No. 1 overall since Harry Gilmer was selected by the Washington Commanders in 1948.

Alabama’s streak of 15 seasons with a first-rounder began in 2009 when the Cincinnati Bengals selected Andre Smith with the No. 6 pick. Smith’s selection came after Nick Saban’s second season with the Crimson Tide. Alabama went 12-2 that year and lost the Sugar Bowl before winning its first of six titles so far in Saban’s tenure.

The Crimson Tide didn’t have to wait long to hear other players taken behind Young. Edge rusher Will Anderson went at No. 3 overall after the Houston Texans traded up to get him. Running back Jahmyr Gibbs was then taken at No. 12 by the Detroit Lions.

While Saban’s Alabama program has been incredible at producing first-round picks, Young and Anderson were just the sixth and seventh players during the 15-year run to be taken in the top five. And only three other Alabama players had been taken in the top three over the past 14 drafts.

Here’s all the Crimson Tide players picked in the first round since Smith was taken in that 2009 NFL Draft:

2009

  • OT Andre Smith (No. 6)

2010

  • LB Rolando McClain (No. 8)

  • DB Kareem Jackson (No. 20)

2011

  • DT Marcell Dareus (No. 3)

  • WR Julio Jones (No. 6)

  • OT James Carpenter (No. 25)

  • RB Mark Ingram (No. 28)

2012

  • RB Trent Richardson (No. 3)

  • DB Mark Barron (No. 7)

  • DB Dre Kirkpatrick (No. 17)

  • LB Dont’a Hightower (No. 25)

2013

  • DB Dee Milliner (No. 9)

  • G Chance Warmack (No. 10)

  • OT D.J. Fluker (No. 11)

2014

  • LB C.J. Mosley (No. 17)

  • DB Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (No. 21)

2015

  • WR Amari Cooper (No. 4)

2016

  • C Ryan Kelly (No. 18)

2017

  • DB Marlon Humphrey (No. 16)

  • DE Jonathan Allen (No. 17)

  • TE O.J. Howard (No. 19)

2018

  • DB Minkah Fitzpatrick (No. 11)

  • DT Daron Payne (No. 13)

  • LB Rashaan Evans (No. 22)

  • WR Calvin Ridley (No. 26)

2019

  • DT Quinnen Williams (No. 3)

  • OT Jonah Williams (No. 11)

  • RB Josh Jacobs (No. 24)

2020

  • QB Tua Tagovailoa (No. 5)

  • OT Jedrick Wills (No. 10)

  • WR Henry Ruggs III (No. 12)

  • WR Jerry Jeudy (No. 15)

Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr., left, quarterback Bryce Young, center, and head coach Nick Saban, right, stand with the trophy as they celebrate after the Sugar Bowl NCAA college football game where Alabama defeated Kansas State 45-20 Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Will Anderson and Bryce Young were each selected in the top three of the 2023 NFL Draft and helped Alabama set a draft record. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

2021

  • WR Jaylen Waddle (No. 6)

  • CB Patrick Surtain II (No. 9)

  • WR DeVonta Smith (No. 10)

  • QB Mac Jones (No. 15)

  • OT Alex Leatherwood (No. 17)

  • RB Najee Harris (No. 24)

2022

  • OT Evan Neal (No. 7)

  • WR Jameson Williams (No. 12)

2023

  • QB Bryce Young (No. 1)

  • EDGE Will Anderson (No. 3)

  • RB Jahmyr Gibbs (No. 12)