Manhattan’s Radio City Music Hall was the site of a three-day Alabama centric televised infomercial, also known as the NFL Draft. Nick Saban has created a holy trinity worthy of religious genuflection by the Alabama faithful. He attracts top tier prep talent, wins BCS National Championships, and has a developmental system producing NFL caliber prospects highly coveted by the league.
Alabama was well represented with four players invited to the Big Apple. Three -- cornerback Dee Milliner, guard Chance Warmack, and tackle D.J. Fluker -- were consecutive selections in the opening round with the 9th, 10th and 11th picks, a first time trifecta occurrence for any program at least since the 1967 common draft. The fourth guest, running back Eddie Lacy, was tabbed in the second round.
Numbers can be extrapolated to reflect a myriad of superlatives quantifying a positive trend. Additional common draft program milestones during the Nick Saban regime were achieved in the 2013 NFL Draft. No surprise two offensive linemen were chosen in the opening round, a Tide first, considering the greatest Alabama blocker ever to don the crimson and white, John Hannah told ‘BAMA Magazine/BamaMag.com on Thursday afternoon, this year’s unit was collectively the best in school history.
Thirteen first round Alabama players selected during the drafts of 2010-13 eclipses the school record of 11 chosen from 2009-12, a feat any coach would love to present to a prized high school recruit. The seven-round 2013 NFL Draft total of nine Alabama players surpasses the 2012 and 1987 (12 rounds) record of eight. The Tide had 10 players selected over 30 rounds in 1945. The current NFL Draft is seven rounds in length.
An astounding number: of the 29 Tide players selected over the four-year span of 2010-2013 were 13 first round picks. Alabama and LSU led the SEC with nine selections each. Big and fast equates to the optimal physical combination for gridiron success. Saban has succeeded attracting a lethal dose of both to the detriment of all FBS college football programs.
Over the last three days, the movie “Draft Day” was filming scenes at Radio City Music Hall simultaneously as the acquisition drama was transpiring live in the entertainment venue. Since the Saban era, Tuscaloosa would be a natural location for any silver screen adaption seeking to capture reality.
Nine Alabama players selected in 2013 NFL Draft sets a new school record with most ever since the common draft was established in 1967:
Dee Milliner – New York Jets, round 1, 9th, 9th overall
Chance Warmack – Tennessee Titans, round 1, 10th, 10th overall
D.J. Fluker – San Diego Chargers, round 1, 11th, 11th overall
Eddie Lacy – Green Bay Packers, round 2, 29th, 61st overall
Nico Johnson – Kansas City Chiefs, round 4, 2nd, 99th overall
Barrett Jones – St. Louis Rams, round 4th, 16th, 113th overall
Jesse Williams – Seattle Seahawks, round 5, 4th, 137th overall
Quinton Dial – San Francisco 49ers, round 5, 24th, 157th overall
Michael Williams – Detroit Lions, round 7, 5th, 211th overall
Three more Alabama players announced free-agent signings on their Twitter accounts Saturday evening. Safety Robert Lester signed with the Carolina Panthers, defensive end Damion Square inked with the Philadelphia Eagles, and long snapper Carson Tinker agreed to terms with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Other potential free agents are placekicker Jeremy Shelley and H-Back Kelly Johnson.