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Three Crimson Tide stars selected in first round of NFL Draft

The Alabama Crimson Tide had three players selected in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night. As the final first round picks of the Nick Saban era, that brings Saban’s career total of first-rounders produced to 52 with 47 of them coming at Alabama.

In what was somewhat of a surprise, right tackle JC Latham was the first one off the board, being selected seventh overall to the Tennessee Titans.

Latham started at right tackle for the Tide for the last two seasons and was named to the All-SEC first-team after giving up just two sacks in all of the 2023 season. He was also named a team captain prior to the season.

The second Alabama star off the board was pass rusher Dallas Turner, who was selected No. 16 overall after the Minnesota Vikings traded up to get him.

Turner was sensational in 2023, being named a consensus first team All-American as well as the SEC’s defensive player of the year. He finished the year with ten sacks and two forced fumbles. Turner has been a star at Alabama since his freshman year, where he saw time in all 15 games and received Freshman All-America honors.

The final pick of the first round for Alabama was cornerback Terrion Arnold, who was selected slightly lower than expected at No. 24 to the Detroit Lions, who were hosting the draft.

Arnold emerged as a superstar this past season, being named a first team All-SEC. He finished the year with five interceptions along with 17 passes defended and a forced fumble.

Arnold and all of his Alabama teammates were joined by Jalen Milroe in the green room, with Milroe getting emotional when talking about his best friend in Arnold:

The SEC led all conferences with 11 first-round picks. Alabama’s three first-round selections tied them with LSU and Washington for the most from any school. The Crimson Tide have now sent 404 players through the draft all-time, the fifth-most of any school.

No other in-state team had a player picked in the first round. Former Auburn quarterback Bo Nix, who finished his career with Oregon, was selected 12th overall by the Denver Broncos.

The second night of the draft starts tonight at 7 PM Central and will include the second and third rounds. Several in-state prospects are still waiting to hear their names called, including Kool-Aid McKinstry, Chris Braswell, and Jermaine Burton of Alabama, DJ James, Nehemiah Pritchett, and Jaylin Simpson of Auburn, and Tejhaun Palmer of UAB.

Michael Brauner is a Senior Sports Analyst and Contributing Writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @MBraunerWNSP

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