The Crimson Tide had a pair of former players hear their names called Thursday evening in Las Vegas


LAS VEGASThe University of Alabama football program had two former players selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft on Thursday night in Las Vegas, including offensive lineman Evan Neal (No. 7, New York Giants) and wide receiver Jameson Williams (No. 12, Detroit Lions).


With the selection of Neal and Williams on the opening night of the draft, head coach Nick Saban has now produced 46 first-rounders in his career, including 41 at Alabama. Those 41 selections, which have all come in the last 14 years, are as follows:


  • 2009 – Andre Smith (No. 6, Cincinnati)
  • 2010 – Rolando McClain (No. 8, Oakland), Kareem Jackson (No. 20, Houston)
  • 2011 – Marcell Dareus (No. 3, Buffalo), Julio Jones (No. 6, Atlanta), James Carpenter (No. 25, Seattle), Mark Ingram (No. 28, New Orleans)
  • 2012 – Trent Richardson (No. 3, Cleveland), Mark Barron (No. 7, Tampa Bay), Dre Kirkpatrick (No. 17, Cincinnati), Dont’a Hightower (No. 25, New England)
  • 2013 – Dee Milliner (No. 9, New York Jets), Chance Warmack (No. 10, Tennessee), D.J. Fluker (No. 11, San Diego)
  • 2014 – C.J. Mosley (No. 17, Baltimore), Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (No. 21, Green Bay)
  • 2015 – Amari Cooper (No. 4, Oakland)
  • 2016 – Ryan Kelly (No. 18, Indianapolis)
  • 2017 – Marlon Humphrey (No. 16, Baltimore), Jonathan Allen (No. 17, Washington), O.J. Howard (No. 19, Tampa Bay), Reuben Foster (No. 31, San Francisco)
  • 2018 – Minkah Fitzpatrick (No. 11, Miami), Da’Ron Payne (No. 13, Washington), Rashaan Evans (No. 22, Tennessee), Calvin Ridley (No. 26, Atlanta)
  • 2019 – Quinnen Williams (No. 3, New York Jets), Jonah Williams (No. 11, Cincinnati), Josh Jacobs (Oakland, No. 24)
  • 2020 – Tua Tagovailoa (No. 5, Miami Dolphins), Jedrick Wills Jr. (No.10 Cleveland Browns), Henry Ruggs III (No. 12, Las Vegas Raiders), Jerry Jeudy (No. 15, Denver Broncos)
  • 2021 – Jaylen Waddle (No. 6, Miami Dolphins), Patrick Surtain II, (No.9 Denver Broncos), DeVonta Smith (No. 10, Philadelphia Eagles), Mac Jones, (No. 15, New England Patriots), Alex Leatherwood, (No. 17, Las Vegas Raiders), Najee Harris, (No. 24, Pittsburgh Steelers)
  • 2022 – Evan Neal (No. 7, New York Giants), Jameson Williams (No. 12, Detroit Lions)


Draft Notes­

  • Alabama has had at least one player selected in the first round of 14 straight drafts (2009 – present), which ties Miami (1995-08) for the NCAA record for the most consecutive first round draft picks.
    • During that stretch, the Crimson Tide has had 41 players selected in the first round, while the Hurricanes had 33 players selected in the first round.
  • Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban holds the NCAA record for the most first round draft picks in a career at 46 and for the most first-round picks from a single school at 41, setting the latter record last spring.
    • The next closest coach in each of those categories is the late Joe Paterno with 33 first-round picks in both his career and from a single school (Penn State).
  • With Alabama’s two selections this evening, the Crimson Tide has produced multiple first-round picks in 11 of the last 14 NFL Drafts.
    • The Crimson Tide had just one first-round pick in 2009, 2015 and 2016.
  • Since 2000, the Crimson Tide has produced an NCAA-leading 43 first-rounders, a number that is nine better than the next closest school Ohio State (34).
  • Since 2010, the Crimson Tide has had an NCAA-leading 40 players selected in the first round, a number that nearly doubles the next closest school Ohio State (21).
  • With Jameson Williams’ selection in the first round, Alabama has turned five wide receivers into first round draft picks in the last three NFL Drafts (Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith in 2021, Henry Ruggs III and Jerry Jeudy in 2020).


The second and third rounds will take place on Friday at 6 p.m. CT. The 2022 NFL Draft concludes with rounds four through seven on Saturday starting at 11 a.m. CT. The remaining rounds will be broadcast on ABC, ESPN and NFL Network.


Alabama First Round Recap

Evan Neal7New York Giants
Jameson Williams12Detroit Lions


Evan Neal, Offensive Lineman (No. 7 | New York Giants)

Neal started all 40 games of his Alabama career, spreading his starts across time at left guard (2019), right tackle (2020) and left tackle (2021). He earned consensus first team All-America honors as a junior while also being named a permanent team captain for the 2021 squad. Neal accounted for a team-high 34 knockdown blocks and played 1,200 snaps over 15 starts as a junior. In 2020, the Okeechobee, Fla., native played 810 snaps with just six missed assignments and three penalties as part of the Tide’s Joe Moore Award winning group. He provided blocks for the nation’s No. 1 scoring and pass efficiency offense along with the No. 2 passing offense on the way to the Tide’s 18th national championship. Neal picked up Freshman All-America and Freshman All-SEC honors in his first season at the Capstone thanks to a standout rookie campaign.


Jameson Williams, Wide Receiver (No. 12 | Detroit Lions)

Williams inserted himself into the lineup and made an immediate impact in 2021, earning first team All-America and All-SEC honors. The Ohio State transfer finished the 2021 season ranked third on the Alabama single-season yardage list with 1,572 yards, a total that was fifth in Division I and led the SEC. Williams became one of just 13 receivers in Alabama history to eclipse the 1,000-yard receiving mark and paired with John Metchie III to become just the second UA wide receiver duo to post 1,000 yards receiving in the same season. He also totaled 15 receiving touchdowns to lead the SEC and rank third nationally as part of his 79 total receptions and averaged 104.8 receiving yards per game that were tops in the league and good for ninth in the country. A big-play threat, Williams hauled in a Crimson Tide single-season record four touchdowns of 70-plus yards and totaled 11 touchdowns of 30-plus yards to lead the nation in both categories. Williams also contributed in the return game, recording 10 kickoff returns for a combined 352 yards and two touchdowns to lead the SEC and tie for second nationally in scores.