The Crimson Tide had four former players hear their names called on Thursday evening
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama football had four former players selected in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft on Thursday night. The four picks included quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (No. 5, Miami Dolphins), offensive lineman Jedrick Wills Jr. (No.10 Cleveland Browns), wide receivers Henry Ruggs III (No. 12, Las Vegas Raiders) and Jerry Jeudy (No. 15, Denver Broncos).
The four first-round selections for the Crimson Tide moves Saban’s career total to 38 first-round picks. Four Tide players were drafted in the first round of the 2011, 2012, 2017, 2018 and 2020 drafts.
With Tagovailoa’s fifth overall selection in the first round, Saban becomes the first college head coach in the NFL’s common draft era to produce a first-round pick at every non-specialist position. In addition, the pick of both Jeudy and Ruggs III in the first round mark the first wide receiver duo in program history to be drafted in round one.
From Head Coach Nick Saban
“We are certainly very excited for Tua (Tagovailoa) and his family. This means as much to me as any player ever for what he was able to accomplish here, not only as a player, but as a person. He was one of the most popular players we ever had with our fanbase. He could not have done more as a player. I think the Dolphins are going to get a great leader and someone who is going to be the face of their franchise, that their fans are going to love in the future. I know he is going to have a great career.”
Alabama has now had 33 players selected in the first round of the last 12 NFL Drafts. They are listed below:
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)
The second and third rounds will continue on Friday beginning at 6 p.m. CT and can be seen on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio. The 2020 Draft will wrap up with rounds 4-7 on Saturday beginning at 11 a.m. CT and can be seen on ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio.
Alabama First Round Recap
|Tua Tagovailoa||5||Miami Dolphins|
|Jedrick Wills Jr.||10||Cleveland Browns|
|Henry Ruggs III||12||Las Vegas Raiders|
|Jerry Jeudy||15||Denver Broncos|
Tua Tagovailoa (No. 5 | Miami Dolphins)
Tagovailoa was the first Alabama player taken in this year’s draft. One of the most prolific quarterbacks in Alabama history, Tagovailoa heads to the NFL atop the Crimson Tide’s career touchdown responsibility (87 passing, nine rushing) and passing touchdowns lists. He is also ranked third in Alabama annals for career passing yards with 7,442 across his two-plus seasons. One of the Crimson Tide’s permanent team captains last season, Tagovailoa threw for 33 scores and rushed for two more as a junior while accumulating 2,840 passing yards to rank 13th in Division I. He led all quarterbacks with a 206.93 passer efficiency rating and completed 71.4 percent of his passes on 180-of-252, a percentage that was fifth in the country. The Ewa Beach, Hawai’i, native was selected as the Co-Polynesian Player of the Year and the Bobby Bowden Award recipient while also earning All-SEC Second Team accolades by both the league coaches and the Associated Press. In his first season as the Tide’s starter in 2018, Tagovailoa won the Maxwell, Walter Camp Player of the Year and Polynesian College Football Player of the Year awards thanks to a standout sophomore campaign that saw him throw for 3,966 yards and account for 48 total touchdowns (43 passing, five rushing).
Jedrick Wills Jr. (No. 10 | Cleveland Browns)
A powerful right tackle who helped emerged as one of the top offensive line prospects this season after anchoring a Tide unit that finished as a finalist for the Joe Moore Award. Wills Jr. started in all 13 games in 2019 and finished with 29 career starts, including 28 straight to end his career. The Lexington, Ky., native graded out at over 91 percent for the Crimson Tide as a junior and allowed only one sack and just 3.5 quarterback hurries while missing seven assignments in 771 snaps for a success rate of 99.0 percent. His efforts earned him second team All-America accolades from the AFCA, Associated Press, The Sporting News and Walter Camp. He was also selected by Pro Football Focus as a third team All-American at tackle and named to the All-SEC First Team by the Associated Press and league coaches. Off-the-field, Wills Jr. earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors for his dedication in the classroom as both a sophomore and junior.
Henry Ruggs III (No. 12 | Las Vegas Raiders)
An explosive, game-breaking receiver, Ruggs III finished his time in Tuscaloosa ranked third on Alabama’s career touchdown receptions list at 24 and averaged a touchdown nearly every four catches (98 career receptions). He rolled up 1,716 yards receiving and averaged 17.5 yards per catch in three seasons, good for sixth on the Alabama career list (minimum 50 catches). He saw time in 41 career contests with 27 starts, including 12 games this past season. Ruggs III owned the team-long rush (75 yards) and the second-longest reception (81 yards) in 2019 and finished with 40 receptions for 746 yards and seven touchdowns. He was also a weapon on special teams, accounting for 286 yards on 12 kickoff returns with a long of 40 and added six tackles on coverage units.
Jerry Jeudy (No. 15 | Denver Broncos)
The 2018 Biletnikoff Award winner, Jeudy recorded 26 career touchdown receptions to rank second all-time in Alabama history, behind only Amari Cooper’s 31 from 2012-14. Jeudy finished with 2,742 yards across his three seasons, good for fourth on the Crimson Tide’s career receiving yards list, and amassed 159 receptions to average 17.2 yards per catch for his career, a number that is second in Alabama records. The Deerfield Beach, Fla., native totaled 100-plus yards receiving in 10 career games, including five matchups as a junior. He capped his 2019 season with Citrus Bowl MVP honors after posting one of the Tide’s three 200-plus yard performances on the year. He closed out 2019 with 1,163 yards to rank third on UA’s single-season list while leading all Tide wideouts with 77 catches, good for fourth in single-season history at UA. Jeudy’s output last season earned him first team All-America accolades from the AFCA and second-team recognition from Pro Football Focus. He was also a first team All-SEC selection by the coaches and a second-teamer by the Associated Press.
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