Alabama leads way with four first round picks in 2018 NFL Draft

Four Tide players were drafted in the first round of the 2011, 2012 and 2017 drafts.

Posted: Apr 26, 2018 11:04 PM

ARLINGTON, Texas (WTVA/Alabama Athletics) - University of Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, defensive lineman Da'Ron Payne, linebacker Rashaan Evans and wide receiver Calvin Ridley were selected in the first round of the 2018 National Football League Draft Thursday evening at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.


The four first round selections for the Crimson Tide are the most for any team in this year's opening round and equals the most for Alabama in the first round during Nick Saban's tenure. Four Tide players were drafted in the first round of the 2011, 2012 and 2017 drafts.

Fitzpatrick was selected at No. 11 by the Miami Dolphins with Payne going to the Washington Redskins two picks later at No. 13. Evans was the No. 22 pick by the Tennessee Titans while Ridley went at No. 26 to the Atlanta Falcons.

Alabama has now had 26 players selected in the first round of the last 10 NFL Drafts. Andre Smith was selected in 2009. Rolando McClain and Kareem Jackson were selected in 2010. In 2011, Marcell Dareus, Julio Jones, James Carpenter and Mark Ingram all went in round one while Trent Richardson, Mark Barron, Dre Kirkpatrick and Dont'a Hightower were taken in 2012. Dee Milliner, Chance Warmack and D.J. Fluker were taken in 2013 while C.J. Mosley and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix went in 2014. Amari Cooper was selected in 2015. Ryan Kelly was taken in 2016. Marlon Humphrey, Jonathan Allen, O.J. Howard and Reuben Foster were picked in 2017.

Regarded as one of the top defensive backs in Alabama history, Fitzpatrick was voted a permanent team captain in his junior season. The Old Bridge, N.J. native was college football's 2017 Bednarik and Thorpe award winner, the second recipient of each award in Crimson Tide history. Fitzpatrick was selected as a unanimous All-American by the five major outlets (Walter Camp, FWAA, Associated Press, Sporting News and AFCA) and also earned first team All-America honors from Sports Illustrated. He finished fourth on the team in tackles with 60 in 2017 while recording eight tackles for loss (-31 yards) and contributing 1.5 sacks (-15 yards).

Payne was regarded as one of the top defensive line prospects in the nation following the 2017 season. A bruising run-stopper along the Tide front, he was selected as the Defensive MVP of the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the College Football Playoff National Championship Game after recording eight tackles, a pass breakup and his first career interception in the two games. He also caught his first career touchdown pass in the Sugar Bowl. The Birmingham, Ala., native garnered Second Team All-America accolades from the AFCA in 2017 and was selected as a First Team All-SEC honoree by the Associated Press while also earning second-team recognition from the coaches.

A versatile athlete who played in the middle with the ability to come off the edge, Evans was selected as one of the Tide's permanent team captains as a senior. The Auburn, Ala., native was honored as a First Team All-American by the AFCA. He earned First Team All-SEC from the Associated Press and was named to the All-SEC second team by the conference coaches. Evans collected a team-high tying 74 tackles and led the Tide with 13 tackles for loss (-54 yards) despite missing a pair of games due to injury last season. He also contributed seven quarterback hurries to tie for second at UA and totaled six sacks (-41 yards) to rank second on the team in that category.

Ridley finished second in UA history for receptions (224) and receiving touchdowns (19) while ranking third in receiving yards with 2,781. He totaled eight career 100-yard receiving games to tie for third in the Alabama record books and caught at least one pass in all 44 games of his Alabama career to rank third among active receivers in the FBS during 2017. The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native was named First Team All-SEC by the coaches. Ridley led the Tide with 63 catches for 967 yards to average 15.3 yards per catch with five touchdown receptions. The 967 yards was good for third in the SEC while his 63 receptions ranked sixth in the conference.

The second and third rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft continues on Friday evening from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas with rounds 4-7 wrapping up the draft on Saturday afternoon.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 245847

Reported Deaths: 5356
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto16717168
Hinds15748310
Harrison12806188
Rankin10334204
Jackson9996172
Lee8666135
Madison7994158
Jones6112108
Forrest5826117
Lauderdale5672174
Lowndes5186106
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Lamar471162
Washington4700122
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Union334755
Warren334692
Marshall333264
Neshoba3310149
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Tate264759
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Pike254876
Hancock246957
Prentiss240047
Scott238743
Copiah235649
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Tippah233845
Simpson230166
Leake226764
Coahoma219054
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Adams200065
Winston196260
George195937
Wayne193029
Attala190958
Newton185142
Chickasaw179943
Tishomingo179059
Holmes167467
Jasper163533
Clay155632
Stone138818
Tallahatchie137033
Clarke135160
Calhoun132021
Smith117322
Yalobusha112534
Walthall110536
Noxubee108922
Greene108229
Montgomery107134
Carroll102320
Lawrence99817
Perry98631
Amite95725
Webster90024
Claiborne84125
Tunica84021
Jefferson Davis82925
Humphreys80324
Benton79722
Kemper75620
Quitman6678
Franklin64613
Choctaw59412
Wilkinson57424
Jefferson52019
Sharkey42317
Issaquena1576
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 414583

Reported Deaths: 5945
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson60842887
Mobile29590538
Madison26466183
Tuscaloosa20537267
Montgomery18562304
Shelby18181112
Baldwin15841177
Lee1212097
Morgan12002112
Etowah11488142
Calhoun10863197
Marshall10048106
Houston8405123
Cullman792294
Limestone785073
Elmore7670101
DeKalb757282
St. Clair7417120
Lauderdale740282
Talladega6036108
Walker5834176
Jackson571937
Colbert522270
Blount521980
Autauga507555
Coffee431456
Dale388278
Franklin362145
Chilton332965
Covington325567
Russell318910
Escambia309842
Dallas297988
Chambers275769
Clarke272933
Tallapoosa2591107
Pike245829
Lawrence239345
Marion238649
Winston222535
Bibb211347
Geneva196331
Marengo196329
Pickens195331
Hale172542
Barbour169636
Butler166958
Fayette164026
Cherokee158330
Henry149219
Monroe143617
Randolph137635
Washington135426
Clay124446
Crenshaw117444
Lamar116819
Cleburne115123
Macon111935
Lowndes107935
Wilcox99921
Bullock97128
Perry95019
Conecuh92820
Sumter89126
Greene75123
Coosa59814
Choctaw50824
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