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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: 484675

Reported Deaths: 9480
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison33151493
Hinds31184589
DeSoto30803365
Jackson23735349
Rankin21390373
Lee14963221
Madison14206272
Jones13430227
Forrest13199241
Lauderdale11623307
Lowndes10501176
Lamar10258130
Pearl River9151221
Lafayette8268137
Hancock7534113
Washington7144152
Oktibbeha6989124
Monroe6533167
Neshoba6489201
Warren6486166
Pontotoc632993
Panola6278127
Marshall6165126
Bolivar6129145
Union576089
Pike5626138
Alcorn540590
Lincoln5310132
George473572
Scott461596
Leflore4495140
Tippah448180
Prentiss447979
Itawamba4457100
Adams4429117
Tate4420103
Wayne434667
Simpson4339114
Copiah432988
Yazoo423686
Covington417192
Sunflower4155104
Marion4111104
Coahoma3986100
Leake398286
Newton372375
Grenada3565104
Stone351360
Tishomingo338389
Attala325987
Jasper316062
Winston305691
Clay297374
Chickasaw287866
Clarke283290
Calhoun267741
Holmes262887
Smith252249
Yalobusha224347
Tallahatchie221150
Walthall211758
Greene209945
Lawrence207034
Perry201054
Amite199452
Webster196942
Noxubee179339
Montgomery172954
Jefferson Davis168342
Carroll162537
Tunica154235
Benton143035
Kemper138840
Choctaw128826
Claiborne127134
Humphreys127038
Franklin116928
Quitman104227
Wilkinson102036
Jefferson91533
Sharkey63020
Issaquena1937
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 790648

Reported Deaths: 14025
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1117431765
Mobile709021237
Madison50032633
Shelby36350315
Baldwin36278495
Tuscaloosa34034548
Montgomery33229678
Lee22712220
Calhoun21297410
Morgan19852335
Etowah19341462
Marshall17716274
Houston16862386
St. Clair15479305
Cullman14659258
Limestone14609188
Elmore14507264
Lauderdale13557281
Talladega13015236
DeKalb12214237
Walker10604330
Blount9735157
Autauga9691137
Jackson9400158
Coffee8934175
Dale8631173
Colbert8545184
Tallapoosa6688181
Escambia6599121
Covington6466167
Chilton6395144
Russell608755
Franklin5805101
Chambers5425134
Marion4818120
Dallas4713189
Clarke464079
Pike463297
Geneva4433117
Winston427395
Lawrence4124108
Bibb410281
Barbour347470
Marengo326485
Monroe320253
Butler318490
Randolph306656
Pickens306474
Henry302658
Hale293085
Cherokee290855
Fayette280373
Washington245548
Crenshaw238770
Cleburne236751
Clay229265
Macon220658
Lamar200443
Conecuh182046
Coosa170835
Lowndes170858
Wilcox159736
Bullock149543
Perry136537
Sumter124736
Greene121443
Choctaw73427
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