A Round-by-Round Look at Alabama's Best NFL Draft Picks of All Time

Christopher Walsh@@WritingWalshCollege Football National ColumnistApril 27, 2016

A Round-by-Round Look at Alabama's Best NFL Draft Picks of All Time

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    Wide receiver Amari Cooper was the first Alabama player selected in last year's NFL draft.
    Wide receiver Amari Cooper was the first Alabama player selected in last year's NFL draft.Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Did you know that the first draft pick to ever play in the National Football League was from the University of Alabama?

    Riley Smith was a fullback on the 1933 team but switched to quarterback the following season when head coach Frank Thomas’ team went 10-0 and handily defeated Stanford in the Rose Bowl, 29-13, to claim the national championship.

    He was listed as being 6’1”, 195 pounds, and to give an idea of his versatility not only did Smith handle the Crimson Tide’s kicking duties, he won the Jacobs Award as the Southeastern Conference’s best blocker.

    When the NFL held its first draft at the Ritz-Carlton in Philadelphia on February 8, 1936, Jay Berwanger, the first Heisman Trophy winner, was the first-overall pick by the hometown Eagles. But Berwanger demanded to be paid $1,000 a game, an unheard of sum then, and didn’t sign with either the Eagles, who selected him, or the Chicago Bears after they traded for his rights. He never played in the NFL.

    Riley was selected second by the Boston Redskins.

    Because most players could make more money doing other jobs, only 24 of the 81 players selected in that initial draft were on NFL rosters that season. Four more signed the following year and three opted for the American Football League.

    Because the substitution rules were different, and players had to play both offense and defense, rosters were limited to a 25-player maximum. Consequently, almost a third of the players were rookies, most of whom signed as free agents.

    Smith himself had a short career in the NFL before being sidelined by an injury, and in his first year helped turn the Redskins from the second-to-last team in the league to Eastern Division champions in 1936. With the sixth overall selection in the 1937 draft, the Redskins selected TCU quarterback Sammy Baugh.

    Incidentally, Alabama had another high pick in that initial draft, Paul “Bear” Bryant by the Brooklyn Dodgers in the fourth round.

    With a little help from the databases at NFL.com and drafthistory.com, here's a round-by-round look at Alabama’s best draft picks of all time.

First Round: Ozzie Newsome

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    Ozzie Newsome is still in the NFL, as the general manager of the Baltimore Ravens.
    Ozzie Newsome is still in the NFL, as the general manager of the Baltimore Ravens.Matt Hazlett/Associated Press

    When you’re talking about players inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, it’s difficult to select one over another. But while Joe Namath, John Hannah and Derrick Thomas were all top-five selections, Ozzie Newsome was not and went on to revolutionize the tight end position.

    Originally from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Newsome was a four-year starter from 1974-77, when at 6’4”, 210 pounds, he set many of the Crimson Tide reception records essentially as a wide receiver. He caught 102 passes for 2,070 yards, with an average gain per pass of 20.3 yards, a Southeastern Conference record that stood until 1999.

    He was twice named all-conference and an All-American his senior year. The Atlanta Touchdown Club and the Birmingham Quarterback Club named Newsome the SEC’s Lineman of the Year in 1977, when he was also Alabama’s co-captain.

    Bryant once called him the greatest end in Alabama history, and the feeling was mutual as Newsome has always had a picture of his former coach and mentor in his office as the general manager of the Baltimore Ravens.

    The Wizard of Oz was the 23rd overall selection of the Cleveland Browns in the 1978 draft and needed only two seasons to earn All-Pro honors (he did so again in 1984).

    Newsome played in 198 consecutive games and caught a pass in 150 consecutive games, which was the second-longest streak in the league when he retired as its all-time leading tight end in receiving with 662 receptions, 7,980 yards and 47 touchdowns.

    Only one Alabama player has had more receiving yards in the NFL, Don Hutson, who changed the way the wide receiver position was played. All 7,991 of his yards were with the Green Bay Packers, who signed him as a free agent in 1935 before the first draft was held.

    Some consider him the greatest tight end to ever play in the NFL.

    First round

    Year, Overall, Player, Position

    Saban era

    2011 3 Marcell Dareus, Bills, DT

    2012 3 Trent Richardson, Browns, RB

    2015 4 Amari Cooper, Raiders, WR

    2011 6 Julio Jones, Falcons, WR

    2009 6 Andre Smith, Bengals, T

    2012 7 Mark Barron, Buccaneers, DB

    2010 8 Rolando McClain, Raiders, LB

    2013 9 Dee Milliner, Jets, DB

    2013 10 Chance Warmack, Titans, G

    2013 11 D.J. Fluker, Chargers, T

    2012 17 Dre Kirkpatrick, Bengals, DB

    2014 17 C.J. Mosley, Ravens, LB

    2010 20 Kareem Jackson, Texans, DB

    2014 21 Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Packers, DB

    2012 25 Dont'a Hightower, Patriots, LB

    2011 25 James Carpenter, Seahawks, T

    2011 28 Mark Ingram, Saints, RB

    Pre-Saban era

    1948 1 Harry Gilmer, Redskins, QB

    1965 1 Joe Namath, Jets, QB (AFL)

    1987 2 Cornelius Bennett, Colts, LB

    1936 2 Riley Smith, Redskins, B

    2000 3 Chris Samuels, Redskins, T

    1986 4 Jon Hand, Colts, DE

    1973 4 John Hannah, Patriots, G

    1990 4 Keith McCants, Buccaneers, LB

    1948 4 Lowell Tew, Redskins, B

    1989 4 Derrick Thomas, Chiefs, LB

    1993 5 John Copeland, Bengals, DE

    1981 5 E.J. Junior, Cardinals, LB

    1948 5 Vaughn Mancha, Yanks, C

    1993 6 Eric Curry, Buccaneers, DE

    1963 6 Lee Roy Jordan, Cowboys, LB

    1979 6 Barry Krauss, Colts, LB

    1976 6 Richard Todd, Jets, QB                                   

    1953 8 Bobby Marlow, Giants, B

    1951 9 Clarence “Butch” Avinger, Steelers, B

    1974 9 Wilbur Jackson, 49ers, RB

    1994 9 Antonio Langham, Browns, DB

    1979 14 Marty Lyons, Jets, DE

    1983 16 Mike Pitts, Falcons, DE

    1978 18 Bob Cryder, Patriots, G

    2000 19 Shaun Alexander, Seahawks, RB

    1968 20 Dennis Homan, Cowboys, WR

    1997 20 Dwayne Rudd, Vikings, LB

    1980 21 Don McNeal, Dolphins, DB

    1978 23 Ozzie Newsome, Browns, TE

    1985 25 Emanuel King, Bengals, DE

    1999 26 Fernando Bryant, Jaguars, DB

    1967 26 Leslie Kelley, Saints, RB

    1993 29 George Teague, Packers, DB

    1989 S Bobby Humphrey, Broncos, RB

    1984 S Joey Jones, Falcons, WR

Second Round: Dwight Stephenson

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    One would be hard pressed to find a better center in NFL history than Dwight Stephenson.
    One would be hard pressed to find a better center in NFL history than Dwight Stephenson.Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    Although Kenny Stabler was also a second-round draft pick, Dwight Stephenson was regarded to be the NFL’s premier center during his career even though he didn’t enter the league with anywhere near the same kinds of expectations.

    In part because of his position, Stephenson (6’2”, 255 lbs.) was the 48th overall selection of the 1980 draft. He spent much of his rookie season playing special teams, and it wasn’t until Mark Dennard was injured during the 11th game of the 1981 regular season that Stephenson made his first pro start.

    He subsequently played in 107 straight games including 80 starts until the 1987 players’ strike ended the streak. He earned both All-Pro and All-AFC recognition five straight years from 1983 to 1987 and was named the AFC or NFL Offensive Lineman of the Year in various major polls four times.

    Although a knee injury would cut his career short, Stephenson was selected for five straight Pro Bowl games, the first four as a starter (injuries prevented him from playing in the 1987 and 1988 games). He also started in Super Bowls XVII and XIX, and the 1982, 1984 and 1985 AFC Championship Games.

    In addition to his intensity and explosive charge off the snap, Stephenson was known for his uncanny speed and ability to quickly make powerful blocks. He was the Dolphins’ offensive captain while anchoring the line in front of quarterback Dan Marino, which allowed the fewest sacks for six straight seasons.

    “Those two guys are very similar,” Stephenson said about playing for Paul W. “Bear” Bryant and Don Shula during his induction speech for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

    “I think that if Coach Shula coached on the college level that they would be even closer to the way they were, or if Coach Bryant was on the pro level. But, the difference was, Coach Bryant was dealing with people that were really boys becoming young men, who were still being molded, teaching us about life and that sort of thing. Coach Bryant was really good at that and that was what he realized; he was molding young men.”

    Second round

    Year, Round pick, Overall, Player, Position

    Saban era

    2015 1 33 Landon Collins, Giants, DB

    2012 3 35 Courtney Upshaw, Ravens, LB

    2015 4 36 T.J. Yeldon, Jaguars, RB

    2014 12 44 Cyrus Kouandjio, Bills, T

    2010 18 50 Javier Arenas, Chiefs, DB

    2013 29 61 Eddie Lacy, Packers, RB

    2010 25 57 Terrence Cody, Ravens, DT

    Pre-Saban era

    1951 1 15 Eddie Salem, Redskins, B

    2006 1 33 DeMeco Ryans, Texans, LB

    1978 2 30 Johnny Davis, Buccaneers, RB

    1938 3 13 Joe Kilgrow, Dodgers, B

    1937 4 14 Arthur “Tarzan” White, Giants, G

    1994 6 35 Kevin Lee, Patriots, WR

    1991 9 36 George Thornton, Chargers, DT

    1963 10 24 Butch Wilson, Colts, B

    1994 11 40 David Palmer, Vikings, WR

    2000 11 42 Cornelius Griffin, Giants, DT

    2006 11 43 Roman Harper, Saints, DB

    1986 12 39 Larry Roberts, 49ers, DE

    1977 12 40 Bob Baumhower, Dolphins, DT

    2004 14 46 Justin Smiley, 49ers, G

    1995 14 46 Sherman Williams, Cowboys, RB

    1992 20 48 Siran Stacy, Eagles, RB

    1980 20 48 Dwight Stephenson, Dolphins, C

    1998 24 54 Rod Rutledge, Patriots, TE

    1968 25 52 Ken Stabler, Raiders, QB

    2001 25 56 Tony Dixon, Cowboys, DB

    2004 25 57 Antwan Odom, Titans, DE

    1994 31 60 Jeremy Nunley, Oilers, DE

Third Round: Evan Mathis

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    Evan Mathis has made a name for himself as one of the best guards in the NFL.
    Evan Mathis has made a name for himself as one of the best guards in the NFL.Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Alabama has had numerous players who were selected in the third round of the NFL draft go on to have long, productive careers, but only two have named All-Pro.

    For those who don’t know, the All-Pro distinction goes to the best player at each position in the league, so there’s only one quarterback, one running back, etc. Unlike being named to the Pro Bowl, it’s a permanent distinction—once you’re named All-Pro you’re an All-Pro player for life.

    Tony Nathan was named All-Pro after his first season with the Miami Dolphins, in 1979. He was the starting running back in two Super Bowls, XVII and XIX, and amassed 3,543 rushing yards during his career.

    But in addition to being named All-Pro in 2013, Pro Football Focus rated Evan Mathis as the best guard in the NFL for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 seasons. 

    He’s been selected to two Pro Bowls and was on the winning side of Super Bowl 50 with the Denver Broncos.

    He’s come a long way since losing out to Alonzo Ephraim for Alabama’s starting center job during spring practice in 2001.

    Third round

    Year, Round pick, Overall, Player, Position

    Saban era

    2009 10 74 Glen Coffee, 49ers, RB

    2009 13 77 Antoine Caldwell, Texans, C

    2009 31 95 Rashad Johnson, Cardinals, DB

    2010 34 98 Mike Johnson, Falcons, G

    Pre-Saban era

    1975 1 53 Mike Washington, Colts, DB

    1977 1 57 Charles Hannah, Buccaneers, DE

    1974 2 54 Wayne Wheeler, Bears, WR

    2002 4 69 Saleem Rasheed, 49ers, LB

    1963 5 33 Mike Fracchia, Cardinals, B

    1979 5 61 Tony Nathan, Dolphins, RB

    1993 6 62 Antonio London, Lions, LB

    1939 8 23 Charley Holm, Redskins, B

    1941 10 25 Fred Davis, Redskins, T

    1972 10 62 Johnny Musso, Bears, RB

    1982 10 65 Benny Perrin, Cardinals, DB

    1965 12 40 Ray Ogden, Cardinals, E

    1984 14 70 Walter Lewis, Patriots, QB

    1992 15 71 Kevin Turner, Patriots, RB

    2005 15 79 Evan Mathis, Panthers, G

    1983 16 72 Jeremiah Castille, Buccaneers, DB

    1985 19 75 Ricky Moore, 49ers, RB

    2001 19 81 Kenny Smith, Saints, DT

    2006 21 85 Brodie Croyle, Chiefs, QB

    1996 23 84 Shannon Brown, Falcons, DT

Fourth Round: Le’Ron McClain

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    Fullback Le'Ron McClain wasn't someone opposing players looked forward to facing.
    Fullback Le'Ron McClain wasn't someone opposing players looked forward to facing.Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Although other former Alabama players who were selected in the fourth round had longer NFL careers, including linebacker Jarret Johnson and cornerback DeShea Townsend, and Billy Neighbors was named to the AFL’s Boston Patriots All-1960s Team, the nod goes to Le'Ron McClain.

    The fullback was selected with the 137th pick during the fourth round by the Baltimore Ravens and Newsome and had success while playing a thankless position that’s considered to be dying in the league.

    “To balance off the Auburn guy [guard Ben Grubbs], I got the fullback from Alabama so I can go back into the state," Newsome joked at the time. “We talked about getting the number one guy at his position with Grubbs, we did the same thing with McClain. 

    “You can get a good player on the second day at a certain positions because they don’t draft them. It was amazing the number of text [messages] and calls from other teams around the league that had similar feelings that we did about Le’Ron."

    He played for three teams but was best known for his years with the Ravens. McClain was named All-Pro in 2008 and twice earned Pro Bowl honors.

    Despite playing a position that’s primarily known for blocking, he notched 1,310 rushing yards, made 94 receptions for 557 yards and scored 16 touchdowns from 2007-13.

    Most of his rushing yards came during the 2008 season when he became the Ravens’ primary running back. He had 902 yards on 232 carries and 10 touchdowns.

    Fourth round

    Year, Round pick, Overall, Player, Position

    Saban era

    2013 2 99 Nico Johnson, Chiefs, LB

    2015 9 108 Jalston Fowler, Titans, RB

    2015 13 112 Arie Kouandjio, Redskins, G

    2013 16 113 Barrett Jones, Rams, G

    2014 23 123 Kevin Norwood, Seahawks, WR

    Pre-Saban era

    1962 1 43 Billy Neighbors, Redskins, T

    1967 2 82 Louis Thompson, Giants, DT

    1943 3 28 Joe Domnanovich, Dodgers, C

    1936 4 31 Paul “Bear” Bryant, Dodgers, E

    1995 4 102 Sam Shade, Bengals, DB

    1940 5 30 Bob Wood, Rams, T

    1998 8 100 Michael Myers, Cowboys, DT

    1993 10 94 Derrick Lassic, Cowboys, RB

    1995 10 108 Dameian Jeffries, Saints, DE

    1967 11 91 Wayne Trimble, 49ers, DB

    1996 12 107 Kendrick Burton, Oilers, DE

    2003 12 109 Jarret Johnson, Ravens, DT

    1976 16 108 Wayne Rhodes, Bears, DB

    1984 25 109 Joe Carter, Dolphins, RB

    1998 25 117 Deshea Townsend, Steelers, DB

    1998 30 122 Curtis Alexander, Broncos, RB

    1996 34 129 Brad Ford, Lions, DB

    2007 38 137 Le'Ron McClain, Ravens, RB

Fifth Round: Woodrow Lowe

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    For years linebacker Woodrow Lowe was a staple of the San Diego Chargers' defense.
    For years linebacker Woodrow Lowe was a staple of the San Diego Chargers' defense.George Rose/Getty Images

    Tight end/H-back Patrick Hape had a long career in the NFL and guard John Wozniak played both in a Pro Bowl and was named a CFL All-Star three times, but linebacker Woodrow Lowe was one of those players who makes fans wonder what the other teams were thinking during the draft.

    After being named an All-American three straight years and setting the Crimson Tide’s single-season record with 134 tackles (which still stands), Lowe wasn’t selected until the fifth round of the 1976 draft, after 130 other players had been picked.

    He ended up playing 11 years in the league and made more starts than any other defensive player in San Diego Charters history (163 out if a possible 180).

    If he was playing today, Lowe would be in high demand because he was a linebacker who was solid against the run and also effective in pass coverage. He made 21 interceptions for the Chargers and returned four for touchdowns.

    “He was consistently excellent throughout his playing career and his induction into the Hall of Fame is very appropriate,” said former Alabama athletic director Mal Moore, who was an assistant coach during Lowe’s career. “He put together a career that set a standard that carries on to this day.”

    Fifth round

    Year, Round pick, Overall, Player, Position

    Saban era

    2012 1 136 Josh Chapman, Colts, DT

    2013 4 137 Jesse Williams, Seahawks, DT

    2012 11 146 DeQuan Menzie, Chiefs, DB

    2014 20 160 Ed Stinson, Cardinals, DE

    2013 24 157 Quinton Dial, 49ers, DE

    2014 24 164 AJ McCarron, Bengals, QB

    2014 27 167 Vinnie Sunseri, Saints, DB

    Pre-Saban era

    1943 3 33 George Hecht, Cardinals, G

    1940 4 34 Walt Merrill, Dodgers, T

    1955 5 54 George Mason, Steelers, T

    1964 5 61 Benny Nelson, Lions, HB

    1981 6 117 Byron Braggs, Packers, DT

    2003 6 141 Kenny King, Cardinals, DT

    1976 7 131 Woodrow Lowe, Chargers, LB

    1997 7 137 Patrick Hape, Buccaneers, TE

    1936 8 44 Kavanaugh Francis, Lions, C

    1948 9 34 John Wozniak, Steelers, G

    1983 9 121 Steve Mott, Lions, C

    2003 10 145 Kindal Moorehead, Panthers, DE

    1962 13 69 Bill Rice, Cardinals, E

    1964 13 69 Steve Wright, Packers, T

    1976 14 138 Willie Shelby, Bengals, RB

    2002 14 149 Jason McAddley, Cardinals, WR

    2002 20 155 Terry Jones Jr., Ravens, TE

    1989 24 136 Greg Gilbert, Bears, LB

    2001 25 156 Shawn Draper, Dolphins, T

    2006 26 158 Charlie Peprah, Giants, DB

    1995 26 160 Jay Barker, Packers, QB

    2005 27 159 Mark Anderson, Bears, DE

    2002 27 162 Freddie Milons, Eagles, WR

    1994 28 159 Roosevelt Patterson, Raiders, G

    2005 28 164 Wesley Britt, Chargers, T

Sixth Round: Howard Cross

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    Tight end Howard Cross was tough to bring down with the New York Giants.
    Tight end Howard Cross was tough to bring down with the New York Giants.USA TODAY Sports

    From 1990-98, defensive back John Mangum made 272 tackles for the Chicago Bears, and Scott Hunter led the Green Bay Packers to their last divisional title until they acquired Brett Favre, but tight end Howard Cross had a special career with the New York Giants.

    From 1989 to 2001 he was a staple with the legendary franchise and participated in a total of 207 games, more than any player in team history until defensive end Michael Strahan broke the record during his final season in 2007.

    Cross played in two Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl XXV against the Buffalo Bills, 20-19, and was on the losing side of Super Bowl XXXV against the Baltimore Ravens.

    Although Cross was known mostly for his blocking ability, he made 201 receptions during his NFL career, for 2,194 yards and 17 touchdowns. After retiring, he became a broadcaster.

    Sixth round

    Year, Round pick, Overall, Player, Position

    Saban era

    2014 1 177 Jeoffrey Pagan, Texans, DE

    Pre-Saban era

    1986 2 140 Thornton Chandler, Cowboys, TE

    1987 2 142 Freddie Robinson, Colts, DB

    2005 4 178 Anthony Bryant, Buccaneers, DT

    1955 6 67 Tom “Corky” Tharp, Rams, B

    2004 6 171 Triandos Luke, Broncos, WR

    1990 7 144 John Mangum, Bears, DB

    1989 7 146 Chris Mohr, Buccaneers, P

    1955 8 69 Bobby Luna, 49ers, B

    1974 8 138 Mike Raines, 49ers, DT

    1971 10 140 Scott Hunter, Packers, QB

    1951 11 73 Herb Hannah, Giants, T

    1987 16 156 Greg Richardson, Vikings, WR

    1989 19 158 Howard Cross, Giants, TE

    1977 20 159 Paul Harris, Steelers, LB

    1993 23 163 Derrick Oden, Eagles, LB

    1980 25 163 Wayne Hamilton, Chargers, LB

    1986 25 163 Brent Sowell, Dolphins, DT

    2003 29 202 Waine Bacon, Falcons, DB

    1996 30 197 Tony Johnson, Eagles, TE

    1996 37 204 Toderick Malone, Saints, WR

Seventh Round: Ray Perkins

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    Ray Perkins had a much longer NFL career as a coach than as a wide receiver.
    Ray Perkins had a much longer NFL career as a coach than as a wide receiver.KATHY WILLENS/Associated Press

    He didn’t have the longest playing career, but Ray Perkins ended up sticking around the NFL for most of his life after being a seventh-round selection in 1966.

    As a wide receiver, the former All-American for the Crimson Tide played four seasons for the Baltimore Colts and made 93 receptions for 1,158 yards and 11 touchdowns.

    His most famous catch was the 68-yard touchdown pass from Johnny Unitas in the 1970 AFC Championship Game to help lead a 27–17 victory over the Oakland Raiders.

    Under the director of Don Shula, the Colts went on to defeat the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl V, 16-13.

    Perkins went on to work as a football coach through 2000, beginning as an assistant with the New England Patriots (1973-77) and San Diego Chargers (1978), before being named the head coach of the New York Giants in 1979. Two members of his coaching staff were Bill Parcells, who eventually replaced him, and Bill Belichick.

    The New York media was shocked when Perkins resigned in 1982 to take what he called his “dream” job at Alabama. However, unable to repeat the program’s high level of success as his mentor, Bryant, he left Tuscaloosa in 1987 to become the head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Seventh round

    Year, Round pick, Overall, Player, Position

    Saban era

    2010 4 211 Marquis Johnson, Rams, DB

    2011 5 208 Greg McElroy, Jets, QB

    2013 5 211 Michael Williams, Lions, TE

    2015 11 228 Austin Shepherd, Vikings, T

    2015 36 253 Xzavier Dickson, Patriots, LB

    2010 40 247 Brandon Deaderick, Patriots, LB

    2012 40 247 Brad Smelley, Browns, TE

    Pre-Saban era

    1959 1 73 Bobby Jackson, Packers, B

    1987 1 169 Curt Jarvis, Buccaneers, DT

    1988 2 167 Kerry Goode, Buccaneers, RB

    1938 3 53 Leroy Monsy, Dodgers, G

    1980 4 169 Buddy Aydelette, Packers, T

    1984 6 174 Jesse Bendross, Chargers, WR

    1941 8 58 Hal Newman, Dodgers, E

    1949 9 70 Jim Cain, Cardinals, E

    1954 10 83 Sid Youngelman, 49ers, T

    1981 14 180 Billy Jackson, Chiefs, RB

    1966 15 110 Ray Perkins, Colts, WR

    1995 17 225 Bryne Diehl, Giants, P

    1973 18 174 John Mitchell, 49ers, LB

    1979 19 184 Rich Wingo, Packers, LB

    1988 19 184 Bo Wright, Bills, RB

    1989 21 188 George Bethune, Rams, LB

    2004 21 222 Derrick Pope, Dolphins, LB

    2003 21 235 Ahmaad Galloway, Broncos, RB

    2005 21 235 Cornelius Wortham, Seahawks, LB

    1994 26 220 Lemanski Hall, Oilers, LB

    1997 35 236 Ralph Staten, Ravens, LB

    2007 36 246 Kenneth Darby, Buccaneers, RB

    2007 45 255 Ramzee Robinson, Lions, DB

Eighth Round On: Bart Starr

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    Few names are more synonymous with the NFL than Bart Starr.
    Few names are more synonymous with the NFL than Bart Starr.David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    Bart Starr isn’t just Alabama’s best late-round draft pick, he was probably the best draft pick in Crimson Tide history.

    After seeing limited playing with the Crimson Tide, in part due to a brutal hazing incident according to Joseph Goodman of AL.com., Starr wasn’t selected until the 17th round of the 1956 draft.

    Although he made the team, he saw limited playing time until the Packers brought in a new head coach, Vince Lombardi, and together they changed the game and led arguably the NFL’s greatest dynasties.

    From 1960 through 1967, Bart's record as a starter was an amazing 62-24-4, and the Packers won six divisional, five NFL and the first two Super Bowl titles.

    Perhaps his most famous play came on a simple dive in the famous Ice Bowl against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL championship game of 1967. Playing in unbelievably cold conditions in Green Bay the game came down to one play, when instead of handing off Starr kept the ball and scored the winning touchdown.

    Two weeks later, the Packers defeated the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl II, 33-14, in Lombardi’s final game.

    “Bart Starr stands for what the game of football stands for: courage, stamina and coordinated efficiency,” Lombardi once famously said, per Mike Puma of ESPN.com. “You instill desire by creating a superlative example. The noblest form of leadership is by example and that is what Bart Starr is all about.”

    Even though Starr is not among the league’s career leaders in any individual statistical category, he was a three-time NFL passing champion and played in four Pro Bowls. He finished his 16-year career with 24,718 passing yards, 152 touchdowns, and 138 interceptions while completing 57.4 percent of his passes.

    The only two former Alabama players with more passing yards at the NFL level were Stabler (27,938) and Namath (27,663).

    Rounds 8-9

    Year, Round, Round pick, Overall, Player, Position

    1946 8 1 61 Phil Tinsley, Cardinals, E

    1998 8 1 194 Phillip Brown, Falcons, LB

    1953 8 2 87 Jerry Watford, Cardinals, G

    1945 8 5 70 Johnny August, Rams, B

    1974 8 5 187 Greg Gantt, Jets, K

    1953 8 7 92 Jess Richardson, Eagles, T

    1980 8 7 200 Ken Harris, Giants, RB

    1951 8 8 94 Larry Lauer, Yanks, C

    1943 8 10 70 Tony Leon, Redskins, G

    1952 8 10 95 Billy Shipp, Giants, T

    1975 8 13 195 Ricky Davis, Bengals, DB

    1982 8 15 210 Thomas Boyd, Packers, LB

    1977 8 17 212 Calvin Culliver, Broncos, RB

    1992 8 22 218 Robert Stewart, Saints, DT

    1944 9 2 78 Mitch Olenski, Dodgers, T

    1939 9 3 73 Lew Bostick, Rams, G

    1955 9 4 101 Ed Culpepper, Packers, T

    1957 9 6 103 Don Comstock, Browns, B

    1958 9 6 103 Jim Loftin, Lions, B

    1987 9 6 229 Wayne Davis, Cardinals, LB

    1965 9 8 120 Frank McClendon, Vikings, T

    1987 9 8 231 Wes Neighbors, Oilers, C

    1942 9 9 79 Noah Langdale, Packers, T

    1967 9 19 230 Cecil Dowdy, Browns, LB

    1982 9 23 246 Warren Lyles, Chargers, DT

    1979 9 26 246 Jeff Rutledge, Rams, QB

    1980 9 26 247 Steve Whitman, Chargers, RB

    Rounds 10-12

    Year, Round, Round pick, Overall, Player, Position

    1954 10 1 110 Tommy Lewis, Cardinals, B

    1987 10 2 253 Chris Goode, Colts, DB

    1949 10 5 96 Bob Hood, Steelers, E

    1965 10 5 131 Gaylon McCullough, Cowboys, C

    1981 10 5 253 James Mallard, Cardinals, WR

    1948 10 9 84 Ray Richeson, Eagles, G

    1941 10 10 90 Ed Hickerson, Redskins, G

    1992 10 20 272 Mark McMillian, Eagles, DB

    1990 10 22 270 Thomas Rayam, Redskins, DT

    1976 10 25 290 Leroy Cook, Cowboys, DE

    1969 10 26 260 Mike Hall, Jets, LB

    1991 10 26 276 Byron Holdbrooks, 49ers, DT

    1966 11 1 156 Steve Sloan, Falcons, QB

    1940 11 3 93 Cary Cox, Steelers, C

    1972 11 6 266 David Bailey, Packers, WR

    1978 11 6 284 Terry Jones, Packers, DT

    1964 11 11 151 Eddie Versprille, Browns, RB

    1965 11 12 152 Bud Frenc, Cardinals, B

    1991 11 18 296 Efrum Thomas, Steelers, DB

    1954 12 2 135 Bill Oliver, Packers, B

    1983 12 2 309 Robbie Jones, Giants, LB

    1949 12 3 114 Roy “Rebel” Steiner, Packers, E

    1987 12 6 313 Mike Shula, Buccaneers, QB

    1957 12 7 140 Fred Sington, 49ers, T

    1951 12 8 143 Al Lary, Yanks, E

    1981 12 9 313 Major Ogilvie, 49ers, RB

    1968 12 20 320 Bobby Johns, Chiefs, DB

    1976 12 22 341 Joe Dale Harris, Bengals, WR

    1973 12 23 309 Jim Krapf, Raiders, G

    Rounds 13-plus

    Year, Round, Round pick, Overall, Player, Position

    1974 16 2 392 Buddy Brown, Giants, G

    1972 15 22 386 Robin Parkhouse, Colts, LB

    1972 16 21 411 Steve Higginbottom, Redskins, DB

    1969 16 22 412 William Davis, Raiders, LB

    1966 15 1 216 Tom Tolleson, Falcons, WR

    1966 15 11 226 Steve Bowman, Giants, RB

    1966 16 13 243 David Ray, Browns, E

    1962 16 1 211 Tommy Brooker, Redskins, E

    1962 16 9 219 Ray Abruzzeze, Colts, RB

    1959 30 10 358 Dave Sington, Giants, T

    1956 14 2 159 Jim Emmons, Steelers, T

    1956 16 7 188 Curtis Lynch, Packers, T

    1956 17 7 200 Bart Starr, Packers, QB

    1956 27 5 318 Al Ellett, Eagles, T

    1956 29 3 340 Wes Thompson, Steelers, T

    1956 30 9 358 Jim Buckler, Bears, G

    1955 23 8 273 Cecil Ingram, Eagles, B

    1954 25 2 291 John Smalley, Packers, T

    1954 26 1 302 Ralph Carrigan, Cardinals, C

    1953 21 3 244 Joe Curtis, Cardinals, E

    1953 21 6 247 Bob Conway, Packers, B

    1953 23 8 273 Travis Hunt, 49ers, T

    1953 29 10 347 Clell Hobson, Browns, B

    1952 26 5 306 Bobby Wilson, Steelers, B

    1952 28 3 328 Harold Lutz, Cardinals, E

    1951 14 6 165 Mike Mizerany, Steelers, G

    1951 22 2 257 Elliot Speed, Redskins, C

    1951 25 7 298 Tommy Calvin, Steelers, B

    1950 19 5 240 Ed White, Redskins, E

    1950 26 2 328 Red Noonan, Bulldogs, B

    1949 16 7 158 Dick Flowers, Redskins, T

    1949 20 4 195 Pat O'Sullivan, Giants, C

    1948 23 2 207 Roy “Rebel” Steiner, Lions, E

    1947 24 1 216 Bill Capenhead, Lions, B

    1946 16 5 145 Nick Terlizzi, Giants, T

    1946 26 10 250 D.J. Gambrell, Rams, C

    1946 29 9 279 Fay Mills, Redskins, T

    1945 13 5 125 Jack Aland, Rams, T

    1945 14 2 133 Hal Self, Dodgers, B

    1945 17 6 170 Bobby Tom Jenkins, Redskins, B

    1945 18 6 181 Jim McWhorter, Lions, B

    1945 23 9 239 Norm “Monk” Mosley, Eagles, B

    1945 25 6 258 Jack Green, Bears, G

    1945 30 5 312 Charley Compton, Rams, T

    1945 31 4 322 Ken Reese, Eagles, B

    1945 32 5 329 John Staples, Giants, G

    1944 13 6 126 Bill Baughman, Packers, C

    1944 22 2 221 Ted Cook, Dodgers, E

    1944 27 5 279 Andy Bires, Giants, E

    1944 27 8 282 Jack McKewan, Bears, T

    1943 14 2 122 George Weeks, Eagles, E

    1943 14 5 125 Sam Sharp, Rams, E

    1943 15 2 132 Russ Craft, Eagles, B

    1943 25 6 236 Dave Brown, Giants, B

    1943 29 4 274 Al Sabo, Dodgers, B

    1942 14 3 123 John Wyhonic, Eagles, G

    1942 18 10 170 Holt Rast, Bears, E

    1942 19 4 174 Jimmy Nelson, Cardinals, B

    1940 15 8 138 Hayward Sanford, Redskins, E

    Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

    Christopher Walsh is a lead SEC college football writer. Follow Christopher on Twitter @WritingWalsh.