Alabama has nine players drafted through first three rounds

Alabama junior offensive tackle Cam Robinson (74), shown with fellow lineman Lester Cotton (66) during the season opener against Southern California.

In Thursday night's opening round of the NFL draft, Alabama left tackle Cam Robinson watched several defensive ends he faced during his time in Tuscaloosa get selected.

Texas A&M defensive end Myles Garrett was the top overall pick. Tennessee's Derek Barnett and Missouri's Charles Harris also went in the first round, as did Jonathan Allen, whom Robinson repeatedly battled in practice. The first round came and went without Robinson getting a call, but that changed early Friday night when the Jacksonville Jaguars made the 6-foot-6, 322-pounder the second pick of the second round and the 34th overall selection.

"I have all the confidence in the world in my abilities," Robinson said on a conference call. "You can check my resume, and the defensive ends I've been going up against since I was an 18-year-old freshman, and I think it's unmatched by anybody. I'm looking forward to getting in and getting to work."

Robinson attended the NFL draft Thursday but elected Friday to stay in his Philadelphia hotel room, where he watched the draft with his family and agent.

"It was definitely tough," he said. "With me being a competitor, you want to go as high as you can, but God put me in this position for a reason."

Alabama had three players picked in Friday's second round after four (Allen, cornerback Marlon Humphrey, tight end O.J. Howard and inside linebacker Reuben Foster) were tabbed Thursday. Outside linebacker Ryan Anderson went 49th to the Washington Redskins, who used their first-round pick on Allen, and defensive tackle Dalvin Tomlinson went 55th to the New York Giants.

Anderson, who gave the Crimson Tide six top-50 selections for the first time in program history, tallied 19 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and an interception last season but ran the 40-yard dash in 4.78 seconds at the NFL combine and in 4.84 seconds at Alabama's pro day.

"When I get on the field, that has nothing to do with kicking a man's (butt) in front of you," Anderson told ESPN Radio in Washington.

Anderson was selected right after Cincinnati used the 48th overall pick on controversial Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon.

The Southeastern Conference followed up 12 first-round selections with nine in the second. Florida also had a trio of second-round picks, with safety Marcus Maye going 39th to the New York Jets, cornerback Quincy Wilson 46th to Indianapolis and cornerback Teez Tabor 53rd to Detroit.

Tabor will join Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis, who was the first-round pick of the Lions.

Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham, the first consensus All-American in Commodores history, was taken 57th overall by the Houston Texans. Cunningham became the highest Vandy player picked since receiver Jordan Matthews went 42nd to Philadelphia in 2014.

Robinson will start out at left tackle and will be blocking in Jacksonville for former LSU tailback Leonard Fournette, who went fourth overall Thursday night. Fournette was the state of Louisiana's top recruit in the 2014 signing class, while Robinson was second.

"That's going to be cool," Robinson said. "I've known Leonard for a while."

Also with Jacksonville is former Tide running back T.J. Yeldon, who was a teammate of Robinson in 2014 before becoming a second-round pick of the Jaguars in 2015. Yeldon rushed for 740 yards and 4.1 yards per carry as a rookie but had those totals drop to 465 and 3.6 last season.

Tennessee running back Alvin Kamara became the SEC's first player taken in the third round, going 67th overall to the New Orleans Saints, but Alabama was anything but finished. Outside linebacker Tim Williams went to Baltimore with the 78th pick, amd receiver ArDarius Stewart was right behind, going 79th to the New York Jets.

The nine Tide players selected through three rounds set an SEC standard for a program that has won four national championships in the last eight seasons under coach Nick Saban. Six of their nine picks have been defenders who developed under former Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart.

Smart is now the head coach at Georgia, which has yet to have a player drafted.

Contact David Paschall at or 423-757-6524.