Alabama has four of top 15 NFL draft picks for second straight year

AP photo by Tony Dejak/ Former University of Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II greets fans in Cleveland on Thursday night after he was chosen by the Denver Broncos with the ninth pick of the NFL draft.

Another opening night of the National Football League draft.

Another four-hour University of Alabama infomercial.

The Crimson Tide entered Thursday evening's Cleveland-hosted extravaganza having dominated this event in the Nick Saban era with a whopping 33 first-round selections, including four first-round picks on five occasions. Alabama had never, however, produced three top-10 selections in a single draft until receiver Jaylen Waddle went sixth to the Miami Dolphins, cornerback Patrick Surtain II went ninth to the Denver Broncos and receiver DeVonta Smith went 10th to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Philadelphia traded up two spots with the Dallas Cowboys to take Smith, the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner who became the fourth Tide receiver in two years to get selected among the top 15 picks. The Las Vegas Raiders took Henry Ruggs with the 12th pick in last year's draft, with the Broncos using the 15th selection to snag Jerry Jeudy.

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