There was a time, not too long ago, when NFL drafts were seemingly overrun with Texas Longhorns, Miami Hurricanes and USC Trojans. But with the Alabama Crimson Tide firmly supplanted at the top of the college football food chain, it should come as no surprise there are more former Crimson Tide players in the NFL than any other college.
Alabama’s stranglehold on the NFL will be on display at FedEx Field when the Redskins (5-3) host the Falcons (3-4) for Week 9.
In each of the last two drafts, the Redskins spent their first round pick on an Alabama defensive lineman, drafting Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne in 2017 and 2018, respectively. The two former Crimson Tide lineman have had tremendous starts to their respective careers, as they have been key pieces in transitioning a Redskins defense that finished 32nd in the league against the run last year to currently the second best run-defense in the league.
The Redskins added another former Alabama stud minutes before Tuesday’s trade dealine, when they traded for Green Bay Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. The safety starred for the Crimson Tide from 2011-2013, where he was a two-year starter, two-time BCS national champion and a consensus All-American in 2013.
The fifth-year veteran was a first-round pick in 2014, a Pro Bowler and second-team All-Pro in 2016 while in Green Bay. Although he just arrived in Washington, he is expected to be active on Sunday.
The Alabama-to-Washington pipeline doesn’t just stop with those three players. The Redskins currently roster two additional former Alabama players: linebackers Ryan Anderson and Shaun Dion Hamilton. Former Crimson Tide offensive lineman Arie Kouandijo and wide receiver Cam Sims are both on injured reserve for Washington.
In fact, the Redskins have more former Alabama players on their roster (7) than any other team in the NFL in 2018. Both the Jaguars and Ravens have five former Crimson Tide players each.
While the Falcons do not have nearly as many former Crimson Tide on their roster as the Redskins, two of Atlanta’s most important players are Alabama products: wide receivers Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley.
The tandem have combined for 1,204 receiving yards thus far in 2018, which represents over 50 percent of the Falcons aerial attack. Jones’ 812 receiving yards ranks second in the NFL, while Ridley ranks fourth in the league for touchdown receptions with six.
While Jones never shared the field at Alabama with any other Crimson Tide alumni playing in Sunday’s game, Ridley is very familiar with the former Alabama players on Washington.
During his three years in Tuscaloosa, the rookie wide receiver was teammates at one point with every former Alabama player on Washington besides Clinton-Dix.
When Redskins-Falcons concludes on Sunday afternoon, it is quite possible that seven (!!) former Alabama players impacted the game.
MORE REDSKINS NEWS: