When 2021’s NFL draft came to a close, two Alabama players, three LSU players, and four Clemson players were selected in the first round. While coaches and scouts are still debating whether the draft was a success, it certainly was for fans of these five college teams. The most controversial pick of the draft was former Alabama defensive end Rob Housler, who was taken number one overall by the Cincinnati Bengals. Housler was a three-time All-American at Alabama and played a key role in the team’s last two national championships, but many considered him a one-trick pony because he lacks the size to play outside linebacker in the NFL. Housler’s agent said that his client plans to be in the best shape of
Now that the 2017 NFL draft is over, it’s time to look ahead to 2021. It’s a long way off, but that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from churning out predictions for the top 10 picks. A new mock draft from Sports Illustrated has Clemson’s Deshaun Watson, Alabama’s Eddie Jackson and LSU’s Leonard Fournette all going in the Top 10. (The website predicts LSU’s Derrius Guice will be the first pick overall.)
29. April 2021.
Tori Barron Publisher
Tori Barron is a Bristol-based writer and editor for ESPN.com. After finishing her lacrosse career at UConn, the Washington native decided to start writing about the people involved in the sport.
Yes, it’s great for the Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins, Denver Broncos and Philadelphia Eagles to bolster their respective offenses (and defenses) with elite talent, but for fans of the LSU Tigers and Alabama Crimson Tide, the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft was all about running backs.
Four players from the absurdly difficult 2019 Alabama-LSU game were selected in the top 10. All three wide receivers were reunited with their college quarterbacks, and the cornerback was reunited with a receiver he probably knew well from his workouts in Tuscaloosa.
Later in the first round, RB Travis Etienne joined his Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence in Jacksonville.
Tigers player Ja’Marr Chase was the first LSU-Alabama player selected. When the Bengals selected the receiver fifth, his former QB1 Joe Barrow was elated, as this tweet shows:
– Joey Barrow (@JoeyB) April 30, 2021
According to Bengals reporter Ben Baby, Barrow texted Chase on Thursday morning to tell him to pack his bags.
Tide superstar Jalen Waddle was picked next at number 6. The Dolphins shared QB Tua Tagovailoa’s candid response to the revelation that he would be getting a much-needed playmaker in the form of a known target:
@Tua’s reaction to our choice @D1__JW pic.twitter.com/PMadzVTrAq
– Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) April 30, 2021
The tide train kept moving. Former Alabama quarterback Patrick Surtain II was picked ninth by the Broncos, who selected former Crimson Tide star quarterback Jerry Jody in the first round of the 2020 draft. Jody was understandably encouraged by the news that PSII would be joining him at Mile High:
Bama/Broward brudda @PatSurtainll
– Jerry Jeudy⁴ (@jerryjeudy) April 30, 2021.
Then, in an unexpected twist, the Eagles took Heisman DeVonte Smith and paired him with none other than Jalen Harts. In case you don’t remember exactly, let me remind you that Harts spent most of his college career in Tuscaloosa before transferring to the Oklahoma Sooners.
Run it back, my boy! You earned it brother, congratulations!!! Let’s get down to business ‼️@DeVontaSmith_6
– Jalen Hurts (@JalenHurts) April 30, 2021
Jacksonville selected Etienne at No. 25, guaranteeing the former Clemson RB will continue to play with Lawrence, his college QB whom the Jags selected first.
@swaggy_t1 me and my boyfriend are ready to go to work. This is awesome – #DUUVAL let’s do it, it’s time! pic.twitter.com/C9tqAaq94S
– Trevor Lawrence (@Trevorlawrencee) April 30, 2021
I dare say reunited, and it feels so good.
It’s also worth noting how ridiculous our expectations were: no one could compete with Alabama’s 2020 team with that much talent, or LSU’s 2019 superteam that also has Justin Jefferson. Trouble with the champagne.
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