When the Dolphins travel to take on the Patriots in Gillette Stadium on Sunday for Week 1 action, the game will feature a matchup between two of the most closely watched young quarterbacks in the National Football League: Tua Tagovailoa of the Miami Hurricanes and Mac Jones of the New England Patriots are both graduates of the University of Alabama.
They are the first quarterbacks to be selected in the first round of consecutive NFL drafts, and they are the Crimson Tide’s first first-round picks since Richard Todd was selected sixth overall in 1976. They mark a historic breakthrough for the Crimson Tide in the NFL. Other than quarterbacks Bart Starr, Joe Namath, and Kenny Stabler, all of whom won the Super Bowl and were inducted into the Hall of Fame, Alabama has had moderate to terrible quarterback play in the NFL.
These quarterbacks include Jeff Rutledge, Mike Shula, Brodie Croyle, and AJ McCarron. It’s not that Tagovailoa and Jones haven’t already dealt with severe criticism at this point in their careers. Tagovailoa’s rookie season, while it was good, was overshadowed by members of his own draft class, Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert.
Herbert, in particular, put together one of the most outstanding rookie campaigns in the history of the NFL. Tagovailoa’s season was also serviceable. Because Ryan Fitzpatrick had a greater understanding of Miami’s playbook, the Dolphins did not aid Tagovailoa’s case when they benched him for games in 2020 in favor of Fitzpatrick.
And the fact that Tagovailoa had no offseason to speak of because of the COVID-19 outbreak, all while he was recuperating from a horrific hip injury, did not help matters at all. MORE NFL DRAFT Coverage: SN’s most recent mock draft for the 2022 NFL Draft | Top 50 big board Jones endured comparable criticism to those of his 2021 NFL Draft contemporaries, including Trevor Lawrence (who was selected first overall), Zach Wilson (who was selected second), Trey Lance (who was selected third), and Justin Fields (who was selected fourth) (No.11).
- Although many observers acknowledged Jones’ intellectual approach, strong pocket presence, and savvy decision making, many of them believed that his athletic ceiling was lower than that of the quarterbacks who were selected ahead of him.
- Many people also questioned if his collegiate success was due to the talent that was available to him (Jones was joined in the first round of the draft by four other offensive players from Alabama: DeVonta Smith, Jaylen Waddle, Najee Harris, and Alex Leatherwood).
In spite of this, Tagovailoa and Jones both find themselves in favorable circumstances heading into 2021: The offensive playbook has been revised by the Dolphins to better fit Tagovailoa’s talents, and the team has provided him with a major increase in the number of skilled-position weapons to work with in Year 2.
- In addition, it appears like Jones will have little trouble adapting to the offensive scheme that Josh McDaniels employs.
- It remains to be seen if they will be able to reverse the tendency of below-average quarterback play in the NFL seen by Alabama quarterbacks.
- Tagovailoa and Jones are the first quarterbacks taken from the Capstone since the Bengals chose McCarron in 2014.
This does not include Jalen Hurts, who completed his collegiate career at Oklahoma. They will be the first players to have considerable playing time since Todd retired from the NFL in 1985 with a career record of 48-59-1 after a 10-year tenure in the league.
|Year||Name||Round (Pick)||Record||Career passing|
|1936||Riley Smith||1 (2)||—||—|
|1945||Jim McWhorter||18 (181)||—||—|
|1948||Harry Gilmer||1 (1)||0-10||3,786 yards, 23 TDs, 45 INTs|
|1956||Bart Starr||17 (200)||94-57-6||24,718 yards, 152 TDs, 138 INTs|
|1962||Pat Trammell||24 (187)*||—||—|
|1965||Joe Namath||1 (1)*||62-63-4||27,663 yards, 173 TDs, 220 INTs|
|1966||Steve Sloan||11 (156)||0-1||134 yards, 0 TDs, 4 INTs|
|1968||Ken Stabler||2 (52)||96-49-1||27,938 yards, 194 TDs, 222 INTs|
|1971||Scott Hunter||6 (140)||21-18-3||4,756 yards, 23 TDs, 38 INTs|
|1976||Richard Todd||1 (6)||48-59-1||20,610 yards, 124 TDs, 161 INTs|
|1979||Jeff Rutledge||9 (246)||2-7-1||3,628 yards, 16 TDs, 29 INTs|
|1987||Mike Shula||12 (313)||0-0||—|
|1995||Jay Barker||5 (160)||0-0||—|
|2006||Brodie Croyle||3 (85)||0-10||1,669 yards, 8 TDs, 9 INTs|
|2011||Greg McElroy||8 (208)||0-1||214 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT|
|2014||AJ McCarron||5 (164)||2-2||1,173 yards, 6 TDS, 3 INTs|
|2020||Tua Tagovailoa||1 (5)||6-3||1,814 yards, 11 TDs, 5 INTs|
|2020||Jalen Hurts||2 (53)||1-3||1,064 yards, 6 TDs, 4 INTs|
|2021||Mac Jones||1 (15)||—||—|
Indicates selection in the AFL draft. MORE on the ascent of Matt Corral and Ohio State’s wide receivers and the fall of Sam Howell following Week 1 There have been a total of 19 quarterbacks from the Crimson Tide drafted into the NFL. Tagovailoa and Jones are included in that number.
- There have only been four quarterbacks to reach the 4,000-yard passing mark: Starr, Stabler, Scott Hunter, and Todd.
- There are just four who have a winning record, and their names are Starr, Stabler, Hunter, and Tagovailoa.
- Tagovailoa was selected fourth overall in this year’s NFL draft, behind quarterbacks McCarron, Greg McElroy, and Brodie Croyle.
None of those three quarterbacks had more than ten career starts at the position. Only McCarron, who has spent his entire career as a backup, has a record of.500 and has scored more touchdowns (six) than he has turned the ball over (three). The two players who were selected before them in the NFL draft, Jay Barker and Mike Shula, combined for 0 starts and zero stats throughout the course of their careers.
- Rutledge, who was selected in the ninth round in 1979, started 10 games during the course of his 13-year career.
- During that time, he threw for 3,628 yards, 16 touchdowns, and 29 interceptions.
- In seven starts, he had a record of 2-7-1, but as a backup quarterback for the Giants and the Redskins, respectively, he won Super Bowls 21 and 26.
With 20,610 passing yards, 124 touchdown passes, and 161 picks, Todd has the highest career completion percentage of any former Alabama quarterback who is now playing in the NFL outside of the Big Three. He started games with the Jets over the course of seven seasons, but ultimately he was not successful as a starter in New York, finishing with a winning record in only three of those seasons.
- He concluded his career in New Orleans, where in his one and only season as a starter for the team they posted a record of 6-8.
- It just so happened that he took over for Joe Namath and Ken Stabler with the New York Jets and the New Orleans Saints, respectively.
- Hunter similarly failed to replace Starr when the Packers took him in the sixth round of the 1971 NFL Draft.
Despite the fact that he was the one who led the team to its most recent division championship before Brett Favre took over, he was unable to be the game-changer that Starr was for Green Bay. MORE: Justin Fields is among the most precarious selections in the NFL Draft of 2021 The quarterbacks that came before Tagovailoa and Jones all had one thing in common, and that is the following: They operated their offenses with a focus on the running game rather than the passing game.
- But the quarterbacks who will start for Alabama on Sunday are the first to be selected in the draft by the Crimson Tide since head coach Nick Saban altered the offensive philosophy of the Crimson Tide to be more open, more up-tempo, and higher-scoring.
- They have been the most successful caretakers of that system at Alabama to this day, which has earned them a number of records and awards.
Tagovailoa finished his career at Alabama with a completion % of 69.3, threw for 7,442 yards, and 87 touchdowns while only committing 11 interceptions. He also holds the record for the highest career efficiency rating in NCAA history, which is 199.4. Jones’ career statistics aren’t anything like as impressive as Tagovailoa’s, but his 2020 season, the only one in which he played a starting role, is not just among the finest in Alabama history, but also in the annals of college football.
- He had a completion percentage of 77.4 percent, throwing for 4,500 yards and 41 touchdowns while only throwing four interceptions, resulting in a passer rating of 203.1.
- Will they be able to replicate their success from college in the NFL? The only way to know is to wait.
- However, it is quite evident that Tagovailoa and Jones have better passing success prospects than any of their predecessors had.
Therefore, it is only appropriate that the next generation of Alabama quarterbacks to play in the NFL will begin the 2021 season playing against one other.
How many NFL players has Alabama produced?
USA TODAY Sports’ Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Alabama Football continues to lead the pack when it comes to producing NFL players, despite the fact that the Georgia Bulldogs have 15 picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. Even if all 15 Georgia players who were picked end up making it onto NFL squads in the fall of 2019, the odds are that the Alabama Crimson Tide will once again be the top program for producing NFL players.
- Eighty former Alabama Crimson Tide football players were currently playing in the National Football League (NFL) when the 2021 NFL preseason began.
- On the first day of the season in 2021, there were a total of 53 Tide players on active rosters.
- This figure was the highest of any institution, with LSU being the next closest SEC school and Georgia being a significant distance behind.
The number of former Alabama football players currently affiliated with NFL teams will increase to 74 after the 2022 NFL Draft. When the existing free agents sign new contracts, the total will either reach the 80 figure from the previous year or go very close to it.
- At the very least, it is anticipated that Julio Jones, Landon Collins, AJ McCarron, and Reggie Ragland would sign with new clubs or receive new contracts.
- There is a possibility that James Carpenter will play in the NFL for an 11th season.
- If Dont’a Hightower does not make the decision to hang up his cleats, the New England Patriots will have him for at least one more season.
Perhaps Ohio State, LSU, Georgia, or Notre Dame will someday be able to catch up to the Crimson Tide in terms of the number of NFL players they produce. There is no chance of that happening in the 2022 season.
How many former Alabama football players have played in the NFL?
In the 1965 American Football League draft, Joe Namath was the first player selected overall. Since the National Football League (NFL) drafts were first held in 1936, the University of Alabama Crimson Tide football team has had 379 players drafted into the NFL.
This is the most of any college football team. This covers players who were selected in the first round as well as the overall number one pick, which has been held by Harry Gilmer in the 1948 NFL draft and Joe Namath in the 1965 AFL draft respectively. There have been a total of 128 players from Alabama’s football team named to the Pro Bowl, 44 of Alabama’s former players have been selected to play in the Pro Bowl, 37 of Alabama’s former players have won a Super Bowl with their respective teams, and eight Alabama players have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Through the annual NFL draft, each NFL organization has the opportunity to acquire new players.2009 was the year that saw the most recent revision of the draft regulations. The team that had the poorest record from the previous year gets the first choice, followed by the club that had the second-worst record, and so on.
The regular-season records of the teams that were eliminated from postseason contention are ranked, and any remaining ties are broken using the teams’ opponents’ strength of schedule. Participants in the playoffs are placed in the correct order following non-playoff teams, in accordance with the round in which they were eliminated (wild card, division, conference, and Super Bowl ).
Before the merger agreements were reached in 1966, the American Football League (AFL) worked in direct rivalry with the National Football League (NFL) and conducted a separate draft. This resulted in a fierce competition for elite prospects between the two leagues’ respective front offices.
Who was the last Alabama quarterback drafted in the NFL Draft?
Richard Todd, number 4, as seen on NFL.com Richard Todd, who played for coach Bear Bryant and led Alabama to three consecutive SEC Championships, three consecutive 11-1 seasons, and three consecutive losses in the Sugar Bowl, including two in a row to Notre Dame, was another player who started for the Crimson Tide for three consecutive seasons.
Todd played for the Crimson Tide for three years. While Todd was the starting quarterback for Alabama, the Crimson Tide won every single SEC game they played in and never finished lower than fifth place. Despite the fact that they came out on the losing end of their bowl game, they were still named number one in the final coach’s poll in 1973.
When the New York Jets selected Todd as the sixth overall choice in the NFL Draft in 1976, he was the last quarterback from the University of Alabama to be drafted in the first round of the draft. He took over for Joe Namath, a former renowned quarterback for the Alabama Crimson Tide who had a relatively remarkable career with the New York Jets.
Who is the starting quarterback for the Alabama Crimson Tide?
Since the Crimson Tide’s inaugural season in the Southeastern Conference in 1933 through the current day, the following players have rotated through the position of starting quarterback for Alabama.
|Bryce Young||2021||As a sophomore in 2021, led the Tide to the SEC championship and a Cotton Bowl victory. Young became the first Alabama quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy,|
|Mac Jones||2019 – 2020||Mac Jones became the starting quarterback the week after Tua Tagovailoa suffered a season-ending injury against Southeastern Conference rival Mississippi State on November 16, 2019. Jones led Alabama to win the College Football National Championship in 2020. Jones broke Alabama’s single-season passing yards record (4,514) and broke the FBS single-season record for completion percentage (77.4%).|
|Tua Tagovailoa||2018 – 2019||Tua Tagovailoa won critical acclaim for his 2nd half performance in the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship where he led Alabama to a come-from-behind overtime win against the Georgia Bulldogs, Tagovailoa won the starting job in the 2018 off-season and started his first game on September 1 against the Louisville Cardinals|
|Jalen Hurts||2016 – 2017||Hurts was the first freshman to start at QB for Nick Saban. He led Alabama to the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship game, which Alabama lost to Clemson, 35–31. In the 2017 season, he led Alabama to the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship, where he was replaced during the game by Tua Tagovailoa.|
|Blake Barnett||2016||Barnett started the first game of the 2016 season against USC. He was replaced by Jalen Hurts, who became the starting quarterback. After limited playing time in the next few games, Barnett chose to quit the program and transfer to a junior college, and then to Arizona State where he was the backup QB behind Manny Wilkins, He was then the starting QB for the University of South Florida Bulls.|
|Cooper Bateman||2015||Bateman made his first career start at quarterback September 19, 2015|
|Jake Coker||2015||Coker led Alabama to the 2016 national championship, where they defeated Clemson, 45–40.|
|Blake Sims||2014||Sims was named starting quarterback just prior to their season opener against West Virginia after he won a prolonged competition against Jake Coker, Against Florida, Sims set a school record for total offense in a single game with his 484 yards that included 39 total yards rushing. Sims threw for 3,487 yards (a single season record) with 28 touchdowns. He also added 7 rushing touchdowns and 350 yards on the ground. He led the Tide to win the 2014 SEC Championship, in which he was the game’s MVP.|
|A.J. McCarron||2011 – 2013||McCarron led the Crimson Tide to the 2011 and 2012 national championships and graduated as Alabama’s career leader in passing yardage (9,019), completions (686) and touchdowns (77). He also holds the record for passing touchdowns (30) in a single season. He finished runner-up for the Heisman Trophy in the 2013 season. He was drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2014 NFL Draft,|
|Greg McElroy||2009 – 2010||McElroy led the Crimson Tide to the 2009 national championship and was named ESPN Academic All-American of the Year for the 2010 season. He was drafted by the New York Jets in the 2011 NFL Draft,|
|John Parker Wilson||2006 – 2008||Wilson graduated as the all-time leader in several categories that have since been eclipsed. He still holds the record for completions in a single-season (255). He went undrafted but played in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars and Pittsburgh Steelers,|
|Brodie Croyle||2002 – 2005||Croyle graduated as the all-time leader in several categories that have since been eclipsed. He was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2006 NFL Draft,|
|Mark Guillon||2004||Guillon started a pair of games during the 2004 season after Brodie Croyle had a season-ending injury. He subsequently left the program in October 2006.|
|Spencer Pennington||2003 – 2004||He made his first career start October 4, 2003. Pennington started the final seven games of the 2004 season after injuries to both Brodie Croyle and Mark Guillon. He left the program in January 2005 to focus only on his baseball career with the Crimson Tide.|
|Brandon Avalos||2003||Avalos started against Southern Miss during the 2003 season due to injuries to both Brodie Croyle and Spencer Pennington. He left the program in January 2004.|
|Tyler Watts||1999 – 2002|
|Andrew Zow||1998 – 2001||Led Alabama to a SEC Championship in 1999 and finished his career as the all time passing yards leader (now 4th).|
|John David Phillips||1998||As a fifth year senior, Phillips started the first four games of the season before being replaced by Andrew Zow for the year.|
|Freddie Kitchens||1995 – 1997|
|Brian Burgdorf||1993, 1995|
|Jay Barker||1991 – 1994||All-SEC. Barker led Alabama the 1992 national championship. He was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fifth round of the 1995 NFL draft,|
|Gary Hollingsworth||1989 – 1990|
|David Smith||1987 – 1988|
|Jeff Dunn||1987 – 1989|
|Vince Sutton||1987 – 1988, 1984|
|Mike Shula||1984 – 1986|
|Walter Lewis||1981 – 1983||Lewis was the first black quarterback to start for the Crimson Tide and led Alabama during the final three seasons of the Bryant era.|
|Steadman S. Shealy||1979||All-SEC. Shealy led the Crimson Tide to an undefeated season and the 1979 national championship.|
|Jeff Rutledge||1976 – 1978|
|Richard Todd||1974 – 1975||Todd was drafted by the New York Jets in the first round of the 1976 NFL draft,|
|Gary Rutledge||1973||Rutledge was the first of two brothers to lead a national championship team. He led Alabama to the 1973 national championship and his brother Jeff Rutledge led Alabama to the 1978 national championship.|
|Terry Davis||1971 – 1972|
|Scott Hunter||1968 – 1970|
|Ken Stabler||1966 – 1967||All-SEC. Super Bowl XI Champion. Pro Football Hall of Fame,|
|Steve Sloan||1962 – 1965|
|Joe Namath||1962 – 1964||All-SEC. Pro Football Hall of Fame, Super Bowl III Champion.|
|Pat Trammell||1959 – 1961|
|Bobby Smith||1956 – 1957|
|Bart Starr||1953 – 1955||Pro Football Hall of Fame, NFL 1960s All-Decade Team, Two-time Super Bowl Champion and MVP (Most Valuable Player). At Alabama, he also played punter,|
|Clell Hobson||1951 – 1952|
|Ed Salem||1948 – 1950|
|Butch Avinger||1949 – 1950|
|Hal Self||1945 – 1946|
|Harry Gilmer||1944 – 1947||All-SEC|
|Jim McWhorter||1941 – 1942||1941 team won Cotton Bowl and national championship.1942 team won Orange Bowl. Drafted by Detroit Lions after WWII service.|
|Chuck DeShane||1939 – 1940|
|Hal Hughes||1937 – 1938|
|Vic Bradford||1936 – 1938||Outfielder in Major League Baseball.|
|Riley Smith||1934 – 1935||All-SEC|
|Tilden Campbell||1932 – 1934|