NFL draft betting: Will Alabama really have 6 players go in the first round?

Frank Schwab
·3 min read

Alabama recruits better than anyone else in college football, so it is little surprise that the Crimson Tide dominates the first round of the NFL draft. 

This year, Alabama has its typical group of college stars ready to be drafted high. Quarterback Mac Jones could go as high as third overall. Receivers DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle could both go in the first half of the first round. Cornerback Patrick Surtain II could be the first defensive player selected. 

That's four. What BetMGM asks with its draft prop is, can Alabama get six players in the first round? That's a tougher question to answer. 

Odds on how many Alabama players go in the first round

BetMGM offered an Alabama-specific prop: Will more than 5.5 Crimson Tide players be drafted in the first round? The over is the clear favorite at -165 odds. The under is +130. 

Given that four Alabama players are virtual locks to go in the first round, that means two of the other 28 picks have to be Alabama players for the over to cash. That probably won't be decided until the final few picks of the first round. 

The biggest name among the other possible first-round players from the Crimson Tide might be running back Najee Harris. He's the favorite to be the first running back drafted. That doesn't mean he'll go in the first round, however. 

Christian Barmore stands out in a weak defensive tackle class, and a team that's needy at tackle could push him into the first round. Center Landon Dickerson and offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood are possibilities too. 

That's eight candidates for the first round. Will six of them make it in? 

Wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) is one of the players from Alabama expected to be drafted in the first round. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
Wide receiver DeVonta Smith (6) is one of the players from Alabama expected to be drafted in the first round. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

How many Alabama players will go in the first round? 

Here's Yahoo Sports NFL draft expert Eric Edholm on the Alabama over/under prop: 

Edholm: "So we have four mortal locks — Mac, Waddle, Smith and Surtain. All four are expected to go in the first half of Round 1. Christian Barmore likely makes it in. We've only had one year (2017) since 1999 with zero DTs in Round 1. So that's five ... and then you just need one of Dickerson/Harris/Leatherwood to slip in the top 32. I think it happens. Dickerson's medicals are worrisome, so he might be the trickiest call, even if talent-wise he belongs in Round 1. Seven Bama players easily could make the first round. I'd absolutely side with the over here."

The key could be Harris, and whether he'll be the first running back selected, and if that happens in the first round might determine if the Alabama over/under hits. Even if Barmore gets in, one other Tide player has to sneak in. 

It's always possible that teams lean on Alabama's pipeline of talent to break a tiebreaker late in the first round. It's not like we'd be having this type of discussion with any other school.

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