Saban Owns First Round Draft Record over ALL Coaches, Active and Retired
By: Larry Burton
It’s enough that Saban dominates all active coaches with most all of his records, but to out do every coach in the record back dating back to the beginning, well that’s something else indeed.
With three first round picks yesterday, Nick Saban passed the past leader, Joe Paterno, and now has the all time lead with 34 first round picks. Here’s the list in case you want to see how others rate:
Joe Paterno — 33
Bobby Bowden — 32
Woody Hayes — 27
Mack Bown — 21
Lou Holtz — 20
Tom Osborne — 19
Paul “Bear” Bryant 18
John McKay — 18
Note that no active coach even makes the list.
In Saban’s tenure, he’s had as many as four first round draft choices in a single year multiple times. Plus there’s the total number of Saban’s players that sign NFL contracts, another number he leads among active coaches, and it’s one of the biggest reasons he continues to lead all time past and present coaches with number one recruiting titles.
The subtle message Saban puts out is, you can take a chance on the long and crooked trail of getting to the NFL with another team, of take the super highway on the Alabama team bus to the NFL. There’s a famous portrait that somehow doesn’t go unnoticed by recruits who visit the facilities at Alabama. It shows the Tide lined up for a play and every single player in the photo signed and NFL contract.
As long as things like this continue, the Tide will continue to roll.
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Larry has been published in almost every media outlet for college sports and now primarily writes here for Touchdown Alabama. Follow Larry on Twitter for inside thoughts and game time comments at https://twitter.com/LBSportswriter