CHICAGO – Six University of Alabama players were selected in the second and third rounds of the 2016 National Football League Draft Friday evening at the Auditorium Theater.
The Buffalo Bills traded up from 49 to select Crimson Tide linebacker Reggie Ragland with the 10th pick (41st overall) of the second round. Four picks later the Tennessee Titans took Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry with the 45th pick. The Detroit Lions immediately followed by taking defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson with the 46th pick. The Seattle Seahawks traded up to the 49th pick to select Jarran Reed and close out a run of four Crimson Tide players selected in a span of eight picks.
Cornerback Cyrus Jones was the final Alabama player chosen in the second round at No. 29 (60th overall) by the New England Patriots. Running back Kenyan Drake was taken with the 10th pick of the third round (No. 73 overall) by the Miami Dolphins. The five second round selections up the number of Alabama players selected in the first or second round of the NFL Draft to 30 since the 2009 Draft. The Crimson Tide has seen 18 players go in the first round and 12 in the second round during that period of time.
The heartbeat of the Crimson Tide’s powerful defense, Ragland was a unanimous first team All-American in 2015 and was named to the All-SEC first team by both the conference coaches and the Associated Press. The Madison, Ala., native was also named the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a senior. Ragland finished his career with 222 tackles and 17.5 tackles for loss.
Henry joined former Tide running back Mark Ingram as Alabama’s second Heisman Trophy winner last season after setting the school and SEC single-season rushing record with 2,219 yards. The total led the nation and is the fifth-best one season total in FBS history. The Yulee, Fla., native also shattered the SEC single-season rushing touchdown mark with an FBS-leading 28 scores.
A force along the Alabama defensive front, Robinson was a consensus All-American and a finalist for the Outland Trophy and Bednarik Award in 2015. Thirty-eight of his 46 tackles came on runs with 7.5 for a loss, while adding 10 quarterback hurries, two pass breakups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
The backbone of the Crimson Tide’s run-stuffing defensive front, Reed was a second team All-SEC honoree in 2015. He made 28 career starts in Tuscaloosa, including all 15 games in 2015. The Goldsboro, N.C., native was fourth on the team in tackles last season with 57 total along with 4.5 tackles for a loss, one sack, two pass breakups, eight quarterback hurries and one fumble recovery.
Jones developed into one of the nation’s top punt returners in 2015 while continuing his consistent play as one of college football’s top corners. The Baltimore native had two interceptions and eight pass breakups on the season to go with 37 tackles and four tackles for loss. Jones returned 42 punts for a total of 530 yards for an average of 12.6 yards per return. His four punt returns for touchdowns in 2015 is the Alabama all-time single-season mark and was tops in the nation last season.
Drake was an explosive option at running back who gave the Crimson Tide a variety of options in both the running and passing game. He rushed for 408 yards on 77 carries for a 5.3 yards per carry average while catching 29 passes for 276 yards and a touchdown.
Rounds 4-7 will take place Saturday afternoon from the Auditorium Theater in Chicago to conclude the 2016 NFL Draft.