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‘Bama players go back-to-back-to-back in 1st round
Alabama’s dominance once again carried over to the NFL draft.
The two-time defending national champions became the first college team to produce three consecutive first-round picks since the common draft started in 1967 Thursday night. The New York Jets selected cornerback Dee Milliner at No. 9, then guard Chance Warmack promptly went to the Tennessee Titans and San Diego picked tackle D.J. Fluker.
“I believe we just made history,” Fluker said. “It’s exciting.”
The back-to-back-to-back picks from one team had only happened once before, according to STATS, Inc. Southern California’s Stanley Havili, David Ausberry and Malcolm Smith were picked consecutively with seventh-round picks 240-242 in 2011.
“That’s a pretty special thing to happen,” Warmack said.
“Chance would have been a good player anywhere,” Saban said. “There aren’t many guys that are as powerful as he is, and plays with the kind of consistency that he plays with. I kind of knew those two guys were going to be picked right in there, and I was happy it happened that way. It is a great pick for Tennessee.”
`Bama’s tally under coach Nick Saban rose to 13 first-round picks since 2010 and 14 since 2009 after the three-peat of sorts. The program didn’t have a single player picked in the 2008 draft.
With Fluker’s pick, ESPN announcer Chris Berman proclaimed “Welcome Everyone to the Alabama Network.”
“Oh, man, it’s great,” Milliner said. “We needed one more to make it four, but it’s great anytime you have teammates selected that high in the draft, knowing the quality guys that they are.”
The Tide still were sure to fall short of the three-year high-water mark for the opening round. The Miami Hurricanes had 15 players selected in the first-round from 2002-04.
AP Sports Writers Bernie Wilson, Steve Megargee and Dennis Waszak contributed to this story.
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