Bama in the NFL: 40 players find themselves on active rosters

Alabama-NFL

Heading into the 2015 NFL season, which starts this Thursday night, 25 of the League’s 32 teams have active players from the University of Alabama who’ve earned spots on active rosters. With 40 players, the Tide is second only to Florida State and LSU (each with 41) for the most in the NFL. Counting former Tider Jesse Williams, who remains on reserve with the Seattle Seahawks, Bama would have 41.

How many of the 40 have Nick Saban to thank for their pro careers? All but two of the active players have been placed in the Nick Saban era at Alabama. Only Roman Harper and Evan Mathis, each with 10 years experience in the NFL, exceed Saban’s 9 seasons at Alabama.

Which position has Alabama fed to the NFL the most? Not surprisingly, the Tide has more defensive players in the league than offensive…but only by a couple. Here is the breakdown by position:

Offense
8 – OL
5 – WR
4 – RB
1 – QB
1 – TE
19 – total

Defense
8 – DB
6 – LB
4 – DT
3 – DE
21 – total

18 of these current 40 players were selected in the first round of their respective NFL draft years. These selections are denoted below by a (-1) after their listing. A 19th first rounder is currently out of the league (Trent Richardson). All but one of these 18 were underclassmen when they declared for the draft…another fact that sheds light on just what Nick Saban is doing at Alabama in this incredible run.

How does Bama currently fare against other SEC schools? Bama has become a factory for NFL talent, with only two schools with more players on active rosters than the Tide. Here’s how the SEC breaks down in 2015:

LSU – 41
Alabama – 40
Florida – 39
Georgia – 37
Auburn – 31
South Carolina – 27
Tennessee – 26
Texas A&M – 24
Missouri – 23
Mississippi State – 19
Arkansas – 16
Ole Miss – 16
Kentucky – 14
Vanderbilt – 9

Looking at the numbers, it really makes you wonder how Mark Richt has kept his job this long. Has anybody done less with more than that guy?

Looking for a team to pull for? Then naturally who has the most Bama players? That’d be Cincinatti, with four. But be careful…the Bengals also have 2 players from Auburn as well.

Looking for a team to hate? That’s tricky too. You have to find a team with no Bama players with a max number of former Auburn and Tennessee players. So that’s Pittsburgh, right, with three from the Vols and Tigers and no active players from the Tide? But wait, there’s Barrett Jones, who replaced the cut Reese Dismukes on the practice squad over the weekend. While it’s just the practice squad, it is Barrett Jones.

That team would actually be Kansas City, with no Tiders and 5 players from the dark side.

Here are the former Tide players to root for in 2015:

Arizona Cardinals
Rashad Johnson (Free Safety)
Ed Stinson (Defensive End)

Atlanta Falcons
Julio Jones (Wide Receiver) – 1

Baltimore Ravens
C.J. Mosley (Linebacker) – 1
Courtney Upshaw (Linebacker)

Buffalo Bills
Marcell Dareus (Defensive Tackle) – 1
Cyrus Kouandjio (Offensive Tackle) – 1

Carolina Panthers
Roman Harper (Strong Safety)
Kevin Norwood (Wide Receiver)

Cincinatti Bengals
Wallace Gilberry (Defensive End)
Dre Kirkpatrick (Cornerback) – 1
AJ McCarron (Quarterback)
Andre Smith (Offensive Tackle) – 1

Dallas Cowboys
Rolando McClain (Linebacker) – 1

Denver Broncos
Evan Mathis (Guard)

Detroit Lionss
Jerrell Harris (Linebacker)

Green Bay Packers
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (Free Safety) – 1
Eddie Lacy (Running Back)

Houston Texans
Kareem Jackson (Cornerback) – 1
Jeoffrey Pagan (Defensive End)

Jacksonville Jaguars
Carson Tinker (Center/Snapper)
T.J. Yeldon (Running Back)

Miami Dolphins
Christion Jones (Wide Receiver)

Minnesota Vikings
Austin Shepherd (Offensive Guard)

New England Patriots
Dont’a Hightower (Linebacker) – 1
Michael Williams (Tight End)

New Orleans Saints
Mark Ingram (Running Back) – 1
Vinnie Sunseri (Safety)

New York Jets
James Carpenter (Offensive Guard) – 1
Dee Milliner (Cornerback) – 1

New York Giants
Landon Collins (Safety) – 1

Oakland Raiders
Amari Cooper (Wide Receiver) – 1

Philadelphia Eagles
DeMeco Ryans (Linebacker)

St. Louis Rams
Mark Barron (Strong Safety) – 1

San Diego Chargers
D.J. Fluker (Offensive Tackle) – 1

San Francisco 49ers
Quinton Dial (Defensive Tackle)
DeAndrew White (Wide Receiver)

Tennessee Titans
Jalston Fowler (Fullback)
Chance Warmack (Offensive Guard) – 1

Washington Redskins
Arie Kouandjio (Offensive Guard)

Bama players making practice squads
Xzavier Dickson (New England)
Barrett Jones (Pittsburgh)
Damion Square (San Diego)

Absent from this list, of course, is former running back Trent Richardson, cut from the Raiders in fall camp. While his career hasn’t been what some had expected, possibly he could look to current Dallas linebacker Rolando McClain for inspiration, who was also cut by the Raiders after a career lull, only to find himself and re-appear in the league.

Also absent is former Tide DB Javier Arenas, who spent five seasons in the NFL with Kansas City, Arizona and Atlanta. Arenas is currently an unrestricted free agent, and could still show up on a roster at some point this fall.