It was yet another big NFL draft for Nick Saban and the Alabama football program.
The 2021 NFL Draft came and went with a total of 10 Alabama products hearing their name called, tied for the most with Ohio State. A record-tying six of those 10 Crimson Tide selections came in the first round, with wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, cornerback Patrick Surtain II, wideout DeVonta Smith, quarterback Mac Jones, offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood and running back Najee Harris all coming off the board in the first 24 picks.
It marked the third time in the last four years that Alabama either had or was tied for the most total draft picks and the fourth time in the last five years that at least 10 ’Bama players were selected.
Alabama has certainly dominated the draft as of late, but here’s a look at the schools that the San Francisco 49ers have poached from most.
Which colleges have the 49ers drafted from most?
USC (28), Notre Dame (22), Florida (21), Stanford (19), Oregon (19)
Looking at the 49ers’ all-time draft picks, the organization tends to stay within the state when selecting new talent. USC is the most popular school, but Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott is the player to make multiple Pro Bowls.
Notre Dame, which is second behind USC, has sent far more successful players to the Bay Area. Joe Montana, Ricky Watters, Bob Toneff and Bryant Young all saw high levels of NFL success. The 49ers’ 2021 second-round pick Aaron Banks hopes to join those four as a multi-time Pro Bowler. Florida is just behind Notre Dame with 21 players, including 2018 draft pick and current 49er safety Marcell Harris.
Stanford and Oregon round out the top five schools for San Francisco at 19 players. Three Cardinal have been added to the list in the past five years with Kaden Smith (2019), Solomon Thomas (2018) and Joshua Garnett (2016). Before 2021, the 49ers hadn’t selected a Duck since DeForest Buckner in 2016. That all changed at the 2021 NFL Draft when they added Oregon CB Deommodore Lenoir in the fifth round.
Which colleges have produced the most 49ers first-round picks?
Stanford (5), UCLA (5), Notre Dame (4), Ohio State (4), North Carolina (3)
The 49ers traditionally don’t venture far from home for their first-round picks, either. Stanford and UCLA are atop at list with five selections each. San Francisco took Stanford players in back-to-back first rounds in 2016 and 2017 with Solomon Thomas and Joshua Garnett, respectively. Their most successful Stanford first-rounders came much earlier, though, in the form of Gene Washington (1969) and John Brodie (1957). The 49ers haven’t selected a UCLA product in the first round since J.J. Stokes in 1995.
Just behind the pair of California schools is Notre Dame, Ohio State and North Carolina. Mike McGlinchy (Notre Dame) and Nick Bosa (Ohio State) are the most recent first-rounders from these schools. San Francisco hasn’t gone to North Carolina for its first pick since Kentwan Balmer in 2008.
Eric Mullin, Logan Reardon and Gaia De Simoni contributed to this story.