10 best University of Alabama alumni in NFL history

MIAMI – JANUARY 12: Quarterback Joe Namath #12 of the New York Jets calls the signals at the line of scrimmage during Super Bowl III on January 12, 1969 against the Baltimore Colts at the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Kidwiler Collection/Diamond Images/Getty Images)

As of late, the University of Alabama has been the premier college football program. The school has a great history when it comes to pro football.

The last time we saw one school dominate an NFL draft over a sustained period of time was nearly 20 years ago. The Miami Hurricanes had a total of 19 players selected in the first round in a total of six years from 1999-2004.

From 2001-08, the school had zero players selected in the first round. Dating back to 2009, the Alabama Crimson Tide has seen 41 of its players turn into first-round draft picks.

There is the modern-day impact of the Tide. Current stars such as C.J. Mosley, Amari Cooper, Jonathan Allen, Marlon Humphrey, DeVonta Smith and Jalen Hurts (who are not in this piece), who knows what this Top 10 could look like down the road. Former NFL standouts Cornelius Bennett and Chris Samuels fell just short.

In terms of history, the school has numerous legendary figures that date back to the early days of both the NFL and AFL. This prestigious list (from No. 10 to No. 1) starts with a “guaranteed” larger-than-life figure.

Here are the greatest University of Alabama alumni in NFL history:

10. Joe Namath

There are those who say he doesn’t really alone in the Pro Football Hall of Fame because they look at his career statistics. That’s a discussion for another day. But there’s little doubt the impact that quarterback Joe Namath made in professional football. And it was far more than just “guaranteeing” a win over the heavily-favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.

He was the first quarterback to throw for at least 4,000 yards and that came in 1967 (4,007), the year before the team won the Super Bowl. Three times he led pro football in passing yards, but it’s also worth noting that he paced football in interceptions four times.

He possessed one of the strongest arms in the game, but the same could not be said about his knees. He also played his entire career during an era where the rules were not kind to pass-catchers.

Who knows how football history would have changed if Namath had signed with the NFL’s St. Louis Cardinals, who like the Jets made him a first-round pick in 1965?

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