'Bama players go back-to-back-to-back in 1st round

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By JOHN ZENOR, Associated Press

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 with at No. 9, then guard Chance Warmack promptly went to the Tennessee Titans and San Diego picked tackle D.J. Fluker.

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.

The Crimson Tide had four first-rounders each of the previous two years. Tailback Eddie Lacy and defensive lineman Jesse Williams have a chance to at least match that number in this year's draft.

"That's a pretty special thing to happen," Warmack said. "I hope Eddie gets picked pretty soon so we can all start talking about our experiences together."

'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."

Former Tide quarterback Greg McElroy of the Jets posted on Twitter "3 in a row for Bama?!?! I could get used to saying that."

Milliner and Fluker skipped their senior seasons to enter the draft, as did Lacy.

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.

Warmack was known in Tuscaloosa for sporting undersized jerseys leaving his belly bare, a practice which generated a nickname. His Twitter bio credits him as "Inventor of Warmackin."

"It's time to start Warmackin' in Titans Blue," he wrote on Twitter.

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AP Sports Writer Steve Megargee in Nashville, Tenn., contributed to this story.

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