List of UAB Blazers players in the NFL Draft

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Roddy White was selected by the Atlanta Falcons in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft.

The UAB Blazers football team, representing the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has had 12 American football players drafted into the National Football League (NFL) since the university began its football program in 1991.[1] This includes two players taken in the first round, of which the highest pick was Bryan Thomas at 22nd overall in 2002. No team has drafted more than one player from UAB.[2] Only one former Blazer, Roddy White, has been selected for a Pro Bowl; White participated in four consecutive games.[3] Following the end of the 2014 season, UAB's football program was officially cancelled due to low attendance and funding problems. After much debate, UAB president Ray L. Watts announced the program would return after a two-year hiatus, in 2017.[4][5]

Each NFL franchise seeks to add new players through the annual NFL Draft. The draft rules were last updated in 2009. The team with the worst record the previous year picks first, the next-worst team second, and so on. Teams that did not make the playoffs are ordered by their regular-season record with any remaining ties broken by strength of schedule. Playoff participants are sequenced after non-playoff teams, based on their round of elimination (wild card, division, conference, and Super Bowl).[6]

Seven of UAB's twelve draft picks were taken in the sixth round, and only four were selected in the first three. The highest number of UAB players taken in a single round is two. This occurred on three different years:[2] 1998, with Dainon Sidney and Izell Reese,[7][8] 2002, with Bryan Thomas and Eddie Freeman,[9][10] and 2015, with J. J. Nelson and Kennard Backman.[11][12] In addition, UAB has had two players selected in compensatory picks, which are additional selections awarded to teams who have lost key players. Izell Reese and Kennard Backman are the two players.[1]


B Back[A 1] K Kicker NT Nose tackle
C Center LB Linebacker FB Fullback
DB Defensive back P Punter HB Halfback
DE Defensive end QB Quarterback WR Wide receiver
DT Defensive tackle RB Running back G Guard
E End T Offensive tackle TE Tight end
* Selected to a Pro Bowl
Won a Super Bowl championship
Selected to a Pro Bowl and won a Super Bowl


UAB Blazers selected in the NFL Drafts
Year Round Pick Overall Name Position Team Notes
1998 3 16 77 Sidney, DainonDainon Sidney DB Tennessee Oilers
6 35 188 Reese, IzellIzell Reese DB Dallas Cowboys
1999 7 45 251 Davis, PernellPernell Davis DT Philadelphia Eagles
2000 7 32 238 Brooks, RodregisRodregis Brooks DB Indianapolis Colts
2001 6 24 187 Leverette, OtisOtis Leverette DE Miami Dolphins
2002 1 22 22 Thomas, BryanBryan Thomas DE New York Jets
2 11 43 Freeman, EddieEddie Freeman DT Kansas City Chiefs
2005 1 27 27 White, RoddyRoddy White* WR Atlanta Falcons Pro Bowl (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011)[3]
2010 6 30 199 Webb, JoeJoe Webb QB Minnesota Vikings
2012 6 32 201 McCants, MattMatt McCants T New York Giants
2015 5 23 159 Nelson, J. J.J. J. Nelson WR Arizona Cardinals
6 37 213 Backman, KennardKennard Backman TE Green Bay Packers


  1. ^ In American and Canadian football, a back is a player who is lined up behind the linemen, the players who line up closest to the line of scrimmage.




  1. ^ a b Alabama–Birmingham Drafted Players/Alumni
  2. ^ a b Draft History by School–Alabama–Birmingham
  3. ^ a b "Roddy White NFL Statistics". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 11, 2015. 
  4. ^ Frank, Vincent (December 4, 2014). "UAB Cancels Football: The Larger Issue Of 'Amateur Athletics' Clashing With Corporate Ideology". Forbes. SportsMoney. Retrieved July 11, 2015. 
  5. ^ SI Wire (June 1, 2015). "UAB to reinstate football program in 2016 after shocking reversal". Sports Illustrated. College Football. Retrieved July 11, 2015. 
  6. ^ Clayton, John (March 26, 2009). "Draft order to change for playoff teams". Archived from the original on January 26, 2010. Retrieved July 11, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Dainon Sidney NFL Statistics". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 11, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Izell Reese NFL Statistics". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 11, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Bryan Thomas NFL Statistics". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 11, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Eddie Freeman NFL Statistics". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved July 11, 2015. 
  11. ^ "J.J. Nelson–UAB". Draft 2015: Prospects. National Football League. Retrieved July 11, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Kennard Backman–UAB". Draft 2015: Prospects. National Football League. Retrieved July 11, 2015.