For the first time in program history, Alabama had a quarterback taken in the first round of the NFL Draft in back-to-back years.

The New England Patriots selected Mac Jones with the No. 15 overall pick Thursday night. Last year, the Miami Dolphins selected Tua Tagovailoa with the No. 5 overall pick. Both were part of Alabama’s 2017 recruiting class.

Jones became popular with TV cameras while waiting in the green room after he did not go No. 3 to the San Francisco 49ers.

Jones’ rise is well-documented. He arrived as an insurance policy 3-star prospect and patiently waited his turn behind Jalen Hurts and Tagovailoa before embarking on a record-setting championship season in 2020.

Even that wasn’t guaranteed, as some thought 5-star phenom Bryce Young might win the job.

Jones set the Alabama single-season mark with 4,500 yards passing — in 13 games. He also became the 2nd Tide QB to top 40 TD passes in a season. He finished with 41 — 2 shy of Tagovailoa’s school record set in 2018.

He was at his best during the Tide’s postseason push. Jones threw for 1,179 yards and 14 TDs in wins over Florida (SEC title game), Notre Dame (Playoff semifinal) and Ohio State (national title game).