Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney is tired of talking about the draft, he is ready for it to get going.
Unfortunately for Swinney and everyone else, the 2017 NFL Draft is still six days away before the first round begins in Philadelphia, Pa., next Thursday. The draft will run through Saturday with the second and third rounds on Friday and the 4-7 rounds on Saturday. Thursday’s and Friday’s draft coverage is in primetime.
Swinney is expecting anywhere from 8-10 of his former players to be taken in this year’s draft, which if 10 are chosen it will set a modern draft record for the Clemson program, which has had as many as nine players selected in the NFL Draft twice before.
“We are just waiting to see who calls their names,” Swinney said to Greenville’s WYFF earlier this week, where you can watch draft coverage on the Clemson Tigers all next week leading up to and after the draft.
“Which smart team calls their names? That is all that is left and I look forward to seeing where they ended up.”
The first two former Tigers expected off the big board are quarterback Deshaun Watson and wide receiver Mike Williams. Watson has been mentioned as high as No. 2 in the mock drafts and as low as No. 25, while Williams could go from No. 7 or fall no worse than No. 18.
Regardless, they are both ready to start their NFL careers.
“They are both well prepared. All of those guys,” Swinney said.
The other Clemson guys expected to be drafted are defensive tackle Carlos Watkins, cornerback Cordrea Tankersley, running back Wayne Gallman, tight end Jordan Leggett, linebacker Ben Boulware, wide receiver Artavis Scott and safety Jadar Johnson. Center Jay Guillermo could also hear is named called in the three-day draft.
“I hope we have eight to 10 guys drafted. But they are all ready,” Swinney said. “They have the tools they need to be successful at the next level and I don’t have any doubt. It is interesting in leading up to the draft because you hear about all the things that are wrong with them and then when they get drafted you hear about all the things that are right with them.
“Somebody is going to get some great players from these Clemson Tigers. There is no doubt that Deshaun and Mike will not have to wait long to hear their name called. They have earned that.”