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NFL Draft went according to plan for Clemson, sort of

From a Clemson standpoint, the 2017 NFL Draft had the expected and the unexpected. In all, the program, as expected, continued its ACC-best streak of at least four players selected in the draft with six players chosen. However, it was expected to have more than six.

Three players expected to be drafted on Saturday were not chosen as linebacker Ben Boulware (Carolina), safety Jadar Johnson (New York Giants) and wide receiver Artavis Scott (L.A. Chargers) signed free agent contracts shortly after the draft was over. Former quarterback Nick Schuessler, who was not expected to be drafted, signed a deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

But Clemson did finish the draft with six players selected in the 2017 NFL Draft, marking the ninth straight year it has had at least four players selected in the NFL draft. That is the longest active streak by an ACC team and the longest streak by any ACC team since Florida State had a 10-year streak from 1992-2001.

Running back Wayne Gallman, defensive tackle Carlos Watkins and tight end Jordan Leggett were all selected on the final day of the 2017 NFL draft on Saturday.

Gallman and Watkins were both selected in the fourth round, just two picks apart. Gallman was taken by the New York Giants with the 140th pick of the draft, while Watkins was taken by the Houston Texans with the 142nd selection.

Leggett was taken eight picks later at No. 150 in the fifth round by the New York Jets. It gave Clemson six selections within the first 150 picks of the draft for the first time since 1991.

On Thursday, wide receiver Mike Williams was selected with the No. 7 overall pick in the first round by the Los Angeles Chargers and quarterback Deshaun Watson was chosen at No. 12 by the Houston Texans. Cornerback Cordrea Tankersley was picked in the third round at No. 97 to the Miami Dolphins.

With the Williams and Watson selections, it marked for the first time since the AFL and NFL merger in 1967 that the same school produced a quarterback and a wide receiver within the first 12 picks. It marked the second time in three years, but just the fourth time overall that Clemson had two first-round selections.

Overall, the program’s six selections tied for eighth in the nation in the number of players selected in the draft. It gave the Clemson program 15 draft picks over the last two years, the most for the program in a two-year period since 1983 and ’84 Danny Ford teams had 16 players taken.

This year, Michigan had the most with 11 players selected in the draft, while Alabama had 10. Miami had nine and LSU, Florida and Utah each had eight apiece. Ohio State had seven, while Clemson, North Carolina and Tennessee had six apiece.

–Staff Reports contributed to this story

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