By Staff Report.
Clemson, SC—Offensive tackle Chris Hairston, running back Jamie Harper and defensive back Byron Maxwell were all selected on the third an final day of the NFL draft on Saturday afternoon. Their selection gives the Tigers six total players drafted over the three-day process, tied for the third most selections in a draft in Clemson history.
Clemson had 10 players chosen in 1983 and had eight taken in 1991 and those are the only years Clemson has had more than six in a single draft. It is he seventh time Clemson has had exactly six players selected and the first time since the 1999 draft.
Clemson’s six selections ranked in a tie for fifth best in the nation. North Carolina and Southern California led the nation with nine apiece and Miami was third with eight and Nebraska was fourth with seven. Clemson, LSU, Iowa, and Georgia all had six selections.
Four of Clemson’s six selections were defensive players. It is tied for the second most defensive players in one draft from Clemson in school history. Clemson had six defensive players taken in the 1999 NFL draft and that is the record.
Five of the six selections came over the first four rounds and it marks just the second time Clemson has had five players taken in the first four rounds. The only other time was at the 1991 draft.
Hairston was taken in the fourth round by the Buffalo Bills, the second year in a row the Bills have taken a player from Clemson. Last year, the Bills took C.J. Spiller in the first round with the ninth overall pick. Prior to last year the Bills had not taken a player from Clemson since 1982 (Perry Tuttle).
Harper also went in the fourth round to the Tennessee Titans. Harper is just the second Clemson player taken by Tennessee since 1989. Keith Adams (2001) was the only other Tiger taken by the Tigers in the last 22 years. With Harper’s selection, Clemson has had a running back drafted in each of the last three years. James Davis was drafted by Cleveland in 2009 and Spiller was taken by Buffalo last year.
With the selection of Maxwell on Saturday, 10 member of Clemson’s 2008 defense have now been drafted. Dorell Scott, Mike Hamlin and Chris Clemons were drafted in April of 2009, Ricky Sapp, Crezdon Butler and Kavell Conner were taken in 2010 and Jarvis Jenkins, Marcus Gilchrist, Da’Quan Bowers, and Byron Maxwell were all taken this year for a total of 10. Freshmen on that team could be drafted next year and could add to that total.
Clemson Players in 2011 NFL draft
Player Team Rd Pick
Jarvis Jenkins, DT Washington Redskins 2 41
Marcus Gilchrist, DB San Diego Chargers 2 50
Da’Quan Bowers, DE Tampa Bay Bucs 2 51
Chris Hairston, OT Buffalo Bills 4 122
Jamie Harper, RB Tennessee Titans 4 130
Byron Maxwell, CB Seattle Seahawks 6 173
Other Notes on Clemson in the 2011 NFL Draft
•Clemson was the only school in the nation to have three defensive players taken in the top 51 selections of the draft. It was the first time in school history that has happened.
• Clemson had three of the top 51 players selected regardless of position in the 2011 NFL Draft, tied for the second most selections within the first 51 selections. Alabama had the most with four, while Clemson and Wisconsin were tied for second with three. Auburn, Missouri, North Carolina, Colorado, Baylor and UCLA all had two of the top 51 chosen,
•This was just the second time Clemson has had three of the top 51 selections in the NFL draft regardless of position. Clemson had three of the top 38 selections in the 1987 draft when running back Terrence Flagler was 25th to San Francisco, Kenny Flowers went 31st to Atlanta and Delton Hall was 38th to the Pittsburgh Steelers
•Clemson had consecutive selections at number 50 and 51. Marcus Gilchrist was chosen by the San Diego Chargers with the 50th selection and Da’Quan Bowers was the 51st selection by the Tampa Bay Bucs. It is the first time Clemson has had consecutive picks in the draft since the 2009 draft when Chris Clemons was the 165th pick by the Miami Dolphins and Michael Hamlin was a the 166th pick by the Dallas Cowboys.
•Gilchrist went 50th in the draft to the San Diego Chargers. He is the fourth Clemson player taken with the 50th selection of the NFL draft since 1988. Michael Dean Perry (1988), Brentson Buckner (1994) and Patrick Sapp (1996) were also the number-50 selection of the draft.
•Clemson has a history of success in the NFL among players who were second round selections. Brian Dawkins (8) and Michael Dean Perry (6) were both second round selections and rank one-two in school history in most Pro Bowl selections. Dawkins was chosen 61st by Philadelphia in 1996 and Perry was 50th by Cleveland in 1988.
•Clemson has now had at least one player taken in the top 50 of the NFL draft in five of the last six years. This is the first time Clemson has had two of the top 50 selections since the 1999 draft.
•Clemson had two defensive lineman selected in the second round. Clemson has now had 17 defensive linemen drafted in the last 21 drafts.
•Chances are good that all three Clemson players taken in the second round on Friday night will make an NFL club. Each of the 43 Clemson players taken within the top 70 picks of the NFL draft since 1964 have gone on to play in an NFL game.
•Bowers was drafted by the Tampa Bay Bucs in the second round, the same team that selected his good friend, the late Gaines Adams with the fourth selection in the 2007 draft. Bowers wore the number-93 in honor of Adams, who had that number at Clemson from 2003-06. Bowers and Adams are two of the four unanimous first team All-Americans in Clemson history. C.J. Spiller (2009) and Terry Kinard (1982) are the others.
•Jenkins is the first Clemson player drafted by the Washington Redskins since they took Rod Gardner in the first round in 2001. Adams is the last Clemson player drafted by the Bucs (2007) prior to Bowers. Current ESPN analyst Jon Gruden was the head coach of the Bucs at the time. Gilchrist is the third Clemson player in the last six drafts to be taken by San Diego. The Chargers took Charlie Whitehurst in 2006 and Anthony Waters in 2007.
•Clemson has now had at least three defensive players drafted in each of the last three years.