Clemson could tie NFL Draft record tonight

Clemson could tie NFL Draft record tonight


Clemson could tie NFL Draft record tonight


Three former Tigers could go in the first round

Only once since the NFL Draft began in 1936 has Clemson had three of its former players chosen in the first round of the draft in the same year. Of course, that came last season when Clelin Ferrell (No. 4), Christian Wilkins (No. 13) and Dexter Lawrence (No. 17) were all picked in the first 17 selections.

Can the Tigers make it two straight years tonight as the NFL hosts its 2020 Draft at 8 p.m.?

Former Clemson stars Isaiah Simmons, Tee Higgins and A.J. Terrell are all considered first-round talent and could all go in the first 32 picks tonight. Day 1 of the draft is the first round, while Day 2 will consistent of the second and the third rounds on Friday. Rounds 4-7 will be held on Saturday.

Simmons is likely to come off the board first. The Clemson linebacker is ranked as ESPN’s No. 1 overall prospect and is expected to be a top 10 pick. He likely could go anywhere from No. 3 to No. 10 in the draft. The Detroit Lions (No. 3), New York Giants (No. 4), Carolina Panthers (No. 7) and Cleveland Browns (No. 10) are all likely destinations for Simmons.

It is up in the air on who might come off the board next from Clemson. For much of the draft process, Higgins has been a projected top 30 pick. However, the Clemson wide receiver has dropped in some of the latest mock drafts and some think he could be a second-round selection by the time it is all said and done.

The exact opposite can be said for Terrell, who many considered a Day 2 pick heading into the draft. However, in the last week, Terrell has moved into the first round in some of the mock drafts and there have been rumors floating around his hometown Atlanta Falcons could pick him with the No. 16 pick.

After Higgins and Terrell, former Clemson offensive guard John Simpson is the next player who will likely be drafted. He is ranked in the top 100 by ESPN and could come off the board in the third round.

Former safeties Tanner Muse and K’Von Wallace could also be picked, as well as offensive tackle Tremayne Anchrum. If they are picked, they are all likely to be chosen on Day 3 of the draft.

In the history of the draft, Clemson has had just five years in which multiple players were taken in the first round. In 1979, Jerry Butler (No. 5) and Steve Fuller (No. 23) were first-round picks, while in 1982, Jeff Bryant (No. 6) and Perry Tuttle (No. 19) were chosen in the opening round.

Clemson has had three years since 2015 in which multiple players were first round picks. Vic Beasley (No. 8) and Stephone Anthony (No. 31) were Day 1 picks in 2015, while Mike Williams (No. 7) and Deshaun Watson (No. 12) were selected in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Then of course there was Ferrell, Wilkins, and Lawrence last year.

In all, starting with Banks McFadden in 1940, who was the No. 4 overall pick, Clemson has had 32 first-round selections in the NFL Draft. Eleven of those have come under Dabo Swinney, which began with C.J. Spiller back in 2010. Spiller went No. 9 overall to Buffalo that year.

No player in Clemson has been picked any higher than No. 4 in the NFL Draft, which four players have done … McFadden (1940), Gaines Adams (2007), Sammy Watkins (2014) and Ferrell (2019).

Starting with Deandre Hopkins in 2013, Clemson had had at least one player picked in the first round in six of the previous seven drafts.

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