The Las Vegas Raiders took Clemson safety Tanner Muse in the third round Friday with the 100th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Muse is the fourth Clemson player selected by the Raiders in the last two drafts. Last year, they selected Clelin Ferrell in the first round (No. 4), Trayvon Mullen in the second round (No. 40) and Hunter Renfrow in the fifth round (117).
The former Clemson safety was the fourth former Tiger taken in the 2020 Draft and the third from the defensive side of the ball. On Thursday, linebacker Isaiah Simmons (No. 8) and cornerback A.J. Terrell (No. 16) were taken in the first round of the draft. Wide receiver Tee Higgins was the No. 33 overall pick to start the second round on Friday.
Muse put himself in position to be drafted in the 2020 NFL Draft when he ran a 4.38 in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine in February. The performance of the Clemson safety opened the eyes of NFL scouts, general managers and coaches, and obviously the Raiders.
NFL teams pondered what they should do with Muse (6-2, 227 pounds), who has the ability to play up in the box. In his final two seasons at Clemson, Muse played at the line of scrimmage at lot, almost like another linebacker at times. He is strong enough to take on blocks from guards and centers and knows how to find his way to the ballcarrier.
He is also fast enough to drop back in coverage and cover tight ends and running backs. As a safety he can cover the entire field and make plays, demonstrated by his team-high four interceptions in 2019.
When it comes to effort, Muse never takes a play off or gives up on a play. In the Tigers’ Fiesta Bowl win over Ohio State in the College Football Playoff, he never gave up on a long run by Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins and eventually tripped him up, saving a touchdown. The Buckeyes ended up kicking a field goal on the drive.
The Clemson star was a third-team AP All-American this past season. In his last season at Clemson, Muse recorded 73 tackles from his free safety position, including six tackles behind the line of scrimmage and two sacks. He also had two quarterback pressures and broke up five passes to go with his team-high four interceptions.
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