Clemson produces another record draft class

Clemson produces another record draft class


Clemson produces another record draft class


Clemson Football concluded one of its best drafts in the modern era on Saturday with the selections of John Simpson, K’Von Wallace and Tremayne Anchrum. Their picks in the 2020 NFL Draft, brought the Tigers’ total to seven picks overall, the fourth-most in a single draft in program history, trailing 1983 (10), 2016 (nine) and 1991 (eight).

The seven selections in 2020 are Clemson’s second-most in the seven-round era, trailing the nine selections in 2016. The seven-round era began in 1992.

Simpson, who played guard at Clemson on the offensive line, was picked early in the fourth round on Saturday when he went to the Las Vegas Raiders with the 109th selection. Wallace, a safety, soon followed in the same round, going 127 overall to the Philadelphia Eagles. Anchrum, who will move inside on the offensive line, was picked in the seventh round by the Los Angeles Rams with the 250th selection.

On Thursday, linebacker Isaiah Simmons was taken in the first round by the Arizona Cardinals at No. 8 overall, while cornerback A.J. Terrell went No. 16 in the draft to Atlanta in the first round. Wide receiver Tee Higgins kicked off Friday’s second day of the draft when he was selected No. 33 overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in the second round. Safety Tanner Muse was picked in the third round by the Raiders with the 100th selection in the draft.

Clemson has now produced a school-record 31 NFL Draft picks in the last five years, surpassing the 29 drafted across both the 2013-17 and 2015-19 drafts. The program has produced at least six draft picks for the fourth time in five years. Clemson is one of only three schools with five or more picks in at least six of the seven most recent drafts, joining both Alabama and Ohio State.

Six of Clemson’s seven picks were selected in the first four rounds of the draft, breaking the program’s previous four-round record of five, set previously five times in 1991, 2011, 2016, 2017 and 2019.

Clemson finished tied for fifth in the nation in 2020 NFL Draft picks. The Tigers led the ACC, three ahead of Miami, which finished second in the conference with four.

Saturday’s picks also allowed Dabo Swinney to move into second place among active head coaches in total draft picks since the 2009 NFL Draft, trailing only Alabama’s Nick Saban. Since becoming a head coach in 2009, Swinney has seen 64 of his former Clemson players selected by NFL teams.

Here are some other Clemson notes of interest from the 2020 NFL Draft:

  • Clemson has now produced multiple first-round picks in back-to-back years for the first time in program history. Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State and Oklahoma were the only schools to produce multiple first-round picks in both the 2019 and 2020 NFL Drafts.
  • Clemson produced multiple first-round picks on defense for the second year in a row, the two of three instances of multiple first-round defenders in school history. Clemson had two offensive players selected in the 1979 and 2017 first rounds, two defensive players selected in 2015, and had one offensive and one defensive player selected in 1982.
  • Clemson produced two Top 16 picks for the third time in school history and the third time in four drafts, joining the 2017 (Mike Williams and Deshaun Watson) and 2019 (Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins) drafts.
  • Clemson has now had at least one first-round selection in seven of the last eight NFL Drafts. Clemson is now one of only three schools with at least one first-round pick in at least seven of the last eight drafts, alongside Alabama and Florida.
  • Clemson produced four players in the first three rounds of a draft for the fourth time in school history, matching school records for the first three rounds set in the 1991, 2016 and 2019 drafts. Clemson has now produced four players in the first three rounds of consecutive drafts for the first time in program history.
  • Clemson’s six selections through the first four rounds were the most in a draft in school history. The previous record of five had been set five times, including in 1991, 2011, 2016, 2017 and 2019.
  • Clemson produced multiple draft picks from the offensive line for the first time since 1998 (Glenn Rountree and Jim Bundren).
  • Clemson extended its streak of consecutive drafts with at least one selection to 18 since 2003, representing the second-longest streak in school history behind a 24-year streak across the 1951-74 NFL Drafts.
  • Clemson has had at least one player selected by 29 of the 32 NFL franchises since 2003. The lone exceptions in that time frame are the Patriots, who last selected a Clemson player in 1991, and the Panthers and Ravens, who have never selected a Clemson player.
  • The draft was the final one to feature members of the starting lineup of Clemson’s 2018 defense that led the nation in scoring defense en route to winning the national championship. Those 11 starters accounted for five first-round picks, a second-round pick, a third-round pick, two fourth-round picks, a college free agent signing and a rookie minicamp tryout invitee (plus two additional college free agent signings who were not primary starters).

Clemson Athletic Communications contributed to this story

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