Kiper has several Clemson surprises in latest mock draft

Kiper has several Clemson surprises in latest mock draft

Football

Kiper has several Clemson surprises in latest mock draft

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ESPN Draft analyst Mel Kiper, Jr., released his latest mock draft on Tuesday. Of course, he has Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence going No. 1 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars. No surprise there.

However, you might be surprised where he has running back Travis Etienne going in his mock draft. And where does he have Amari Rodgers going in the draft? Is Rodgers a second-round pick? How about left tackle Jackson Carman?

Kiper has the ACC’s all-time rushing, scorer and touchdown leader going in the second round at No. 34 overall to the New York Jets in the 2021 NFL Draft.

“Etienne is a home run hitter and all-around back, and like (Kadarius) Toney at No. 33, he’d help the rookie signal-caller,” Kiper wrote. “Etienne had 588 receiving yards last season. This finishes out the Jets’ projected two-round class with a quarterback, cornerback and running back. Edge rusher is another possibility.”

In a surprise by some, Kiper has Rodgers going in the second round with the No. 46 overall pick to the New England Patriots.

“The Patriots’ pass-catchers were disappointing around Cam Newton last season, so let’s give projected new quarterback Justin Fields a weapon,” Kiper writes. “Rodgers is one of the top slot receivers in this class. He’s built like a running back and is stellar on jet sweeps and bubble screens. He can make defenders miss after the catch. Rodgers is the son of Ravens assistant coach Tee Martin.”

As for Carman, Kiper is high on the former Clemson left tackle, too. He projects Carman to be selected at No. 62 overall in the second round, going to the Green Bay Packers.

“I thought hard about Oregon safety Jevon Holland here — he could play next to Darnell Savage — but Carman fills a more immediate void,” Kiper said. “He started 27 games at left tackle for the Tigers but might be best suited to play guard, where the Packers could use a prime pick to get a talent upgrade.”

If Kiper is right, it will mark just the third time in Clemson history the Tigers have had four players selected in the first two rounds of an NFL Draft. It happened in the 2016 Draft when Shaq Lawson went in the first round and Kevin Dodd, Mackensie Alexander and T.J. Green were all second-round picks.

In 2019, Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence were taken in the first round, while Trayvon Mullen was a second-round selection.

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