Being Clemson’s first No. 1 pick ‘is special’ for Lawrence

Being Clemson’s first No. 1 pick ‘is special’ for Lawrence


Being Clemson’s first No. 1 pick ‘is special’ for Lawrence


With Trevor Lawrence’s selection as the top pick in the 2021 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday night, Clemson became the 51st program ever to produce a No. 1 overall pick since inception of the draft in 1936.

“Being the first number one overall pick from Clemson, I mean there have been so many great players that have come through Clemson,” Lawrence said after his pick. “That is obviously special to me. I don’t take that lightly and it just shows we have kind of made history ever since I have been at Clemson. It has been awesome to be about of that with Coach [Dabo Swinney] and all of my teammates and just to continue to do that. That is the plan moving on to Jacksonville, just continue to do things that have not been done.”

Clemson is the seventh current ACC program to produce a No. 1 overall pick, joining Florida State, Miami, NC State, Syracuse, Virginia and Virginia Tech. However, Clemson became the third program ever to produce a No. 1 pick while a member of the ACC, as Miami, Syracuse, Virginia and Virginia Tech’s No. 1 picks predated their tenure in the ACC.

With Lawrence’s pick to Jacksonville, Clemson has now produced a first-round pick in eight of the last nine drafts, dating to the 2013 NFL Draft. The only draft in that span in which Clemson did not have at least one first-round pick was 2018. Clemson, Alabama and Florida are the only programs to have produced a first-round pick in at least eight of the last nine drafts.

Here are some more notes from Lawrence’s selection:

  • Clemson has now produced a Top 10 pick in three consecutive drafts for the first time in program history. Entering the 2021 NFL Draft, only Clemson, Alabama, LSU and Ohio State had produced a Top 10 selection in each of the previous two drafts.
  • Extended its streak of consecutive drafts with at least one selection to 19 since 2003, representing the second-longest streak in school history behind a 24-year streak across the 1951-74 NFL Drafts.
  • Lawrence became the 65th player to have played for head coach Dabo Swinney to be drafted into the NFL, including the 14th first-round pick of Swinney’s tenure.
  • He represents Clemson’s 35th first-round pick in the NFL Draft all-time, dating back to Banks McFadden’s selection by the NFL’s Brooklyn Dodgers with the fourth overall pick in the 1940 NFL Draft.
  • Lawrence surpassed McFadden (No. 4 in 1939), Gaines Adams (No. 4 in 2007), Sammy Watkins (No 4 in 2014) and Clelin Ferrell (No. 4 in 2019) as highest NFL Draft selection from Clemson all-time.
  • He became the third No. 1 overall pick in Clemson Athletics history, joining baseball’s Kris Benson (1996) and men’s soccer’s Robbie Robinson (2020).
  • Lawrence became the sixth top-five pick in Clemson Football history and the 14th top-five pick in Clemson Athletics history. Including top-five selections Philip Mayaka and Kimarni Smith in the MLS SuperDraft earlier this year, 2021 now marks the fourth year in school history in which Clemson has had multiple top-five picks across all sports, joining 1996 (baseball’s Kris Benson and Billy Koch), 2007 (football’s Gaines Adams and baseball’s Daniel Moskos) and 2019 (football’s Clelin Ferrell and women’s soccer’s Sam Staab). This year marks Clemson Athletics’ first year with three top-five picks across all sports.
  • Lawrence is the second Clemson player drafted by the Jaguars since the franchise’s debut in 1995. He joins defensive end Andre Branch, whom the Jaguars selected in the second round (No. 38 overall) in 2012.
  • He is Clemson’s 13th Top 10 pick all-time and, including the No. 4 overall pick of Clelin Ferrell in 2019 and the No. 8 overall pick of Isaiah Simmons in 2020, gave Clemson three consecutive drafts with a Top 10 selection for the first time in Clemson history. Prior to the current run, Clemson had previously twice had Top 10 picks in back-to-back drafts, including 1982-83 with Jeff Bryant and Terry Kinard and 2014-15 with Sammy Watkins and Vic Beasley.
  • Lawrence joined Steve Fuller (1979), Charlie Whitehurst (2006), Tajh Boyd (2013) and Deshaun Watson (2017) as the fifth Clemson quarterback drafted in the Common Draft era. Lawrence (34 wins), Watson (32), Boyd (32) and Whitehurst (25) account for four of the five winningest starting quarterbacks in Clemson history. Lawrence joined Watson and Fuller as Clemson’s third first-round quarterback in the Common Draft era.
  • Gave the NFL have back-to-back No. 1 overall picks with a national championship to their credit for the first time since the 1991 NFL Draft (Miami DT Russell Maryland) and 1992 NFL Draft (Washington DE Steve Emtman). Lawrence won a national championship during the 2018 season, and last year’s No. 1 overall pick, Joe Burrow, won a national championship during the 2019 season.

Clemson Athletics Communications contributed to this story

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