Clemson ranked #2 on early NFL departures


by - Assoc. Editor -
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Foxsports.com released their ranking of the Top 10 Programs that were hit the hardest by early NFL departures and Clemson was ranked #2 with six defenders off of their talented defense.

"Brent Venables, the Tigers' DC, proved in 2015 he's quite adept at reloading after losing a lot of talent to the NFL," Fox Sports said. "Now, he'll face perhaps an even bigger challenge with six underclassmen departing, led by two All-American-caliber DEs Shaq Lawson and Kevin Dodd. In the postseason, Dodd was as dominant as any defensive player in college football; he had 10 tackles for loss and five sacks in Clemson's last three games. The Tigers also lost both safeties -- huge Jayron Kearse and T.J. Green -- plus their best cover man, CB Mackensie Alexander, along with LB Travis Blanks. In all, they lost a staggering 338 tackles, 67 TFLs, 26.5 sacks and 18 passes defended from the early-exit guys."

Clemson lost seven starters from the 2015 defense with the six early departures and senior linebacker B.J. Goodson graduating.

It actually could have been worse for the Clemson defense but a talented duo in defensive tackle Carlos Watkins and cornerback Cordrea Tankersley stayed for their senior year.

Note: Approximately 100 college players have declared early for the 2016 NFL Draft while only 256 total players will be drafted. Last season, nearly 40% of underclassmen were not selected.

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