Three Tigers in Mel Kiper's NFL mock draft 1.0


by - Assoc. Editor -
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ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. has released his first 2016 NFL Mock Draft on Thursday morning and three Clemson defenders were listed in the first round.

Defensive end Shaq Lawson was projected to the Miami Dolphins at the #8 selection and the third defensive end taken off of Kiper's board.

"Lawson led college football in tackles for loss with 25.5, and Miami should add another edge rusher because Olivier Vernon is about to become extremely expensive if he can even be kept around as an unrestricted free agent," Kiper Jr. said. "Lawson is just extremely consistent in his ability to beat tackles and makes plays.

Defensive end Kevin Dodd with his impressive display in the National Championship game was predicted to be taken by the Atlanta Falcons at pick number #17. He would be teammates with several former Clemson players including Vic Beasley, Grady Jarrett and Malliciah Goodman.

"Shaq Lawson led the nation in tackles for loss, but Dodd was right there with him, No. 2 in the nation, and a constant presence in the backfield," Kiper Jr. said. "The Falcons added pass-rush help with Vic Beasley last year, but is Beasley an every-down player? At 275 points, Dodd has the frame to hold up against the run and should help a D-line that lacks depth."

Dodd had a breakout 2015 season with 62 tackles, 12 sacks and 23.5 tackles for loss.


Defensive back Mackensie Alexander had a projection of #21 to the Washington Redskins.

Alexander would be teammates with former Clemson defensive back Bashaud Breeland if the Redskins picked him.

"Alexander has legit man-to-man coverage ability, but he needs technical work and is going to show some rough edges during his rookie year," Kiper Jr. said. "But all cornerbacks do, and Alexander has a ton of upside. He's just a hair over 5-foot-10, so he's not a jump-ball winner, but he's powerful, and will make plays in coverage and attacking the line of scrimmage."

Alexander allowed 11 completions in 638 snaps and had 23 tackles and two tackles for loss in 2015.

Other ACC players included in Kiper's Mock Draft include DB Jalen Ramsey and DB Kendall Fuller.

Clemson safeties Jayron Kearse and T.J. Green did not make the first round of this NFL mock draft.

Here is the full Mel Kiper's NFL Mock Draft 1.0:

1. Tennessee: DE Joey Bosa (Ohio State)
2. Cleveland: QB Jared Goff (Cal)
3. San Diego: OT Laremy Tunsil (Ole Miss)
4. Dallas: DE DeForest Bucker (Oregon)
5. Jacksonville: DB Jalen Ramsey (FSU)
6. Baltimore: OT Ronnie Stanley (Notre Dame)
7. San Francisco: WR Laquon Treadwell (Ole Miss)
8: Miami: DE Shaq Lawson (Clemson)
9. Tampa Bay: CB Vernon Hargreaves (Florida)
10. New York Giants: LB Myles Jack (UCLA)
11. Chicago: LB Reggie Ragland (Alabama)
12. New Orleans: DL A’Shawn Robinson (Alabama)
13. Philadelphia: DL Robert Nkemdiche (Ole Miss)
14. Oakland: OT Jack Conklin (Michigan State)
15. LA Rams: QB Paxton Lynch (Memphis)
16. Detroit: DL Jarran Reed (Alabama)
17. Atlanta: DE Kevin Dodd (Clemson)
18. Indianapolis: OT Taylor Decker (Ohio State)
19. Buffalo: DE Jonathan Allen (Alabama)
20. NY Jets: LB Jaylon Smith (Notre Dame)
21. Washington: CB Mackensie Alexander (Clemson)
22. Houston: QB Carson Wentz (North Dakota State)
23. Minnesota: WR Josh Doctson (TCU)
24. Cincinnati: WR Will Fuller (Notre Dame)
25. Pittsburgh: CB Kendall Fuller (Virginia Tech)
26. Seattle: CB Eli Apple (Ohio State)
27. Green Bay: DT Austin Johnson (Penn State)
28. Kansas City: DT Kenny Clark (UCLA)
29. Denver: RB Ezekiel Elliott (Ohio State)
30. Arizona: OLB Leonard Floyd (Georgia)
31. Carolina: DE Emmanuel Ogbah (Oklahoma State)
32. Vacated (New England’s pick forfeited from Deflategate)

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