Clemson in the NFL draft notes
|Wednesday, April 27, 2022, 1:04 PM-|
Including his interim head coaching stint in 2008, Dabo Swinney has served as head coach for a total of 69 draft picks from Clemson, the second-most of any college coach — active or inactive — in that span.
NFL DRAFT PICKS BY ALL COACHES SINCE 2008
(2009 NFL DRAFT)
1) Nick Saban: 106
2) Dabo Swinney: 69
3) Urban Meyer: 65
4) Mark Richt: 64
5) Brian Kelly: 63
NFL DRAFT PICKS BY ACTIVE COACHES SINCE 2008
(2009 NFL DRAFT)
1) Nick Saban: 106
2) Dabo Swinney: 69
3) Brian Kelly: 63
4) Jimbo Fisher: 61
5) Kirk Ferentz: 50
In that time frame, Swinney has produced 15 first-round picks, the second-most among active coaches.
FIRST-ROUND PICKS BY ACTIVE COACHES SINCE 2008
(2009 NFL DRAFT)
1) Nick Saban: 39
2) Dabo Swinney: 15
3t) Jimbo Fisher: 9
3t) Brian Kelly: 9
5) Three coaches tied: 7
Since embarking on a run of six consecutive College Football Playoff berths starting in 2015, the Tigers have produced 36 NFL Draft picks, sixth-most in the country.
NFL DRAFT PICKS SINCE 2015 SEASON (2016 NFL DRAFT)
1) Alabama: 58
2) Ohio State: 55
3) LSU: 44
4) Florida: 40
5) Michigan: 39
6) Clemson: 36
7) Georgia: 35
8) Notre Dame: 34
9) Miami (Fla): 30
10t) Penn State: 29
10t) Oklahoma: 29
Clemson has produced 54 NFL Draft picks during its current streak of 11 consecutive 10-win seasons, the sixth-most picks from a single school dating back to the 2011 college football season (2012 NFL Draft).
NFL DRAFT PICKS SINCE 2011 SEASON (2012 NFL DRAFT)
1) Alabama: 90
2) Ohio State: 73
3) LSU: 71
4) Florida: 62
5) Georgia: 57
6) Clemson: 54
7) Notre Dame: 53
8t) Florida State: 52
8t) Oklahoma: 52
10) Michigan: 50
Clemson has produced at least five selections in each of the last three NFL Drafts, including six selections in 2019, seven selections in 2020 and five selections in 2021. Clemson’s current streak of three consecutive drafts with at least five picks is one shy of the longest streak in school history, set from 2014-17.
Clemson is one of only four schools to have had at least five selections in a draft at least seven times in the last eight years.
DRAFTS WITH 5+ PICKS (SINCE 2014 NFL DRAFT)
1t) Alabama: 8
1t) Ohio State: 8
3t) Clemson: 7
3t) Florida: 7
5t) Georgia: 6
5t) LSU: 6
7t) Stanford: 5
7t) Penn State: 5
7t) Notre Dame: 5
Clemson enters the 2022 NFL Draft as one of only eight schools with at least five selections in each of the three previous drafts, a list that also includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Penn State.
ADDITIONAL NOTES & NUGGETS
Clemson enters the 2022 NFL Draft riding a number of notable draft accomplishments:
Clemson has produced a first-round pick in eight of the nine most recent 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.
Over the three most recent drafts, Clemson produced a Top 10 pick in three consecutive drafts for the first time in program history. Only Clemson and Alabama have produced a Top 10 selection in each of the previous three drafts.
Clemson has produced multiple first-round picks in a school-record three consecutive drafts. Clemson and Alabama were the only schools to produce multiple first-round picks in the 2019, 2020 and 2021 NFL Drafts.
Clemson has produced at least three Top 50 picks in three consecutive drafts, the longest such streak in school history.
Clemson has also produced four Top 100 picks three years in a row and four times in the Dabo Swinney era (2016, 2019, 2020 and 2021).
Clemson has produced four selections in the first three rounds in each of the last three drafts. Clemson has had at least three players selected through the first three rounds in five of the last six drafts prior to 2022.
Clemson has now produced 11 draft picks at wide receiver since the 2013 NFL Draft, the most in the country.
Clemson has produced at least one receiver in eight of the last nine NFL Drafts, dating to DeAndre Hopkins’ selection in 2013.
Last year, Clemson 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.
FIRST ROUND RECORDS
In 2010, the NFL changed the format of the NFL Draft, moving from conducting the first three rounds on a Saturday and the final four rounds on a Sunday to a format that featured Round 1 on Thursday night, Rounds 2-3 on Friday night, and Rounds 4-7 on Saturday. In many years since, prime-time has become Clemson’s time.
Clemson has produced multiple first rounders in the NFL Draft seven times. In 1979, the dynamic quarterback-receiver duo of Steve Fuller and Jerry Butler became the first pair of Clemson teammates to go in the first round of the same draft, as Butler was selected fifth overall by the Buffalo Bills and Fuller went 23rd overall to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Three years later following Clemson’s first national championship, the Tigers produced another first-round duo, as defensive tackle Jeff Bryant was selected sixth overall by the Seattle Seahawks and wide receiver Perry Tuttle earned the 19th overall selection from the Bills.
The other five instances have both come under current Head Coach Dabo Swinney. Clemson’s beloved 2014 defense produced two first rounders in defensive end Vic Beasley (No. 8 to Atlanta) and linebacker Stephone Anthony (No. 31 to New Orleans) in the 2015 NFL Draft. Two years later, the 2016 national champion Tigers placed two offensive stars in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, sending wide receiver Mike Williams to the then-San Diego Chargers at No. 7 and quarterback Deshaun Watson to the Houston Texans at No. 12.
In 2019, Clemson produced three first-round picks in a single draft for the first time in school history, with Clelin Ferrell (No. 4 to the Raiders), Christian Wilkins (No. 13 to the Dolphins) and Dexter Lawrence (No. 17 to the Giants) all going in the first round from Clemson’s 2018 national championship squad. It marked the first time in NFL Draft history that a single school produced three players selected as defensive linemen in the first round of a single draft.
In 2020, Clemson produced No. 8 overall pick Isaiah Simmons (Arizona Cardinals) and the No. 16 overall pick A.J. Terrell (Atlanta Falcons), giving Clemson multiple first-round picks in back-to-back years for the first time in program history. Clemson pushed that streak to three in 2021 when the Jacksonville Jaguars selected both Trevor Lawrence (No. 1) and Travis Etienne (No. 25) in the first round, making them the first QB/RB duo from a single school ever drafted by the same team in the first round of an NFL Draft in the Common Draft era.
Clemson’s single-draft record is 10 selections, set in a 12-round draft in 1983. Clemson’s most in a seven-round draft (and the most under Dabo Swinney) is nine, set in 2016.
MOST SELECTIONS FROM CLEMSON BY YEAR
1) 1983: 10
2t) 2016: 9
2t) 1984: 9^
2t) 1960: 9*
5) 1991: 8
^Includes 3 selections in NFL Supplemental Draft of USFL Players
*Includes 5 AFL selections (four of whom were also selected in the NFL Draft)
Entering the 2022 NFL Draft, Clemson has had at least one player selected in the NFL Draft in 19 consecutive years. Another selection in 2022 would push the streak to 20, adding to Clemson’s second-longest such streak. Clemson had at least one player selected in the NFL Draft every year across the 1951-74 NFL Drafts, a span of 24 years.
LONGEST CONSECUTIVE DRAFT STREAKS
1) 1951-74: 24
2) 2003-21*: 19
3) 1987-99: 13
After having no selections in the 2002 NFL Draft, Clemson’s current streak started when DT (and 2022 Clemson Defensive Tackles Coach) Nick Eason and DE Bryant McNeal were both selected by the Denver Broncos in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL Draft. That also marks only time in history that two Clemson teammates were selected by the same team in the same round.
Clemson’s status as an elite producer of pro talent has been inarguable in recent years, particularly at wide receiver, where the school has adopted the moniker of “Wide Receiver U” (or #WRU in hashtag form).
A 2020 Sports Illustrated analysis confirmed the distinction adding, “How prolific has Clemson been? Eleven of their receivers who entered the league between 2010 and ’19 started at least one game in the NFL. The Tigers are led by DeAndre Hopkins and his three All-Pro nods—only Central Michigan alum Antonio Brown has more. Added up, it’s enough to hold off a Michael Thomas–led Ohio State group, in large part because the Buckeyes didn’t have a single first-round pick in the 2010s.”
Since the 2013 NFL Draft, Clemson has had most wide receivers selected in the NFL Draft.
MOST WIDE RECEIVERS DRAFTED SINCE 2013 NFL DRAFT
1t) Clemson: 11
2) LSU: 10
3) Ohio State: 9
4t) Alabama: 8
4t) Georgia: 8
Tee Higgins narrowly missed becoming Clemson’s fourth first-round pick at wide receiver in an eight-year span, as he was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals with the first pick of the second round in 2020. Since the 2013 NFL Draft, NFL teams have selected a total 36 wide receivers in the first rounds. Clemson accounts for nearly eight percent of those selections producing three first-round receivers (Sammy Watkins, DeAndre Hopkins and Mike Williams) in that span that have combined for 1,364 career NFL receptions for 19,302 yards and 128 touchdowns while signing contracts with total career values exceeding $298 million.
While odds may seemingly be slim with only 32 teams and 262 picks in this year’s draft, Clemson could actually have a pair of teammates drafted by a single team for the seventh time in an eight-year span. A total of 19 NFL Drafts have featured at least one team drafting a pair of Clemson teammates, including the 1946, 1951, 1955, 1959, 1960, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1979, 1983, 1991, 1998, 2003, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021 drafts.
In addition, in 1984, the New York Giants selected Jim Scott in the NFL Draft and added James Robinson via the Supplemental Draft for USFL Players. The 1960 AFL Draft also featured both Lou Cordileone and Harold Olson’s selections by the Buffalo Bills.
For three-and-a-half decades, the Giants held the record for the most Clemson players selected in one draft, selecting Terry Kinard, Andy Headen and Frank Magwood in the famed 1983 NFL Draft. In 2019, the Raiders matched that mark, selecting Clelin Ferrell, Trayvon Mullen and Hunter Renfrow in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Raiders made a little more Clemson teammate history in 2020, selecting Tanner Muse with the No. 100 overall pick and John Simpson with the No. 109 overall pick. The span of nine picks represented the shortest span of picks between one team selecting two Clemson players in school history, passing the 14 picks between the Denver Broncos’ selections of Nick Eason and Bryant McNeal in 2003.
In 2021, the Jacksonville Jaguars made Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne the first quarterback/running back duo from a single school ever to be drafted by the same team in the first round of an NFL Draft in the Common Draft era. If Clemson were to have another set of teammates drafted by the same franchise in 2022, it would mark the third straight such draft to tie the school record of three, when a pair of Clemson teammates were drafted to the same location in each of the 2015, 2016 and 2017 drafts.
The 1991 and 1998 NFL Drafts both featured two sets of Clemson teammates sticking together in the selection meeting. In 1991, Chris Gardocki and Stacy Long were both selected by the Chicago Bears while Dexter Davis and Vince Hammond went to the Phoenix Cardinals. In 1998, the St. Louis Rams selected Raymond Priester and Glenn Rountree and the Miami Dolphins selected Lorenzo Bromell and Jim Bundren.
Eighteen of the NFL’s 32 active franchises have selected Clemson teammates in a single draft. The teams to do so include the Bears (1991), Bills (1960 AFL Draft), Broncos (2003), Browns (1968), Cardinals (1991), Chiefs (1979), Cowboys (1970), Dolphins (1998), Eagles (1955 and 1959), Falcons (2015), Giants (1960, 1983 and 1984, including Supplemental Draft of USFL Players), Jaguars (2021), Packers (1946), Raiders (2019 and 2020), Rams (1998), Steelers (1951 and 1972), Texans (2017) and Vikings (2016).
JUST #ALLIN, BABY?
For decades, the Raiders operated under an iconic phrase from legendary owner Al Davis: “Just win, baby.” It was “Just #ALLIN, Baby” for the silver and black in the 2019 and 2020 NFL Drafts.
Nine different organizations selected at least one Clemson player in the 2019 and/or 2020 NFL Drafts. While eight organizations (Bengals, Cardinals, Dolphins, Eagles, Falcons, Giants, Lions and Rams) each selected one Clemson player in that span, the Raiders led the pack with five Clemson selections in that time frame.
In 2019, the then-Oakland Raiders selected defensive end Clelin Ferrell, cornerback Trayvon Mullen and wide receiver Hunter Renfrow, marking the Raiders’ first time selecting three players from the same school in a single draft in franchise history. It marked only the second time in history that a team had selected three Clemson players in a single draft (1983). Safety Tanner Muse and guard John Simpson joined the organization a year later, getting selected by the Raiders nine picks apart in the 2020 NFL Draft.
“They’ve all played in a bunch of big football games in their collegiate careers,” said Mike Mayock, then-General Manager of the Raiders. “They’ve all competed at the highest level, including against Alabama for National Championships. They’ve graduated, their character is phenomenal, I think Dabo [has done] a great job of really turning that program into, obviously, one of the top programs in the country… It’s a combination of watching the film itself and evaluating the player, it’s knowing what type of program they came out of, which preaches accountability to your yourself, your teammates, your coaches, and your university.”
While the Raiders didn’t select a Clemson player in 2021, the defending AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals are riding a two-year streak of Clemson selections, including wide receiver Tee Higgins in 2020 and offensive lineman Jackson Carman in 2021. This year, the Bengals can become the first team to select a Clemson player in three consecutive drafts since the Buffalo Bills selected someone from Clemson in four straight drafts from 2013-16. Prior to the Bills, it had last been accomplished by the Seattle Seahawks across the 1981-83 NFL Drafts and the Baltimore Colts across the 1980-82 NFL Drafts.
TWO STILL TIGER-LESS IN THE DRAFT
Clemson has had at least one player selected by 30 of the 32 active NFL franchises.
The Baltimore Ravens have never selected a player from Clemson since arriving in Charm City in 1996. The city has been host to nine Clemson draft picks though, including one by the AAFC’s Baltimore Colts and eight by the NFL’s Baltimore Colts before the franchise’s relocation to Indianapolis.
The other team without a Clemson draft pick to its historical ledger is the Carolina Panthers, a franchise whose very roots trace back to Death Valley. The franchise that is now housed less than 150 miles from Clemson’s campus has never selected a Clemson Tiger despite playing all of their home games in their inaugural 1995 campaign at Memorial Stadium.
IN THE CARDS
Few NFL franchises have been as nomadic as the Cardinals, who have laid claim to four different municipalities in three different metro areas since their inception in 1920. Clemson has had at least one player selected by every iteration of the Cardinals, including four by the Chicago Cardinals, seven by the St. Louis Cardinals, two by the Phoenix Cardinals and two by the Arizona Cardinals, including linebacker Isaiah Simmons in 2020.
The Cardinals’ 15 selections from Clemson are the third-most by any single franchise all-time, trailing the New York Giants (18, plus a supplemental selection from the USFL in 1984) and Pittsburgh Steelers (17). Five franchises (49ers, Bears, Bills, Colts and Rams) are tied for fourth, with 12 Clemson selections each all-time.