CLEMSON in the NFL

Tee Higgins has made a name for himself early at the pro level. (Photo: Denny Medley / USATODAY)
Tee Higgins has made a name for himself early at the pro level. (Photo: Denny Medley / USATODAY)

Five Tigers make ESPN survey of top-100 players in league


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Five Clemson pros made the top-100 players in the NFL according to a survey of 50 experts polled by ESPN recently.

Atlanta's AJ Terrell topped the group at No. 46 overall, being projected to nab three interceptions and knock down 13 more passes this season.

"He's versatile. It's not just one element of his game that you can nitpick at," former Falcons wide receiver Geronimo Allison told ESPN. "And I think that's what makes veterans veterans. That's what makes the greats greats. You can't just find that one niche that, you can say, like he was it."

Next up is Los Angeles Chargers receiver Mike Williams (80).

"Williams is a quarterback's dream: Throw the ball up, and let him go get it," said ESPN's Lindsey Thiry. "At 6-foot-4, Williams has an unmatched ability to go against any defensive back and win a 50/50 ball, and it showed as he accumulated 1,146 receiving yards last season. Another season with quarterback Justin Herbert will continue to benefit the sixth-year receiver."

Fellow 'WRU' member Tee Higgins, of Cincinnati, is not far behind (84).

"He's gotten faster, more explosive. He already has the length, so now, he uses that to his advantage. He can go up and make the 50-50 catch, which he didn't do his rookie year and he did last year," said Bengals assistant Troy Walters to ESPN.

Coming off of injury and starting the year on suspension, DeAndre Hopkins is pretty low on the list at No. 96.

"It's how defenses have to prepare for Hopkins that's one of his strongest weapons. Just look at the end of last season when he wasn't on the field. Arizona went 3-5 in the eight games he missed last year because of injury, including 1-4 in the last five. He'll miss the first six this season because of a suspension," said ESPN's Josh Weinfuss.

Atlanta's Grady Jarrett rounds out the list for former Tigers at No. 98.

"He's a dynamic guy with polished moves. So your hand and body position has got to be right every time, because he'll make you wrong. And he's just strong. He's got good technique, quick, strong -- kind of checks all the boxes. Keeps you on your toes. If you're leaning forward, he'll feel that and pull you through," Falcons center Drew Dalman told ESPN.

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