NFL Draft Primer: Three Tigers might get the call in the first round


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Three Clemson defensive linemen might swag surf their way into the first round
Three Clemson defensive linemen might swag surf their way into the first round

The NFL Draft is going country.

The draft, which begins on Thursday, April 25, will be held for the first time in Nashville, Tennessee. NFL fans will be able to tune in on a variety of platforms to watch every selection from the three-day event. Round 1 will commence at 8:00 p.m. ET.

NFL Draft TV Schedule

Thursday, April 25: 8:00 p.m. EDT - NFL Draft, Round 1; ABC, ESPN, NFL Network and ESPN Deportes | NFL.com/Watch

Friday, April 26: 7:00 p.m. EDT - NFL Draft, Rounds 2-3; ABC, ESPN/ESPN2, NFL Network and ESPN Deportes | NFL.com/Watch

Saturday, April 27: Noon EDT - NFL Draft, Rounds 4-7; ABC, ESPN, NFL Network and ESPN Deportes | NFL.com/Watch

NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah posted his latest mock draft and has defensive tackle Christian Wilkins going with the 13th overall pick to the Miami Dolphins and his former coach at Clemson, Marion Hobby. He has defensive end Clelin Ferrell going with the 25th overall pick to the Philadelphia Eagles, and has defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence as a possibility with the 29th overall pick to the Seattle Seahawks.

Jeremiah has those three players listed in his Top 50 players and five in his Top 100.

Here is what he has to say about the three potential first-round picks:

CHRISTIAN WILKINS

*Wilkins has solid size (6-foot-3, 315 pounds) for the position, and he's been a disruptive presence along the Clemson line throughout his career. Against the pass, he has quick feet and hands, which allow him to routinely win early in the down. He's at his best when slanting and working through the edges of blockers. He isn't a powerful bull rusher. Against the run, he is much better on the back side. He relies on quickness to slip blocks and does a good job of avoiding cut blocks. On the front side, he'll occasionally get too high -- and consequently, get turned and dumped. Overall, Wilkins has upside as a pass rusher and penetrator, but you'll have to live with some deficiencies at the point of attack.

CLELIN FERRELL

*Ferrell has excellent size, length and power. As a pass rusher, he lacks an elite get-off, but he has an effective dip/rip move and can generate some knockback with his hands. He has some stiffness at the top of his rush, but his effort is outstanding and he's a finisher once he gets to the quarterback. Against the run, he can hold the point of attack and does a nice job shedding blocks. Overall, Ferrell lacks elite athleticism, but I love his combination of size, effort and production.

DEXTER LAWRENCE

*Lawrence is a hulking defensive tackle at 6-4 and 342 pounds. As a pass rusher, he primarily relies on his strength and power to push the pocket. He does have impressive foot quickness and occasionally flashes a nifty swim move. However, he didn't get many opportunities, because Clemson brought in more explosive rushers in obvious passing situations. He is a dominant run defender. He easily stacks single blocks on the front side and refuses to be cut off on the back side. Teams will need to investigate the suspension for a failed test for performance-enhancing drugs that kept Lawrence out of the College Football Playoff. Overall, Lawrence will be an immediate force against the run, and I believe he has the potential to develop into more than a pocket pusher in the passing game.

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