NFL scout says Clemson DL is "overrated." Them's fightin' words
|Sunday, April 29, 2018, 1:29 PM- -|
Let the hate, or jockeying for draft position, begin.
Clemson enters the 2018 season with the best defensive line in college football. It’s not close if you ask me. I’ve seen a lot of football, I’ve watched a lot of games, and I can tell you without any doubt or hesitation that Clemson’s group is superior to anyone else in the nation.
Ohio St.? Please. Don’t even go there. That group gets pushed around more than a landscaper’s mower. Auburn? Hey, they are still Auburn.
That trio then stunned the nation and announced they would return to Clemson, joining standout defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence, who many thought would have three new starters with him this season.
Now that the 2018 NFL Draft is over, some in the NFL seem to be thinking that Clemson’s players are overrated.
Clemson DL is stacked on paper, but NFL scouts have already started warning people they've been overrated. Will be a fun process to watch in 2019.— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) April 29, 2018
Um, where I come from, them’s fightin’ words.
It is well-known that many NFL scouts and general managers talk down about players, hoping that the opposition will take notice. They want players’ stock to fall. But this….it just sounds wrong.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney agrees.
“We are just very fortunate. Some years are just different than other years,” Swinney told TigerNet earlier this spring. “Some years you have inexperience, and you are just coaching on the run. You have talented guys, and you have to go through a process with them.”
Swinney says this defensive line has depth beyond the Fearsome Foursome.
“We have several guys that would probably be starting some years here, but they've got these veteran guys in front of them, and they are pushing them,” Swinney said. “But what I love is those younger guys are pushing those veterans, too. They just have this unbelievable amount of energy. Xavier and KJ are relentless. And it's fun because they are talented enough to push those older guys. Not that they need to be pushed because they are self-motivated guys and they bring it every day. And it's just a lot of fun.”
The group is good on the field and off the field.
“You have Dexter, who isn't doing any of the live work. But he is coaching every play,” Swinney said. “And Christian loves that teaching. He loves to teach, as you know. He loves to take those young guys under his wing and challenging them. He stays after practice with them. We have got a good group. Jordan has had a great spring. Nyles Pinckney has really come on. He is a redshirt sophomore, and I really love what I see out of him right now with his body language and his focus.
“Josh Belk is going to be a great player. He has all of the tools. Sometimes you forget he is 18. He is just a young man in a grown man's body right now who is dealing with Huggins and Nyles and Dexter and Christian and guys that have been around here. He has been thrown right into that bunch. But he is going to be really good. It's a good group and they are all doing a good job.”
Overrated? Tell that to the 12 opponents on Clemson’s schedule. I get it – the NFL is different than college. What a group does in college has very little impact on what an individual will do in the NFL. I understand all of that. But overrated? Like I said, them’s fightin’ words.