Clemson, SC-Clemson graduate Tye Hill was taken in the first round of the NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams on Saturday afternoon at 2:34 PM.
Here are some notes on Hill's selection:
*Hill was the first Clemson player to be drafted in the first round since Rod Gardner was taken in the first round with the #15 selection by the Washington Redskins in the 2001 draft.
*Hill was actually the fourth Clemson player to be taken with the #15
draft choice of the first round in the last 14 years. Wayne Simmons
(Green Bay Packers, 1993), Anthony Simmons (Seattle Seahawks, 1998) and Gardner (Washington Redskins, 2001) are the others to be taken at the #15 slot since 1993.
*When Hill had his press conference to preview the NFL draft in Clemson last Tuesday, he came to the meeting at the McFadden Auditorium on the Clemson campus wearing a St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap.
*Hill was the 15th pick of the draft, but the first cornerback taken.
*Hill was Clemson's 20th first round draft choice in history and is the highest draft choice by a Clemson player since Gardner was the
#15 choice in 2001.
*Hill is the third Clemson cornerback in school history to be taken
in the first round. Donnell Woolford was the #11 selection of the
entire draft by the Chicago Bears in 1989 and Antwan Edwards was the
#25 selection of the entire draft by the Green Bay Packers in 1999.
The highest selection by a Clemson defensive back is the #10 selection in the 1983 draft by Terry Kinard, who was a free safety.
*Hill was the first cornerback taken in the first round by the Rams since Todd Lyght was a first-round pick by the Rams out of Notre Dame in 1991.
*Hill was the first Clemson player taken in the draft in any round by the Rams since 1998 when Glen Rountree was a sixth round selection.
*Hill will have a strong chance to become the first former Tiger in the Rams roster since the 2002 season when Dexter McCleon was a starting cornerback for that franchise. McCleon was taken in the second round, the 40th overall selection by the Rams in the 1997
draft. McCleon played six years with the Rams (1997-02) and was a
member of the team's Super Bowl Championship squad in 1999 and also played in another Super Bowl with that club just two years later.
*Seven former Tigers have played with the Rams franchise over the years dating to Don Chuy, an offensive lineman who played with the club from 1963-68. Two of the seven have been cornerbacks (Dexter Davis, 1993-95) and McCleon (1997-02). Other former Tigers to play for the Rams include Lou Cordileone (1962), Steve Fuller (1983), Dale Hatcher (1985-89, 1991) and Tony Horne (1998-00).
*Tye Hill is the second Tiger named Hill to be drafted by an NFL team in the last two years. Leroy Hill was a third round selection of the Seahawks, the 98th selection, in the 2005 draft. He started the second half of the season and in the Super Bowl for the Seahawks this year. Tye Hill and Leroy Hill were starters together on the Clemson defense in 2003 and 2004, but they are not related.
*Clemson has now had 11 players drafted since Tommy Bowden became the head coach prior to the 1999 season. Eight of the 11 have been defensive players. Charlie Whitehurst, Clemson's starting quarterback the last four years, is also expected to be selected in the 2006 NFL draft. All 10 of the previous Tigers to be drafted under Bowden have made an NFL roster and eight of the 10 have appeared in an NFL game. Donnell Washington (Green Bay Packers) and Airese Currie (Chicago Bears) have been on injured lists and have not appeared in a game yet.
*Hill was one of 12 ACC players taken in the first round of the draft, the most by one conference in draft history according to ESPN.
There were 15 ACC players taken in the first 37 picks, including 13 defensive players.
*No wonder no ACC team ranked in the top 50 in the nation in total offense in 2005. Ten of the 12 ACC players who were chosen in the first round were defensive players.
*Clemson should take pride in its performances this year against
Florida State and NC State. Clemson scored 35 points against
Florida State and its defense that had four first round draft choices (only three played vs. the Tigers) in the 35-14 win over the Seminoles this year. Clemson defeated NC State and its three first round draft choices on defense in the Tigers 31-10 win in Raleigh this year. It was the most points scored against Florida State and NC State all season.