CLEMSON in the NFL

(USA TODAY Sports-Rich Barnes)
(USA TODAY Sports-Rich Barnes)

Isaiah Simmons tops ESPN NFL draft prospect ranking


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ESPN's latest NFL draft prospect ranking has a familiar name on top.

Here less than a week from next week's selections (April 23), Isaiah Simmons is No. 1 according a collection of NFL scouts, coaches and more sources.

"Simmons projects as an early-down safety who can drop to linebacker in nickel and dime packages," ESPN senior writer Jeff Legwold writes. "The game video shows snaps at five different positions -- outside linebacker, inside linebacker, free safety, strong safety and slot cornerback. The team that finds the right mix for his talents will have a spectacular player."

Recent Playoff foes make up the next three spots with Ohio State DE Chase Young, LSU QB Joe Burrow and Ohio State CB Jeff Okudah.

Tee Higgins (24) and AJ Terrell (28) are each in the top-30 and John Simpson also made the top-100 (95).

"Higgins averaged more than 19 yards per catch in two of his three seasons with the Tigers," Legwold said, "and he had a touchdown reception every 4.7 catches during the past two seasons. He can play multiple receiver spots and might be the best of the class in contested catches. Higgins will need to be more physical in press coverage."

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