NFL draft: Former Clemson DB selected by Eagles

NFL draft: Former Clemson DB selected by Eagles

by - Staff Writer -

Former Clemson defensive back K'Von Wallace was selected with the 127th overall pick in the fourth round by the Philadelphia Eagles Saturday.

He is the sixth Tiger drafted so far, joining fellow defenders Isaiah Simmons (8th; Cardinals), AJ Terrell (16th; Falcons) and Tanner Muse (100th; Raiders) and Clemson offensive teammates Tee Higgins (33rd; Bengals) and John Simpson (109th; Raiders).

"He is another of those new-breed safeties who can play in the back-end as a strong safety and really does his best work in the box as a nickel and dime type of corner," ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. said of Wallace. "He's a guy who has tremendous instincts and very good with route recognition and is very comfortable down there. He can be used as a blitzer and he's a strong tackler. He has good play-entry points both against the run and the pass...Wish he was a little bit faster, and if he was, he would've gone a lot higher in this draft because he can play so many positions.

"Think about what Xavier McKinney did at Alabama, he did the same thing at Clemson and did it at a very high level."

Wallace saw action in 59 games as a Tiger (tied for school record), starting 36 of them. He played in 1,896 snaps and tallied 178 stops (5.5 for loss), 21 passes broken up, five interceptions and two sacks.

The Highland Springs, Virginia product was a third-team All-ACC selection last season after totaling 81 stops (three for loss), 10 pass breakups, two sacks and two interceptions (one for a TD).

Wallace was rated the No. 8 safety by CBS Sports and the No. 10 safety by ESPN.

He is projected a $706K signing bonus and a $3.3 million contract overall, per Spotrac.

Clemson coaches weigh in on Wallace pick (Via Clemson)

HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY: “K’Von Wallace is a graduate and was one of the most underrated guys probably in this draft. He’s kind of a Swiss Army knife as well. He’s kind of like Marcus Gilchrist in that he can play either safety, he can play nickel, he can play dime, and he can truly play corner. He does all the dirty work and he doesn’t mind doing it. He can blitz. He’ll come fill the gaps in the run game. He’s an excellent special teams player. High character, a captain, and one of the most energetic guys you’re going to have on your team and just a guy I think is going to make somebody a heck of a player. There is really nothing he can’t do. He can run. He’s got good size, strength, power and great versatility. He, along with Isaiah Simmons and Tanner Muse, do all the same things, just in a different way. He’s a true safety that can play corner. He’s got the toughness to go up in the box and the nickel and dime spots as well.”

SAFETIES COACH MICKEY CONN: “K’Von Wallace is a highly motivated football player. He’s smart and very instinctive player. He can play multiple positions. He can play safety, he can play nickel, he can play corner, and he plays them all really well. He is extremely determined to succeed. He will learn the playbook and he will get the job done; he’ll learn it early too because he’s extremely smart. He’ll be great on special teams, and he’ll make a huge impact. He’s a very unselfish player and willing to take on whatever role is best for the team. He’s a great team player and pulls for his teammates. He’s a very, very unselfish person and a winner, and that’s what they’re getting in taking K’Von Wallace.”

Wallace notes (via Clemson)

Became the 63rd player to have played for Head Coach Dabo Swinney to be drafted into the NFL, including the 14th fourth-round pick of Swinney’s tenure.

Became the 15th defensive back (and sixth safety) selected in the Swinney era, dating back to the 2009 NFL Draft. Clemson has now had at least one defensive back selected in 10 of the last 12 NFL drafts.

Became Clemson’s third player selected with the No. 127 overall pick all-time, joining DT Archie Reese (1878) and DE Mallicah Goodman (2013).

Became the Eagles’ 12th selection from Clemson all-time and Philadelphia’s first since selecting DE Ricky Sapp in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

Represents the third Clemson defensive back selected by the Eagles all-time, including when Philadelphia selected Pro Football Hall of Famer Brian Dawkins in the 1996 NFL Draft.

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