NFL draft: Former Clemson OL selected by Raiders


by - Staff Writer -
NFL draft: Former Clemson OL selected by Raiders

Clemson West strikes again.

Former Clemson offensive guard John Simpson was selected with the 109th overall pick in the fourth round by the Raiders Saturday.

He is a second Clemson selection this draft by the Raiders, after going with Tanner Muse at No. 100 last night. He is a fifth ACC Tigers pick in the last two drafts after taking Clelin Ferrell, Trayvon Mullen and Hunter Renfrow last year.

The Raiders traded up 12 spots with Detroit to pick Simpson. He is a fifth Tiger selected in the 2020 draft so far, after Muse, Isaiah Simmons (8th; Arizona), AJ Terrell (16th; Atlanta) and Tee Higgins (33rd; Cincinnati).

Simpson earned consensus first-team All-America honors and earned ACC offensive lineman of the week three times as a senior, also a semifinalist for the Outland Trophy.

He started 29 of his 50 games as a Tiger and played 2,043 snaps. Simpson also scored his first career touchdown at any level out of the Clemson ‘Fridge’ package in the division-clincher over NC State this past season.

Simpson was rated as the No. 9 offensive guard prospect by ESPN.

He is projected a $797K signing bonus and a $3.4 million contract total, per Spotrac.

Clemson coaches weigh in on Simpson (via Clemson)

HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY: “John Simpson was a captain and a graduate and is as good of an offensive lineman as we’ve had come through Clemson—going on 18 years, my 18th season—as good an offensive lineman as I’ve seen here. He’s ready-made. He’s what everybody’s looking for at the next level. He’s got all the measurables that everybody’s looking for as far as the strength, size, athleticism, flexibility and power. He’s been a great player for us. He’s played against the best of the best. I’m excited about his continued development at the next level.”

OFFENSIVE LINE COACH ROBBIE CALDWELL: “John Simpson is a big guy and mighty powerful. He brings an athleticism to the Raiders that is very special for a guy his size. I think he’s going to help the Raiders in the run and the pass game.”

Simpson notes (Via Clemson)

Became the 62nd player to have played for Head Coach Dabo Swinney to be drafted into the NFL, including the 13th fourth-round pick of Swinney’s tenure.

Became the first Clemson offensive lineman drafted since Brandon Thomas’ selection in the third round (No. 100 overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft.

Represents the fifth-highest Clemson offensive lineman selected in the NFL Draft in the Common Draft era since 1967, trailing Harry Olszewski (No. 64 in 1968), Joe Bostic (No. 64 in 1979), Wayne Mass (No. 99 in 1968) and Thomas (No. 100 in 2014). It makes Simpson the third-highest Clemson offensive lineman selected since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.

Was the 11th Clemson player selected by the Raiders all-time, including an AFL Draft and Supplemental Draft selection. Prior to last year, the Raiders had gone nine years since their most recent selection from Clemson (Jacoby Ford in 2010). The Raiders have since drafted five Clemson players across the 2019-20 drafts.

Made the Raiders the first franchise ever to select multiple Clemson players in back-to-back drafts and made them the first franchise to select five Clemson players in a two-draft span.

Set a Clemson record for the shortest span between two Clemson players being picked by one team by virtue of being selected nine picks after the Raiders also selected Tanner Muse. The previous one-team span had been 14 picks, set by the Denver Broncos in 2003 when they selected Nick Eason and Bryant McNeal 14 picks apart.

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