NFL draft analysts high on Clemson defenders out of combine


by - Correspondent -
(Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)
(Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports)

A number of former Tigers are competing to raise their draft stock in the next month-plus until the NFL draft in late April (25-27).

Christian Wilkins has continued to catch the eye of NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah, coming out of Wilkins' 2019 NFL draft combine performance.

"People ask 'why do I have him as the top of these Clemson guys,'" Jeremiah said. "To me interior pass rushers are so hard to find, and he is so quick and explosive getting upfield. He'll get caught upright in the run game and toss to turn, but he's a disruptor and a penetrator."

Wilkins finsihed among the top half of his position group in the 40-yard dash (5.04 seconds) and bench press (28 reps).

A post-combine NFL mock draft Tuesday by Jeremiah sent Wilkins to the Tennessee Titans, at No. 19 overall.

Teammate Dexter Lawrence led all defenders and ranked second overall with 36 reps on the bench press, while fellow former Tiger D-lineman Albert Huggins finished third overall (35). Lawrence's measurables landed him among the top-12 most important numbers out of the combine according to NFL.com.

"Dexter Lawrence injured his quad on his first 40-yard dash attempt, but the body measurables we got on him help justify scouting takes that he has the potential to be a rare interior player," Cynthia Frelund wrote. "Lawrence's 84-inch wingspan is 7.5 inches longer than his height (he's 6-4 1/2 or 76.5 inches tall). With 34 3/4-inch arms and 10 1/2-inch hands, Lawrence's dimensions put him into a category where more elite and above-average players have come from."

Lawrence projected as the No. 31 pick by USA TODAY to the Los Angeles Rams.

The same USA TODAY analyst pegged Mark Fields as one of the combine winners after running one of the fastest 40s (4.37 official).











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