CLEMSON in the NFL

Xavier Thomas could use a strong junior campaign to boost his pro stock.
Xavier Thomas could use a strong junior campaign to boost his pro stock.

PFF projects Lawrence as No. 1 pick, two Tigers in NFL draft top-10


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Clemson could have two top-10 picks for the first time in school history next spring.

Pro Football Focus projects Trevor Lawrence being the program's first No. 1 selection in football.

"I know everyone is saying that Justin Fields made up ground on Lawrence last season, but something drastic would have to change for Lawrence not to be the No. 1 pick," PFF's Mike Renner said. "He’s earned grades of 90.7 and 91.0 in his first two seasons and has elite physical tools for the position."

After a quiet sophomore campaign, Xavier Thomas is expected to show his 5-star talent into a top-10 pick at No. 7.

"We were expecting big things from Thomas heading into his sophomore year, but they never quite came to fruition," Renner said. "After racking up 26 pressures on 150 pass-rushing snaps as a freshman, Thomas had the exact same amount on 96 more pass-rushes as a sophomore. That talent he showed as a freshman didn’t disappear, though."

Adjusting to some different defensive looks, Thomas finished with fewer tackles (31 to 43), tackles for loss (8 to 10.5) and sacks (2 to 3.5) in his first year as a starter versus being a freshman reserve.

Lawrence had his struggles as well but finished the season on a school-best 239 passes without an interception and scored the second-most rushing TDs on the team (9).

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