Three Tigers labeled future 'NFL stars'


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Dexter Lawrence is one of three Tiger d-linemen projected as future NFL stars.
Dexter Lawrence is one of three Tiger d-linemen projected as future NFL stars.

Three Clemson defenders made NFL.com's list of future NFL stars Tuesday.

The list, which was compiled from a survey of college coaches and NFL scouts, has Clemson products at No. 3 in Dexter Lawrence, No. 5 in Christian Wilkins and No. 8 in Clelin Ferrell.

Lawrence earned freshman All-American and ACC defensive rookie of the year honors with 79 tackles, 9.5 TFLs and 23 QB pressures in his debut season. Dealing with injuries last season, Lawrence still made first-team All-ACC with 39 tackles, three TFLs and five QB pressures over 12 games.

"At a weight that's been known to roam between 335 and 350 or more, Lawrence is one of the college game's biggest and most fearsome defenders," NFL.com's Chase Goodbread writes, "all belied by a teddy-bear demeanor off the field. Double teams find him immovable, which allows Clemson linebackers to attack inside run plays with greater ease. But unlike most space-eating DTs, Lawrence is also a playmaker. He's made a whopping 118 tackles in just 23 career starts over two seasons with 9.5 sacks."

Ferrell and Wilkins surprised many in college and pro circles by delaying their NFL careers for another Clemson campaign. Ferrell was a Ted Hendricks Award finalist and a first-team All-American last season and has 113 tackles, 30.5 TFLs and 15.5 sacks over two seasons. Wilkins won the Willis Award for the nation's top defensive lineman in 2017 and has earned All-American honors each of the last three seasons, totaling 193 tackles, 26 TFLs and 10 sacks.

Houston defensive tackle Ed Oliver and Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa lead the NFL list at No. 1 and No. 2 respectively.

Tags: Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins, Dexter Lawrence

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