CLEMSON FOOTBALL

Three Tigers in Mel Kiper's 2019 Mock Draft

Three Tigers in Mel Kiper's 2019 Mock Draft


by - Assoc. Editor -

The 2019 NFL Draft is less than a month away as it kicks off on Thursday, April 25 at 9:00 pm.

However, that means there is still time for more Mel Kiper mock drafts to scrutinize.

The ESPN draft analyst released his 2019 NFL Mock Draft 3.0 Tuesday with three Clemson defenders listed in the first round.

Pass rusher Clelin Ferrell was projected to go to the Carolina Panthers at pick No. 16 overall.

"The Panthers signed pass-rusher Bruce Irvin to a one-year deal to help replace the retired Julius Peppers, but they need some more help now and for the long term," Kiper said. "Ferrell is a fit as a classic 4-3 defensive end with a big frame (6-foot-4, 264 pounds). He's not flashy on film, but he gets to quarterbacks and is strong against the run. Safety is another position to watch for Carolina."

Ferrell had 54 tackles including 19.5 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks, seven quarterback hurries, and three forced fumbles last season.

Defensive tackle Christian Wilkins followed right behind Ferrell at pick No. 17 overall to the New York Giants.

"This selection ends a run on edge rushers, with six going in my top 16 picks," Kiper said. "The Giants need help there, too, especially if they move to a 3-4 under new defensive coordinator James Bettcher, but Wilkins (6-foot-3, 315 pounds) is a different kind of defensive lineman who could play tackle in a 4-3 or end in a 3-4. He has been underrated on a loaded Clemson defense, but he had 15 tackles for loss last season."

Wilkins registered 50 tackles including 15 for loss, six sacks, and two fumble recoveries in 2018.

Defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence was projected at pick No. 19 to the Tennessee Titans.

"Lawrence is the best true nose tackle in this class, a massive 6-foot-4, 342-pound rock who would be an ideal complement next to Jurrell Casey, one of the most underrated defenders in the league," Kiper said. "The Titans have upgraded at guard and wide receiver in free agency, so this pick should be to help improve their defense, which lost a few pieces this offseason."

Lawrence had 37 tackles including 7.5 for loss and 1.5 sacks last season.

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