Alabama, Georgia, Michigan, Notre Dame, Clemson, Oklahoma. What do all of these teams have in common? They are often powerhouses in the NFL Draft, grooming top tier pro talent year after year. This is the first in a segment of spotlight articles, highlighting different prospects from powerhouse college teams, and their NFL Draft prospects…..
We saw Alabama. Now? Clemson.
Sure-Fire Draft Selections
Christian Wilkins (DT)
The Clemson defensive line was one of the best in the NCAA last year. Don’t believe me? Watch their playoff games against Notre Dame and Alabama and let me know. Wilkins doesn’t have that great of a first step, but once he gets moving, he’s an absolute force on the inside, driving offensive linemen backwards. Wilkins isn’t great in his pursuit in the pass-rushing game, and won’t get you many sacks (just 16 in his career.) What he will get you is a great run stuffer (40.5 TFL) and a menace in the middle.
Draft Stock: Early-Mid First Round Selection
Clelin Ferrell (EDGE)
Wilkins can credit a lot of his success to Ferrell, who was an absolute menace on the outside, who registered 27 sacks in three years, and 50.5 tackles for loss. In the NFL, Ferrell will better transition into a 4-3 defensive end, as his burst out of a three point stance is better than out of a two point. He won’t miss many tackles, and is physical at the line of scrimmage. With a great first step, he’ll be able to beat a lot of average NFL linemen right off the bat.
Draft Stock: Early-Mid First Round Selection
Dexter Lawrence (DT)
Yet another great piece from that dominant defensive line, Lawrence steps in as an intriguing prospect. He has great hands with a decent first step, allowing for great separation to make quick moves inside on running backs; however, opposite of a bull rush, he doesn’t have a move to go after quarterbacks, making his pass rushing null and void. 18.5 sacks, 10 TFL, and three swatted passes highlight his college career. His weight could be an issue, but we’ve seen many players get it under control.
Draft Stock: Second Round
Trayvon Mullen (CB)
Clemson’s secondary often got overshadowed by their outstanding front seven, but make no mistake, Mullen will be a stud at the next level. He excels well in man coverage, especially jamming his opponents at the line of scrimmage. His worst trait is probably his change of direction. He has a hard time with rotating his hip, and can get beat on inside-out routes. His ball skills and excellent length can often bail him out on busted coverages, and his physically will bode well at the next level.
Draft Stock: Late Second Round
Tre Lamar (LB)
Lamar is a big and physical presence and that alone should get him into the NFL. On the downside, his coverage skills are non-existent, he doesn’t have any lateral speed or movement, and has no hip flexibilty. He’ll likely be better off as a 3-4 weakside middle linebacker, where he can learn those skills and work of his athletic prowess.
Draft Stock: Third Round
Austin Bryant (EDGE) – Draft Stock: 4th Round
Mitch Hyatt (OL) – Draft Stock: 5th Round
Hunter Renfrow (WR) – Draft Stock: 5th Round
Albert Huggins (DL) – Draft Stock: 5th Round
Mark Fields (CB) – Undrafted
Kendall Joseph (LB) – Undrafted
Justin Falcinelli (OL) – Undrafted
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