Clemson Football: Derion Kendrick will prove NFL potential in 2020

Derion Kendrick Clemson Tigers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Derion Kendrick Clemson Tigers (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Derion Kendrick has a major opportunity to make an impact for Clemson football in 2020 and prove his NFL worth at the same time.

The 2020 Clemson football team will being having some major competition during spring practice as the Tigers look to replace three starters in the secondary.

While there is plenty of talent to fill those positions, the one returning starter has an opportunity to make an impact that could vault him into getting a first-round grade in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Derion Kendrick returns as the lone starter- other than Nolan Turner, who played starter-level reps and started several games- in the secondary and he’ll be relied upon heavily this coming season.

Kendrick, a former wide receiver, moved to the cornerback position as a way to provide depth during spring practice last season. The Clemson football coaching staff made the decision to put him at the position as a way to add bodies to a depleted cornerback spot that was dealing with a bunch of injuries.

Little did they know Kendrick would solidify himself as the starter at cornerback before it was all said and done.

His lock-down coverage ability was on display several times last season and the Clemson football coaching staff even made the decision to move Kendrick to LSU’s best receiver- Ja’Marr Chase– when A.J. Terrell struggled to contain the prolific WR in the National Championship game. Kendrick performed admirably and showed great improvement over the course of the entire season.

As he enters his junior year, there’s reason to believe that Kendrick could solidify himself as a highly-sought after draft prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft.

He plays with great confidence and has all the attributes needed to become a high-profile cornerback at the next level.

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That will all begin, though, with a strong offseason. Kendrick needs to step up and become a leader in the secondary and gain the coaching staff’s trust as the No. 1 coverage option for the defense this season.

If he can do that, there’s nothing that will stop him from proving that NFL worth.