Clemson football: Tigers set or tied several draft records over the weekend


The 2020 Clemson football draft class tied or set many school records, which will more than likely be broken in 2021.

Seven former Clemson football players were selected in last week’s NFL Draft and for the first time in program history, the Tigers had at least two first-round selections in back to back years. In 2019, Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins, and Dexter Lawrence were all taken in the first round and this last weekend both Isaiah Simmons and A.J. Terrell were drafted in the first round.

Head coach Dabo Swinney has now had 64 former players drafted by the NFL since he was permanently hired in 2009. Only Nick Saban at Alabama has had more with a total of 97 NFL draft picks since 2009. Clemson football is the only program in the country to have at least 30 draft picks and make the last five college football playoff appearances.

For the first time since 1998, Clemson had two offensive linemen drafted in the same draft. This has been an area that coaches around the country have been able to use in negatively recruiting against Clemson when it comes to an elite offensive lineman.

With another standout year in 2020, Jackson Carman could become the first-ever Clemson offensive lineman to be taken in the first round of the NFL draft. Carman faced three defensive linemen that were drafted in the 2020 first round and held them all to their lowest output of the year.

If Carman is able to achieve this, he alone could give Clemson football the boost in recruiting they need to land more of the elite offensive linemen that they offer annually. The offensive line continues to be an area that the Tigers really struggle with both from a recruiting and on the field product standpoint.

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Finally, congrats to both Tee Higgins and A.J. Terrell who not heard their names called over the weekend but were also drafted by the teams that they grew up cheering for. Higgins told NFL commissioner that he grew up cheering for the Bengals and A.J. was drafted by his hometown Atlanta Falcons, whose NFL stadium is 25 minutes away from where he played high school football.