Clemson Football: Ruke Orhorhoro drafted in the second round by the Atlanta Falcons

Another Clemson Football defensive tackle is making the short trip down to Atlanta to play professional ball for the Falcons.
Feb 28, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Clemson defensive lineman Ruke Orhorhoro (DL21) speaks
Feb 28, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Clemson defensive lineman Ruke Orhorhoro (DL21) speaks / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It didn’t take long on Day 2 of the NFL Draft for another Clemson Football alum to come off the board.

Ruke Orhorhoro was drafted with the 35th overall pick by the Atlanta Falcons. He will be joining fellow Tigers Grady Jarrett, who has been a mainstay of the defensive line for years, and AJ Terrell.

Orhorhoro was a member of Clemson’s Class of 2019. He was born in Nigeria before moving to the United States. He played prep football at River Rouge High School in Michigan. He was evaluated as a 3-star prospect by 247Sports.

247Sports analyst Brian Dohn saw the potential for Orhorhoro to be a pro when he scouted him in high school.

"Improving technique and becoming more instinctive a must. Adding flexibility important. Multi-year contributor at high-level program. Late-round NFL draft pick."

Brian Dohn

Orhorhoro is the perfect example of Dabo Swinney’s “slow cooker” philosophy of player development. He played sparingly as a freshman and then was limited to four games in 2020 following an injury.

When Brian Bresee was lost to injury in 2021, Orhorhoro stepped in and made a big impact, starting for Clemson nine times. He saw similar action in 2022 and was named third-team All-ACC by two outlets.

NFL analyst Lance Zierlein noted his steady progression, commenting on the jump he took in 2023.

"Orhorhoro had to wait his turn and share reps during his time at Clemson, thanks to the Tigers' deep, talented defensive fronts. His game is built upon leverage and explosiveness, but in 2023, he added a little more polish."

Lance Zierlein

He became a regular starter alongside Tyler Davis in 2023 and had five sacks and eight tackles for a loss. He improved his pro stock well above where Dohn originally thought he would land in the draft.