The Raiders are beginning to be known as the Clemson Raiders by some and the Las Vegas Tigers by others. Or Clemson West. Take your pick.
Raiders GM Mike Maycock and head coach Jon Gruden seem to like what the Tigers are producing on and off of the field. This was even more evident when Las Vegas chose their second Clemson player over the last two days.
They have now taken Tanner Muse at #100 and John Simpson with their 109th pick in this years NFL Draft. Las Vegas has now also picked five Tigers total over the last two drafts, after taking Clelin Ferrell, Trayvon Mullen, and Hunter Renfrow last year..
Tanner Muse was a third-team AP All American and a Thorpe Award semifinalist during his senior season. This was after Muse earned first team All ACC honors with 73 tackles, five pass breakups, and led the Tigers with four interceptions.
His 59 career games played was also good enough to put Muse in the Clemson record books. He left Clemson tied with Christian Wilkins, Cannon Smith, and K’Von Wallace for the most games played in Clemson history, totaling 39 starts and 1,921 snaps.
Muse, who is a Belmont, NC native, totaled 237 tackles,10.5 TFL, 15 passes broken up, four sacks, seven interceptions (one of which was a pick-six), and a fumble return for a TD.
Jon Gruden even told Muse in a call Friday that he was happy to keep that “Clemson Tiger pipeline hot” after the Raiders selected the Clemson safety.. Gruden then told Muse that he was counting on him to be a factor at linebacker and on special teams for the Raiders.
The second Tiger taken by Las Vegas was offensive guard John Simpson. He was selected with the 109th overall pick in the fourth round, after the Raiders traded up 12 spots with Detroit so they could get Simpson. He is the fifth Tiger selected in the 2020 draft so far, joining Tanner Muse, Isaiah Simmons (8th; Arizona), AJ Terrell (16th; Atlanta) and Tee Higgins (33rd; Cincinnati).
Simpson earned consensus first team All America honors and was named ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week three times during his senior season. He was also a semifinalist for the Outland Trophy.
Simpson started 29 of his 50 games as a Tiger and played 2,043 snaps. He also scored his first career touchdown at any level out of Clemson’s ‘Fridge’ package in the division winner over NC State last season.
No matter what people think of the Las Vegas Raiders one thing is for sure and that is they, like the Tigers, are looking to build a winner year in and year out. They’ve started this by drafting young men that Dabo Swinney and company have been prepping them so that they’d be ready to succeed. That’s also great because everyone knows Orange livens up Black and Silver in a great way.