NFL Draft Day is upon us and players from the Clemson football program are poised to have one the best drafts ever for the Tigers.
Former Clemson players Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne lead the way heading into the first round on Thursday. While Lawrence has endured the ups and downs that come with being projected as the number one overall pick, and has handled it all with the poise that he became known for, the other players have quietly been preparing for this experience too.
If Lawrence doesn’t get drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars at number-one, it will not only be one of the biggest shocks that Tiger fans have experienced, it will be one of the biggest draft day surprises in history.
Etienne has been rumored to be going anywhere from the Miami Dolphins to the Buffalo Bills, though it’s looking more and more likely it could be the latter. The most versatile running back in this year’s draft is expected to be drafted either in the first round or no lower than very early in the second. One of the biggest questions surrounding him entering the draft has been whether the Bills would trade up to make certain they could get him or whether they would even need to.
Amari Rodgers has been considered one of the most intriguing receivers in this year’s draft. He came back from a 2019 ACL injury surprisingly quickly and further solidified himself with a strong senior campaign. He’s going to be gone before the end of Round 3 and a possible landing spot could be Baltimore. This would team Rodgers up with former Clemson WR Sammy Watkins and Rodgers’ father Tee Martin, who is on the Ravens staff as the wide receivers coach.
Jackson Carman is considered to be a Top-10 offensive tackle by most NFL insiders and he’s gotten a great deal of interest across the league. He’s expected to end up in the third-round. There is the possibility that Carman and Lawrence could start their NFL careers as teammates as it’s been rumored that the Jaguars could take Carman in the beginning of the third-round. If this is true it could only help solidify their offensive line and build in front of Lawrence.
Last but definitely not least you have Cornell Powell, who arguably had one largest jumps in draft stock coming out of the 2020 season. He isn’t even being discussed had it not been for the huge 2020 season that saw his production explode, recording career highs in receptions (53), receiving yards (882), receiving touchdowns (seven).
His 2020 season helped so much that Powell now could go as high as late third or early fourth. The Carolina Panthers have shown a lot of interest in several Clemson players headed into this draft and some feel that they could finally end their streak of not taking a Clemson player by taking Powell in the fifth-round (don’t hold your breath). Whether it’s round four or later, Powell will hear his name called and that was a lot better than expected before last season.