There are many ways to look at any situation, so it is with this year’s NFL Draft.
I’ll admit, the low numbers of drafted Tigers had me concerned but a wiser man pointed out the huge amount of draftable talent that elected to stay at Clemson for a final season. Hence the quiet draft for Dabo Swinney’s program. This tweet from Tim Bourret puts this year and next year’s drafts in proper perspective.
There are still a few statistical streaks that were continued after the Draft this week. With these selections in the 2022 NFL Draft, Swinney pushed his total of draft picks in his head coaching tenure to 71, the second-most by any coach in the nation, active or inactive, since 2009.
Here is a recap of a very quiet draft for the Clemson Tigers.
Andrew Booth, Jr.
The Minnesota Vikings selected cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. in the second round on Friday. Booth was thought to be a late first round pick but he slipped into the second round as the 42nd overall pick. He had an impressive career at Clemson and was exceptional last season.
Clemson’s newest additions to the NFL extended the Tigers’ streak of consecutive drafts with at least one selection to 20 since 2003, representing the second-longest streak in school history behind a 24-year streak across the 1951-74 NFL Drafts. Clemson has produced multiple selections in each draft in its active 20-year streak.
The Buffalo Bills selected Clemson linebacker Baylon Spector in the seventh round (No. 231 overall) of the 2022 NFL Draft on Saturday. Spector was a two-year starter at weakside linebacker for Clemson from 2020-21 during his five-year Clemson tenure. The two-time All-ACC Academic team honoree played 53 games with 21 starts and finished his career credited with 210 tackles (22.0 for loss), 9.0 sacks, four forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, three pass breakups and an interception in 1,456 defensive snaps.
Tiger cornerback Mario Goodrich is headed to the Philadelphia Eagles and will sign a free agent contract. The deal reportedly includes $217K worth of guaranteed money, something rarely seen in these type of transactions. A first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference last season, Goodrich had five interceptions in his career with the Tigers, including an 18-yard pick-6 in the Cheez-It Bowl victory against Iowa State in December.
Tiger safety Nolan Turner agreed to a free agent contract with Tampa Bay. Nolan, like his late father and NFL great, Kevin Turner, hopes to continue the NFL legacy. As you might remember, Kevin was a teammate of Dabo Swinney at Alabama and went on to play eight NFL seasons. Nolan was very impressive at Clemson’s 2022 Pro Day. He recorded the top times and/or distances in three events. A 37.5-inch vertical jump and a 4.46 in the 40-yard dash. His head turning performance, along with his years of college production, was impressive enough for Tampa Bay management to offer him his shot.
Skalski has signed a free agent deal with the Colts. The middle linebacker was a key component in the Clemson defense over the past three seasons and is the only player in history to ever play in and win five ACC Championship Games. He was also part of the Tigers’ 2016 and 2018 national championship teams and appeared in the College Football Playoff five times.
The two-time All ACC player ends his six-year college career with 310 tackles, 10 sacks, 20.5 tackles for loss, 12 pass breakups, two fumble recoveries, one of which was returned for a touchdown and one forced fumble. His 69 career games played tied for the school and modern FBS record.
Unfortunately, the former wideout went undrafted and has yet to sign on with any team.
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