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Apr 23, 2020

Clemson 2020 NFL Draft Central

Clemson Football • 2020 NFL Draft
Round 1, Pick 8 (Arizona Cardinals) • LB Isaiah Simmons
Round 7, Pick 250 (Los Angeles Rams) • OL Tremayne Anchrum

Day 3: Clemson Finishes 2020 NFL Draft With Seven Total Selections

CLEMSON, S.C. — The Day 3 selections of guard John Simpson by the Las Vegas Raiders, safety K’Von Wallace by the Philadelphia Eagles and offensive lineman Tremayne Anchrum by the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday brought Clemson’s total number of draftees in the 2020 NFL Draft to seven.

The seven Clemson selections in the 2020 NFL Draft pushed Clemson’s number of draft picks over the last five years to 31, adding to what is now the most-prolific five-year stretch of drafts in school history. Six of Clemson’s seven 2020 picks were selected in the first four rounds, breaking the program’s previous four-round record of five, set previously five times in 1991, 2011, 2016, 2017 and 2019.

For the third straight day, Clemson fans didn’t have to wait long to watch a former Tiger be selected. After Isaiah Simmons was selected with the eighth pick of Day 1 and Tee Higgins was selected with the first pick of Day 2, the Raiders selected Simpson with the third pick of Day 3. At No. 109 overall, Simpson’s selection marked the Raiders’ second pick from Clemson in a span of nine picks, representing the shortest span of picks between selecting two Clemson players in school history, passing the 14 picks between the Denver Broncos’ selections of Nick Eason and Bryant McNeal in 2003.

Wallace became the second Clemson player to be selected on Day 3, going to the Eagles at No. 127 overall. It marked the third time in history that the Eagles have selected a Clemson defensive back, starting in 1996, when the franchise drafted Pro Football Hall of Famer Brian Dawkins.

The Rams selected Anchrum in the seventh round with the No. 250 overall pick, as Anchrum will head to Los Angeles, where his father, Tremayne Anchrum Sr., played basketball at the University of Southern California. With the selections of both Simpson and Anchrum, Clemson produced multiple offensive linemen in a single draft for the first time since 1998 (Glenn Rountree and Jim Bundren).

DRAFT NOTES

CLEMSON

ISAIAH SIMMONS

A.J. TERRELL

TEE HIGGINS

TANNER MUSE

JOHN SIMPSON

K’VON WALLACE

TREMAYNE ANCHRUM

On Isaiah Simmons:

HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY: “Isaiah Simmons is as advertised. The reason he has become so intriguing to so many people is because of his versatility. He’s a graduate and he’s incredibly smart from a football standpoint. He played five positions and clearly wanted to execute at different positions for us, which demonstrates his knowledge and his diversity. But he’s a unicorn. You don’t find guys like him that can play safety, that can cover, that can blitz like a defensive end, and that can play linebacker. He’s a great special teams guy. There’s really nothing he can’t do. The biggest thing I can say about Isaiah is if you get 53 men on a roster, he’s like having 56.”

ASSOCIATE HEAD COACH/DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR/LINEBACKERS COACH BRENT VENABLES: “The first thing they’re getting is a tremendous teammate and leader. He’s somebody that’s very committed to his craft, somebody that has as much passion for football and being great as anybody that we’ve been around. In regards to his playing ability, he’s a tenacious competitor that hates to lose. He’s incredibly gifted, but his best football is still ahead of him. He’s very dynamic in his skillset and has incredible position flexibility. He’s as impactful as a player that we’ve had at Clemson, and he does that not only through his play on defense but also through his love of special teams.”

On A.J. Terrell:

HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY: “A.J. Terrell is the Deshaun Watson of this group, and what I mean by that is he’s a Deshaun Watson at a different position. The reason I say that — and this is what I’ve told everybody — is his consistency. He’s handled himself like a pro since the day he got here as far as his maturity, his love of preparation, his mindset, and the type of teammate he is. He’s got unique intangibles to go along with a rare skillset for his position.”

CORNERBACKS COACH MIKE REED: “The Falcons are getting a very highly skilled defensive back and a true professional on and off the field. He came in here with a business-like approach on day one. He’s a huge competitor, loves to work, loves to play football, loves to compete. And he ultimately is a great teammate. He is truly a great person, a joy to be around, and he’s going to be a big, integral part of that team.”

On Tee Higgins:

HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY: “Tee Higgins is as complete a receiver as we’ve had come out of Clemson. I think he’s in the same category as Mike Williams when it comes to being a complete receiver and you’re talking about size, speed, athleticism, catch radius, ball skills, ability to lean on people, body control and all of those type of things. He’s as complete a receiver as we’ve had come out of here. Tee is a great kid and a Day One starter.”

WIDE RECEIVERS COACH TYLER GRISHAM: “Tee is a consistently hard-working young man. For a high-profile guy and just a naturally talented player, it comes easy to him, but he doesn’t rest on his laurels and wants to improve every day. He’s a great practice player, which shows up on game day. Being so tall, he can win on jump balls. Having a basketball background, he’s able to time up those jump balls well, but for being a tall guy, he runs routes like he’s a 5’10” or 6’0” guy and has great top-end speed. His ability to get in and out of his breaks with ease is uncommon for a 6’4” receiver. He has phenomenal hands, but what gets overlooked is his toughness and strength. He was one of our best blockers because he has the tools and he cares and has the ‘want-to’ to do his job and help his teammates out. As a person, he’s a kind and respectful young man. He’s got a great smile and an innocence to him, and he’s known as a great teammate who is loved by his peers.”

ON TANNER MUSE:

HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY: “Tanner Muse is a poor man’s version of Isaiah Simmons, and what I mean by that is he’s not 6’4’’, but he’s very similar to Isaiah in that he can do a lot of things. In a day and age where everybody’s looking for a hybrid guy, he is the ultimate hybrid guy. He was a great safety for us but has the confidence to play linebacker and has elite speed. He can run with anybody. I think he’s a guy that has a chance to be an All-Pro special teams player. I think he’s got that type of impact. He’s a core special teams guy. He’s incredibly smart — a fifth-year senior, graduate, great leader, captain, and is going to really make somebody a heck of a football player. He’s got great energy and brings great energy and enthusiasm every single day and is excited about his opportunity coming up. It’s the same thing as Isaiah: He’s got versatility, he can do a lot of things and he can really, really run.”

SAFETIES COACH MICKEY CONN: “The Raiders are getting an unbelievable talent. He’s big, he’s strong, he’s fast, he’s physical. He’s just an incredible player. He’s a great leader. He can flat run. People have no idea how fast this guy is at his size. You’re talking about a guy who is 230 pounds that can run a 4.3 40-yard dash. He’s physical, aggressive and smart. He’s going to learn the defense. He knows he’s going to be very detailed in the understanding of the defense. Tanner is a student of the game and is going to be well-prepared. He’s more athletic than people give him credit for and he’s going to be an All-Pro on special teams early on. He can play all the special teams to start with and he’ll make a huge impact. And not only can he play safety, but he can play linebacker, he can play nickel, he could probably play defensive end. I mean, the guy is an unbelievable talent and he’s a winner and just a great leader for his team.”

On John Simpson:

HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY: “John Simpson was a captain and a graduate and is as good of an offensive lineman as we’ve had come through Clemson—going on 18 years, my 18th season—as good an offensive lineman as I’ve seen here. He’s ready-made. He’s what everybody’s looking for at the next level. He’s got all the measurables that everybody’s looking for as far as the strength, size, athleticism, flexibility and power. He’s been a great player for us. He’s played against the best of the best. I’m excited about his continued development at the next level.”

OFFENSIVE LINE COACH ROBBIE CALDWELL: “John Simpson is a big guy and mighty powerful. He brings an athleticism to the Raiders that is very special for a guy his size. I think he’s going to help the Raiders in the run and the pass game.”

ON K'VON WALLACE:

HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY: “K’Von Wallace is a graduate and was one of the most underrated guys probably in this draft. He’s kind of a Swiss Army knife as well. He’s kind of like Marcus Gilchrist in that he can play either safety, he can play nickel, he can play dime, and he can truly play corner. He does all the dirty work and he doesn’t mind doing it. He can blitz. He’ll come fill the gaps in the run game. He’s an excellent special teams player. High character, a captain, and one of the most energetic guys you’re going to have on your team and just a guy I think is going to make somebody a heck of a player. There is really nothing he can’t do. He can run. He’s got good size, strength, power and great versatility. He, along with Isaiah Simmons and Tanner Muse, do all the same things, just in a different way. He’s a true safety that can play corner. He’s got the toughness to go up in the box and the nickel and dime spots as well.”

SAFETIES COACH MICKEY CONN: “K’Von Wallace is a highly motivated football player. He’s smart and very instinctive player. He can play multiple positions. He can play safety, he can play nickel, he can play corner, and he plays them all really well. He is extremely determined to succeed. He will learn the playbook and he will get the job done; he’ll learn it early too because he’s extremely smart. He’ll be great on special teams, and he’ll make a huge impact. He’s a very unselfish player and willing to take on whatever role is best for the team. He’s a great team player and pulls for his teammates. He’s a very, very unselfish person and a winner, and that’s what they’re getting in taking K’Von Wallace.”

ON TREMAYNE ANCHRUM:

HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY: “Tremayne Anchrum was a very underrated guy in this draft. He has been a four-year starter out of position and has played against the best of the best from Chase Young to Clelin Ferrell and everybody in between. He’s incredibly smart, very athletic, strong, and has a great football I.Q. He is another guy that’s going to change a locker room from a leadership standpoint. He is a captain and a graduate. He brings a lot of versatility to the offensive line because he can play tackle, obviously, because he started for us at this level for four years, but I think he’s got a chance to really make a really good guard at the next level.”

OFFENSIVE LINE COACH ROBBIE CALDWELL: “Tremayne can play several positions and is going to bring an intelligence factor to the Rams. He can play left or right and also has the ability and the knowledge to play center as well.”

#ICYMI

DAY 2: HIGGINS, MUSE SELECTED ON DAY 2 OF 2020 NFL DRAFT

CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson wide receiver Tee Higgins (No. 33 overall to the Cincinnati Bengals) and safety Tanner Muse (No. 100 overall to the Las Vegas Raiders) were both selected on Day 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft on Friday evening. Including the selections of linebacker Isaiah Simmons and cornerback A.J. Terrell on Thursday, Clemson now has four selections through the first three rounds of this year’s draft.

“Wide Receiver U” took center stage as Day 2 commenced. The Bengals selected Higgins with the evening’s first pick, pushing Clemson’s nation-leading and school-record number of consecutive drafts with a wide receiver selected to five. The two-time All-ACC selection became the ninth Clemson receiver selected in the NFL Draft since 2013.

The Raiders have become a frequent destination for Clemson draft picks in recent years and added to that association with the selection of Muse in the third round. Including the Raiders’ selections of Clelin Ferrell, Trayvon Mullen and Hunter Renfrow in the 2019 NFL Draft and Muse’s selection this year, the Raiders became the first NFL franchise to draft four Clemson players in a two-draft span since the New York Giants in the 1983-84 drafts.

The 2020 NFL Draft will resume at noon ET on Saturday with Rounds 4-7.

DAY 1: Simmons, Terrell Selected in First Round of 2020 NFL Draft

CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons (No. 8 overall to the Arizona Cardinals) and cornerback A.J. Terrell (No. 16 overall to the Atlanta Falcons) were both selected in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft on Thursday evening. With their selections, Clemson has now produced multiple first-round picks in back-to-back drafts for the first time in program history.

One year after placing three defensive players in the first 17 selections of the 2019 NFL Draft, Clemson’s multiple selections from its defense in the 2020 NFL Draft made Clemson the only defense in the country to produce multiple first-rounders in each of the last two drafts.

Simmons’ selection by the Cardinals at No. 8 gave Clemson a selection in the first 10 picks in back-to-back drafts for the third time in program history after Clelin Ferrell was selected with the No. 4 overall pick a year ago. Clemson has previously produced Top 10 selections in consecutive drafts in 1982 (Jeff Bryant) and 1983 (Terry Kinard) and 2014 (Sammy Watkins) and 2015 (Vic Beasley).

Terrell became the third-highest cornerback selected in Clemson history, trailing only selections by Donnell Woolford (No. 11 by Chicago in 1989) and Tye Hill (No. 15 by St. Louis in 2006). Terrell, an Atlanta native, becomes the first Clemson player drafted by his home state team since 2015, when the Falcons took Georgia natives Vic Beasley and Grady Jarrett on Day 1 and Day 3 of the draft, respectively.

The 2020 NFL Draft will resume at 7 p.m. ET on Friday with Rounds 2-3.

2020 NFL DRAFT DETAILS

CLEMSON PRE-DRAFT NOTES:
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: 2020 NFL DRAFT

WHAT: 85th Annual National Football League Player Selection Meeting

WHERE: To be held remotely in observance of COVID-19 protocols

WHEN: 8 p.m. ET on Thursday, April 23 (Round 1); 7 p.m. ET on Friday, April 24 (Rounds 2-3); Noon ET on Saturday, April 25 (Rounds 4-7)

TIMING: Round 1: 10 minutes per selection. Round 2: Seven minutes per selection. Rounds 3 through 6, including compensatory picks: Five minutes per selection. Round 7, including compensatory picks: Four minutes per selection.

TELEVISION: A “Draft-A-Thon” will be featured across the live draft coverage on ABC, ESPN, ESPN Deportes and NFL Network and pay tribute to healthcare workers and first responders in a variety of ways – including raising funds for the work being done to combat the impact of COVID-19.

CLEMSON PARTICIPATION: Three Clemson players are expected to participate in NFL “Draft-A-Thon” coverage, including wide receiver Tee Higgins, linebacker Isaiah Simmons and cornerback A.J. Terrell.

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