April 27, 2011
Note: On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, ClemsonTigers.com will provide continuous updates to Clemson’s 2011 NFL Draft Central page as each 2010 Tiger is selected in the draft.
CLEMSON, SC – National Football league will hold its 2011 draft of college players Thursday, April 28 through Saturday, April 30. Many members of the 2010 Clemson team are candidates to be selected. ESPN.com draft tracker lists 10 Tigers as possible draft candidates.
The first round will get underway at 8:00 PM on Thursday night, while the second and third rounds will be held Friday night starting at 6 PM. Rounds four through seven will be held starting at noon on Saturday.
The Clemson list of potential draftees is led by Da’Quan Bowers, who led the nation in sacks with 15.5 and was second in tackles for loss with 26 in 2010. He was the recipient of the Bronko Nagurski Award as the National Defensive Player of the Year by the Football Writers Association, and winner of the Ted Hendricks Award as the top defensive end in college football. He was also a finalist for the Lombardi Award and the Chuck Bednarik Award. Bowers has been predicted to be a top 20 selection by nearly all draft projections, including a top 10 selection by many.
If Bowers is taken in the first round he will be the 24th first-round selection in Clemson history, the fourth in the last six years. Tye Hill was the 15th selection of the draft in 2006 by the St. Louis Rams, Gaines Adams was the fourth pick of the 2007 draft by the Tampa Bay Bucs, and C.J. Spiller was the number-nine selection by the Buffalo Bills last year.
Jarvis Jenkins, Marcus Gilchrist and DeAndre McDaniel could all be selected within the first four rounds of the draft according to analysts. Jenkins was a first team All-ACC defensive tackle last year when he had 53 tackles, including nine tackles for loss. Gilchrist had 66 tackles to rank fourth on the team and he also led the team in punt returns and kickoff returns. McDaniel finished his career tied for second in school history in interceptions with 15 and he led Clemson’s top 25 defense in tackles with 84.
Offensive tackle Chris Hairston, running back Jamie Harper and cornerback Byron Maxwell also have a strong chance of being drafted according to analysts. Hairston was a first-team All-ACC selection in 2010 and was a second team selection the previous year. Harper led Clemson in yards from scrimmage and was second in receptions from his running back position in 2010, while Maxwell had 48 tackles and finished his career second in school history in special teams tackles.
Miguel Chavis, Xavier Dye and Jamie Cumbie are also listed on ESPN.com website as draft possibilities from Clemson.
Clemson had five players drafted last year and four played in an NFL game in 2010. C.J. Spiller was the number-nine pick of the first round by Buffalo. Jacoby Ford did not go until the 108th selection of the draft by the Oakland Raiders, but had the best year of any Clemson rookie a year ago when he scored seven touchdowns, including a franchise record three kickoff returns for scores.
Ricky Sapp was selected in the fifth round by Philadelphia, but did not play due to an injury. Crezdon Butler also went in the fifth round and played in three games for Pittsburgh, while Kavell Connor went in the seventh round to Indianapolis and had an outstanding year with 42 tackles. Ford and Conner were both named to various NFL All-Rookie teams.
Clemson has had 16 players drafted over the last four years, including five apiece in the 2007 and 2010 drafts. The Clemson record for draft picks in a year is 10, in the 1983 draft. Twenty three of the last 26 Clemson players drafted have gone on to play in the NFL.
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