April 26, 2010
CLEMSON, SC – Clemson had five players drafted and four who have signed free agent contracts with NFL teams. The NFL draft took place April 22-24 and players began signing free agent contracts on April 25.
The parade of former Tigers who were drafted began on Thursday night when unanimous All-America running back Ricky Sapp, Crezdon Butler and Kavell Conner were all selected in rounds four thru seven.
Since the draft, four Tigers have signed free agent contracts. All-ACC tight end Michael Palmer signed with the Atlanta Falcons, All-America guard Thomas Austin signed with the Minnesota Vikings, cornerback Chris Chancellor with the Cleveland Browns and defensive end Kevin Alexander with the Denver Broncos. Senior Rendrick Taylor was expected to sign a free agent contract, but it was not known as of this writing.
Clemson has had 44 players over the years who have gone on to play in the NFL after signing a free agent contract, including 2008 receiver Tyler Grisham, who played in the NFL for the Pittsburgh Steelers last year. Jeff Bostic, the only former Clemson player to win three Super Bowl Championship rings, was a free agent after his career as a Clemson center.
Clemson had five players selected in the NFL draft, tied for the 11th highest total in the nation and tied for first in the ACC with Virginia Tech. Florida had the most selections with nine, followed by Alabama, Oklahoma and Southern California with seven apiece. Iowa, LSU, Penn State, Tennessee, Texas and Utah all had six apiece. Clemson, Virginia Tech, Georgia and South Carolina all had five players selected in the 2010 NFL draft.
Clemson had 18 players on NFL rosters last year, including Anthony Waters who was a member of the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints. Sixteen of the 18 players participated in an NFL game last year.
Since the end of last season, Tye Hill was traded to the Tennessee Titans and Charlie Whitehurst signed a free agent contract with the Seattle Seahawks.
2009 Tigers Who Were Drafted or Signed Free Agent Contracts (As of April 26, 2010)
Name – Round (Pick) – TeamC.J. Spiller – 1 (9) – Buffalo BillsJacoby Ford – 4 (108) – Oakland Raiders Ricky Sapp – 5 (134) – Philadelphia Eagles Crezdon Butler – 5 (164) – Pittsburgh Steelers Kavell Conner – 7 (240) – Indianapolis Colts Michael Palmer – FA – Atlanta Falcons Thomas Austin – FA – Minnesota Vikings Chris Chancellor – FA – Cleveland Browns Kevin Alexander – FA – Denver Broncos
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