April 19, 1999
CLEMSON, S.C. – Six players off the 1998 Clemson football team were taken in the NFL draft over the weekend. All six were from the Clemson defense that ranked 25th in the nation in total defense and 14th in rushing defense nationally last season.
Here are some notes of interest on Clemson’s draft class of 1999:
Clemson had six defensive players taken in the 1999 NFL draft, more than any school in the nation. Florida and North Carolina were second with five defensive players apiece, while Virginia, West Virginia and Nebraska had four.
Any wonder why the Clemson vs. North Carolina game last fall was such a defensive struggle? Eleven defensive players who participated in that game were drafted this year, six from Clemson and five from North Carolina.
Overall, Clemson’s six picks in the draft ranked in a tie for fifth highest in the nation. Florida and Ohio State led the way with eighth apiece, Notre Dame and Nebraska had seven. Clemson, Georgia, Kansas State, North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Virginia and West Virginia all had six.
This is the second straight year Clemson has ranked in the top 10 in the nation in producing NFL draftees. The Tigers had 5 players drafted last year, tied for 7th best in the nation.
With the first round selection of Antwan Edwards, Clemson has now had a first-round defensive player taken each of the last three seasons. Clemson is the only school in the nation that has had at least one defensive player taken in the first round each of the last three drafts. Trevor Pryce (DT) was a first-round choice of the Denver Broncos in the 1997 draft and Anthony Simmons (LB) was a first round pick of the Seattle Seahawks in the 1998 draft.
Clemson’s six draft choices this year rank as the largest Clemson class since the 1991 draft (after the 1990 season). That year Clemson had eight selections, but two of them were in rounds 10 and 11. This year’s six selections in the first seven rounds tied the 1991 draft for the most Tigers taken within the first seven rounds.
Antwan Edwards was Clemson’s 19th first round selection in history, its fifth first rounder in the 1990s. All five first round selections in the 1990s have been defensive players.
Based on recent history, making an NFL roster is virtually a lock for Edwards, Abdullah, Dingle and Jones. They were taken in the first five rounds. Twenty-four of the last 26 Clemson players who have been drafted within the first five rounds have gone on to make an NFL active roster.
Chris Jones, a fifth round pick of the Minnesota Vikings, will be able to serve his apprenticeship under former Tiger Ed McDaniel, an All-American with the Tigers in 1991 who was a Pro Bowl selection in 1998.
Clemson had three linebackers chosen in the 1999 draft. Clemson has had 11 linebackers drafted in the 1990s. The eight linebackers who were drafted previously all made NFL teams.
O.J. Childress is the 15th player from Clemson in the history of the draft taken by the New York Giants. That is tied for the most among NFL teams with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Donald Broomfield is just the second player in history from Clemson to be drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals. The other is Jim Riggs, who was a fourth round pick in 1987 and played six years with the franchise.
Five of the six Clemson players drafted this year played on Clemson’s 1995 team. Including the drafts of 1996, 1997 and 1998, the 1995 team had 10 players on its defense who were eventually drafted. Clemson has had 12 defensive players drafted the last four years. Trevor Pryce played only in 1996 for Clemson, while Lorenzo Bromell was a junior college transfer and played in just 1996 and 1997.
Clemson has now had 36 players drafted in the eight seasons of the 1990s. Twenty-six of the 36 players are defensive players.
Clemson 1999 Draft Selections
Name Rd Sel Team Antwan Edwards 1 25th Green Bay Packers Rahim Abdullah 2 45th Cleveland Browns Adrian Dingle 5 139th San Diego Chargers Chris Jones 5 169th Minnesota Vikings O.J. Childress 7 231st New York Giants Donald Broomfield 7 249th Cincinnati Bengals
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