Mike Williams – WR

Breakdown: Mike Williams would be the first Clemson Tiger selected in the 2017 NFL Draft, going in the 1st round and 7th overall to the L.A. Chargers. Williams is fresh off of a stellar senior season which saw him record 98 catches, 1361 yards, and 11 touchdowns. Williams, who is nearly 6’5″, will be an immediate playmaker in the Chargers’ offense opposite of speedster Keenan Allen. Williams also provides insurance at the wide receiver position, should Keenan Allen fall victim to injury again. Pundits have compared Mike Williams to All-Pro receivers A.J. Green and Julio Jones, which bodes well for Chargers’ QB Philip Rivers and offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt.

Deshaun Watson – QB

  • Houston Texans: Round 1; Pick 12
  • Career Stats – 814/1207 Comp., 10163 Yards, 90 TDs, 32 INTs; 435 Rushes, 1934 Yards, 26 Rush TDs

Breakdown: Before Deshaun Watson even stepped foot on campus, Clemson fans knew what a special talent he would be. That belief was ultimately justified during Watson’s first collegiate play – a 30 yard laser throw to Charone Peake against Georgia. Watson become a household name in 2015, leading Clemson to their first National Championship appearance since 1981. Despite a heartbreaking loss to Alabama in the 2015 Playoff Championship, Watson lit up the Crimson Tide defense to the tune of 478 total yards and 4 TDs. The 2016 season would feature Watson leading the Tigers to the National Championship again, this time knocking off top-ranked Alabama in a rematch. Watson put on yet another show against the vaunted Alabama defense, recording 463 total yards and 4 TDs. The Texans are getting more than just a dynamic playmaker in Watson, they’re getting a proven winner, an outspoken leader, and an incredibly hard worker. Texans HC Bill O’Brien has stated that QB Tom Savage will be the starter for Houston, which gives Watson ample time to adjust to the new system. Fellow Clemson-alum DeAndre Hopkins expressed his excitement at the prospect of catching passes from Watson, which he stated in the following tweet.

Cordrea Tankersley – CB

  • Miami Dolphins: Round 3; Pick 97
  • Career Stats – 117 Tackles, 10 TFL, 1 Sack, 9 INTs, 20 Pass-Def., 1 TD

Breakdown: All eyes were on Cordrea Tankersley in 2016 following the departures of DB’s Jayron Kearse and Mackensie Alexander to the NFL. Tankersley responded well to any uncertainty surrounding Clemson’s secondary in 2016, becoming the outright leader of that unit. Tankersley benefitted from playing on the opposite side of Mackensie Alexander in 2015, recording 5 interceptions on the season as teams refused to throw to Alexander’s side of the field. But when he became “the guy” in 2016, Tankersley proved that he could put himself on an island as well, recording 4 interceptions and 11 pass deflections. Tankersley has great size for a CB at 6’2, 205 lbs., which should allow him to compete for immediate playing time in Miami. It’s worth noting that Tankersley will be joining another former Tiger in the Dolphins secondary – cornerback Byron Maxwell.

Wayne Gallman II – RB

  • New York Giants: Round 4; Pick 140
  • Career Stats – 676 Rushes, 3429 Yards, 34 TDs; 65 Rec., 473 Yards, 2 Rec. TD

Breakdown: Affectionately referred to as “The Wayne Train”, Wayne Gallman brings a physical style of running to the Giants’ backfield. Gallman left Clemson as the 5th all-time rusher in school history after just 2 seasons as a starter, falling only behind Raymond Priester, James Davis, C.J. Spiller, and Andre Ellington. At 6’0″, 215 lbs., Gallman should provide some durability at RB behind Shane Vereen and Paul Perkins. Taking into consideration his pass catching ability, Gallman should fit into a similar role to former Giants RB Rashad Jennings.

Carlos Watkins – DT

  • Houston Texans: Round 4; Pick 142
  • Career Stats – 110 Tackles, 24.5 TFL, 14 Sacks, 1 Fumble-Rec., 7 Pass-Def., 1 INT, 1 TD

Breakdown: Carlos Watkins was projected to be a late-2nd/early-3rd round pick, but would ultimately fall to the late 4th round to the Houston Texans. Watkins would join Deshaun Watson as the second Clemson player drafted in this year’s draft, and became the fourth former Tiger on their roster. The Texans already have one former Clemson Tiger at DT in D.J. Reader, who had previously spent 3 years playing alongside Carlos Watkins on Clemson’s defensive line. Reader and Watkins have a chemistry together that translates to the professional level, which in turn will provide an immediate impact to a Houston d-line that already features elite talent in Jadeveon Clowney and J.J. Watt at DE.

Jordan Leggett – TE

  • New York Jets: Round 5; Pick 150
  • Career Stats – 112 Rec., 1598 Yards, 18 TDs

Breakdown: Despite any concerns that may exist about Leggett’s ability as a blocker, there’s no denying his ability as a receiving threat. Leggett was frequently Deshaun Watson’s go-to guy on 3rd-and-short, and the sure-handed Leggett would almost always deliver. With Austin Seferian-Jenkins already penciled in as the Jets’ starter at TE, Leggett should still find success in situational sub-packages or in 2-TE sets. If Leggett can develop his game as a blocker, then the sky’s the limit in terms of his potential success in the NFL.

Jadar Johnson – SS/FS

  • Undrafted F.A.
  • Career Stats – 98 Tackles, 5.5 TFL, 1 Sack, 9 Pass-Def., 1 Forced-Fumb., 9 INT, 1 TD

Breakdown: Johnson joined Cordrea Tankersley as the only senior veterans in Clemson’s secondary. Johnson led Clemson’s safety unit as its lone veteran, mentoring and guiding the young safeties on the Tiger’s roster. Unfortunately for Johnson, all eyes were on Tankersley in Clemson’s secondary, leaving Johnson’s performance to go unnoticed at times. Johnson will likely have multiple suitors as an UDFA, and has a solid chance at making the final roster wherever he lands.

**UPDATE: Jadar Johnson has signed an UDFA contract with the New York Giants

Ben Boulware – ILB

  • Undrafted F.A.
  • Career Stats – 261 Tackles, 26.5 TFL, 8 Sacks, 10 Pass-Def., 7 Forced-Fumb., 4 Fumb.-Rec., 5 INTs, 1 TD

Breakdown: Perhaps the most surprising of all of Clemson’s undrafted players was LB Ben Boulware. Clemson DC Brent Venables has given high praise to Boulware, referring to him as one of the best players he’s ever coached. Ben Boulware has an extremely high motor and plays with unparalleled tenacity, which led to him being one of the best run stuffers in college football. Unfortunately, Boulware’s struggles in pass-coverage combined with his lack of size (6’0″, 238 lbs.) resulted in his name failing to be called in the NFL draft. Boulware will without question find a landing place, and could flourish in the right system as a situational run-stopper.

**UPDATE: Ben Boulware will be signing an UDFA deal with the Carolina Panthers.

Artavis Scott – WR

  • Undrafted F.A.
  • Career Stats – 245 Rec., 2480 Yards, 19 TDs; 18 Rushes, 49 Yards, 1 TD

Breakdown: Artavis Scott was a dynamic slot receiver for Clemson, proving himself effective in the passing, running, and returning game. Scott had an unimpressive showing at the NFL combine, particularly due to his 4.61 40-yard dash time. Regardless, Scott is a proven playmaker. Any teams that utilize a slot receiver should have Artavis Scott high on their radar as an UDFA.

**UPDATE: Artavis Scott has signed an UDFA contract with the Los Angeles Chargers

Jay Guillermo – C 

  • Undrafted F.A.
  • Career Stats – 29 Starts, 2552 Snaps, 69 Pancake-Blocks, 2-Time All-ACC Selection

Nick Schuessler – QB

  • Undrafted F.A. (Signed by Pittsburgh Steelers)
  • Career Stats – 44/66 Comp., 564 Yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT

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Author Details
Clemson University B.A. ’17 Charlie Whitehurst for President. #BoltUp #RIPJoseFernandez
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Clemson University B.A. ’17 Charlie Whitehurst for President. #BoltUp #RIPJoseFernandez

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