Over the last several seasons Clemson has been one of the true powerhouses in college football. With three straight college football playoff appearances under their belt to go with high NFL Draft picks like Deshaun Watson, Mike Williams, and Shaq Lawson, the Tigers have become a hotspot for potential NFL players. However, as impressive as the list of Tigers-turned-NFL players is, the 2019 class might be the most special collection of talent to enter the league to date.
The reason for all this hype lies in the defensive line. Stars like Christian Wilkins, Dexter Lawrence, Clelin Ferrell, and Austin Bryant have made life very tough on opposing offensive linemen. Between those four standout linemen and linebacker Kendall Joseph, Clemson looks primed to dominate the first couple rounds of the 2019 Draft.
Wilkins, in particular, is an interesting player and one I will be keeping an eye on this upcoming season. He seems to be overlooked by analysts, despite being very productive and possessing the size and skills needed to become an excellent NFL starter. Instead, many have instead focused on the similarly talented Lawrence and Ferrell. Make no mistake about it, all three have a chance to crack the top 15 picks in the 2019 Draft, but it will be interesting to see if Wilkins will be able to separate himself from his talented linemates.
Obviously making any concrete observations about next year’s draft class is just foolish at this point. Things are undoubtedly going to change by the time next Spring’s draft rolls around. However, given their production to this point in college and their translatable NFL-caliber skills, it’s probably a solid bet to expect this special Clemson defense to be a very popular topic next April.
Chris Ross is the Editor for NFLDraftLounge.com. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisRossJr.