Photo by © Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK
Clemson Football

Wiggins Selected By Baltimore Ravens in 2024 NFL Draft

April 26, 2024
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CLEMSON, S.C. — Nate Wiggins became Clemson’s 15th first-round pick of the last 10 NFL Drafts on Thursday night when the Baltimore Ravens selected the former Clemson cornerback with the No. 30 overall selection of the 2024 NFL Draft in Detroit.

During Wiggins’ college career spanning 2021-23, the Atlanta native notched 50 tackles (3.0 for loss), 24 pass breakups, three interceptions (two of which he returned for touchdowns), two forced fumbles, a sack and a blocked field goal in 1,377 career snaps over 34 games (18 starts).

Wiggins scored touchdowns of 98 yards (an ACC Championship Game record) and 46 yards on pick-sixes in 2022 and 2023, respectively. In doing so, he became the first Clemson player since Rex Varn in 1977-78 to score on an interception return in back-to-back seasons. Wiggins, a 2023 first-team All-ACC selection, also accounted two of the 16 career interceptions thrown by Drake Maye, who was selected with the No. 3 overall pick on Thursday.

“Nate is as talented as we’ve ever had come through here at his position from a skill set standpoint,” Head Coach Dabo Swinney said. “He’s really honed his craft from when I first met him. He’s a really competitive kid, and how he channeled his competitiveness, he’s really developed.”

Wiggins became the 18th first-round pick of Swinney’s head coaching tenure. Swinney’s 18 career first-round picks are the most among all active head coaches since Swinney assumed the head coaching role. Clemson has now produced at least one first-round pick in 10 of the last 12 drafts, standing alongside Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Ohio State as the only programs in the nation to do so.

Clemson has now had at least one player selected in the NFL Draft in 22 consecutive years, adding to Clemson’s second-longest such streak. Clemson previously had at least one player selected in the NFL Draft every year across the 1951-74 NFL Drafts, a span of 24 years.

The 2024 NFL Draft will resume at 7 p.m. ET on Friday with Rounds 2-3. Notes and comments from Clemson coaches following each selection will be available on ClemsonTigers.com Draft Central.

Full statements on Wiggins’ selection from Swinney and Cornerbacks Coach Mike Reed are included below.

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COMMENTS ON NATE WIGGINS

Head Coach Dabo Swinney: “Nate is as talented as we’ve ever had come through here at his position from a skill set standpoint. Really, really fast. He’s really honed his craft from when I first met him. He’s a really competitive kid, and how he channeled his competitiveness, he’s really developed. [Cornerbacks Coach] Mike Reed has done a great job with him these past three years. I’m really proud of this kid because he’s grown a lot. What I love most about Nate is that this guy is as tough as they come. He’s a guy that is unbelievably competitive when he steps on the field and he plays with a high motor. You saw that firsthand with plays he made against Miami and North Carolina where both plays were basically over, but because of his extra effort, he ended up causing fumbles. That’s what you’ve got to love about a guy like him. He’s got length, he’s got speed, he’s got the technique, he’s got good ball skills, but to me, it’s his love of football. He really, really loves to compete and he’s not afraid to be physical at corner. He’s got rare attributes that you don’t always see in a defensive back.”

Assistant Head Coach/Cornerbacks Coach Mike Reed: “Nate is an extremely gifted young man, and it was a pleasure to coach him. He loves to play ball. Very competitive and athletic. When you think of Nate, you think of speed and explosiveness. [He is] a true athlete. The fastest young man that I have coached. His skill set will transition to the NFL very quickly and he will be a major contributor on the field as well as in the community.”

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NOTES ON THE SELECTION OF NATE WIGGINS:

- Wiggins became the 78th NFL Draft selection in Dabo Swinney’s head coaching tenure and the 18th first-round pick of Swinney’s tenure. Both are the most of any active FBS head coach since Swinney assumed the head coaching role.

- Wiggins became Clemson’s 39th first-round pick in NFL Draft history.

- Wiggins’ selection marked the eighth time in the last 10 years that a defensive player was Clemson’s first selection in a draft. The two exceptions in that nine-year span came in 2017 (WR Mike Williams at No. 7) and 2021 (QB Trevor Lawrence at No. 1). Clemson’s defense has now produced the program’s first pick of an NFL Draft 17 times since the turn of the century and in 11 of the 16 drafts of Dabo Swinney’s tenure.

- Wiggins became the 41st Clemson defensive back drafted in the Common Draft era (since 1967). He joined Terry Kinard (No. 10 in 1983), Donnell Woolford (No. 11 in 1989), Antwan Edwards (No. 25 in 1999), Tye Hill (No. 15 in 2006) and A.J. Terrell (No. 16 in 2020) as the sixth Clemson defensive back to be a first-round pick in that span.

- Wiggins became the 18th Clemson defensive back coached directly by Assistant Head Coach/Cornerbacks Coach Mike Reed to either be drafted or signed in the NFL.

- The selection of Wiggins — an Atlanta native — marked the fourth consecutive year that Clemson’s first selection in an NFL Draft hailed from the state of Georgia (Cartersville’s Trevor Lawrence in 2021, Dacula’s Andrew Booth Jr. in 2022 and Marietta’s Myles Murphy in 2023.

- Wiggins became the second Clemson player drafted by the Baltimore Ravens all-time. Prior to last year, the Ravens had never drafted a Clemson player until selecting linebacker Trenton Simpson in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft.

- Wiggins became Clemson’s second No. 30 overall pick all-time, joining Dave Thompson’s selection by the Detroit Lions in the second round of the 1971 NFL Draft.

- Wiggins became the third defensive back drafted by the Ravens in the first round since 2017, joining Pro Bowlers Kyle Hamilton (2022) and Marlon Humphrey (2017).

 
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