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Trio of Tigers Selected Saturday as Clemson Places Six in 2023 NFL Draft

April 30, 2023
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CLEMSON, S.C. — Defensive end K.J. Henry, offensive lineman Jordan McFadden and tight end Davis Allen were all selected on Day 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft on Saturday, giving Clemson six total selections over the three-day draft. Clemson’s six selections in 2023 tied for the most in the ACC and tied for fifth among all programs.

Each of Clemson’s Day 3 selections came in the fifth round. The Washington Commanders selected Henry with the No. 137 overall pick. The Los Angeles Chargers selected McFadden with the No. 156 overall selection, and the Los Angeles Rams added Allen at pick No. 175.

Including earlier selections of defensive end Myles Murphy, defensive tackle Bryan Bresee and linebacker Trenton Simpson, Clemson’s six total selections in the 2023 NFL Draft tied for its third-most since the NFL adopted the seven-round format in 1994. Clemson was particularly prolific among its defensive front seven, as Clemson’s defensive line and linebackers accounted for each of the program’s first four picks in a draft for the first time in program history.

The six selections pushed Dabo Swinney’s career total of draft picks produced during his head coaching tenure to 77, the second-most of any coach in the country since the 2009 NFL Draft. That total includes 17 first-round picks, second-most of any active coach, and he has had at least one player drafted by 28 of the 32 active NFL franchises in that span.

As the six draft picks head to their new teams and a number of other Clemson prospects become priority undrafted free agents, Clemson’s returning squad continues to prepare for its 2023 campaign. Ticket information for fans wishing to witness Swinney’s chase of Frank Howard’s school record for career head coaching wins is available at ClemsonTigers.com/FootballTickets. In addition to early-season non-conference contests against Charleston Southern and Florida Atlantic, Clemson’s 2023 home slate includes marquee ACC games against Florida State, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and North Carolina, and Notre Dame’s first visit to Death Valley since 2015.

Draft notes and comments from Clemson coaches from Day 3 of the 2020 NFL Draft are included below.

 

CLEMSON NOTES:

  • Clemson produced six selections, marking the 15th time Clemson has produced at least a half-dozen selections in an NFL Draft. It was Clemson’s seventh such draft under Head Coach Dabo Swinney
  • The six selections are tied for fifth-most in a draft in school history, trailing the 1983 (10), 2016 (nine), 1991 (eight) and 2020 (seven) NFL Drafts. 
  • Clemson’s six selections tied for its third-most since the NFL adopted the seven-round format in 1994.
  • Clemson six selections tied Pitt for the most in the ACC and trailed only Alabama (10), Georgia (10), Michigan (nine) and TCU (eight) among all programs.
  • Clemson produced at least five picks for the eighth time in the last 10 drafts. Only two schools have had at least five draft picks selected in a single draft more times than Clemson in that span.
  • Clemson has now had at least one player selected in the NFL Draft in 21 consecutive years, trailing only the 1951-74 NFL Drafts — a span of 24 years — for the longest streak in school history.
  • Clemson also extended its streak of consecutive drafts with multiple selections to 21 straight drafts. Clemson is one of seven schools to have produced two or more picks in 21 consecutive drafts, alongside Florida, LSU, Michigan, Oklahoma, Ohio State and USC.
  • Clemson has produced at least one first-round pick in nine of the last 11 drafts.
  • Clemson, Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Ohio State are the only five schools with at least one first-round pick in at least nine of the last 11 drafts.\The 2023 NFL Draft was the eighth in which Clemson produced multiple first-round picks, joining the 1979, 1982, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021 first rounds. In all but one of those instances (1982), all of the selections came from one side of the ball.
  • Clemson has had multiple players selected in the first round in four of the last five — and six of the last nine — drafts.
  • Clemson was one of only five schools to produce multiple first-round picks in 2023.
  • Clemson produced multiple first-round picks on defense for the fourth time in school history, joining the 2015 (DE Vic Beasley and LB Stephone Anthony), 2019 (DE Clelin Ferrell, DT Christian Wilkins and DT Dexter Lawrence) and 2020 (LB Isaiah Simmons and CB A.J. Terrell) NFL Drafts.
  • Dabo Swinney pushed his number of first-round picks in his head coaching tenure to 17, the second-most of any active coach.
  • Clemson has now had seven first-round defensive linemen selected since the 2015 NFL Draft. Clemson' seven are the most edge rushers and interior defensive linemen selected from any school in that span, ahead of Georgia (six), Michigan (five) and Alabama (four).
  • With consecutive selections of Myles Murphy and Bryan Bresee with the No. 28 and No. 29 picks, respectively, Clemson produced back-to-back first-round picks in a single draft for the first time in program history.
  • Murphy and Bresee became the third Clemson tandem to be drafted back-to-back in any round all-time, joining Chris Clemons and Michael Hamlin in 2009 and Marcus Gilchrist and Da’Quan Bowers in 2011.
  • Clemson has produced at least one Top 50 pick in 16 of the last 18 NFL Drafts, dating to 2006. The only drafts in that span in which Clemson did not produce a Top 50 pick were in 2009 and 2018.
  • Clemson recorded three Top 100 selections in a draft for the sixth time in the last eight years. Clemson’s lone exceptions since 2016 came in 2018 and 2022.
  • With the selection of a defensive end, defensive tackle and linebacker in the first three rounds, Clemson’s produced its first three picks of a draft from its defensive front seven for the fourth time in the Common Draft era, joining the 1988, 2015 and 2019 NFL Drafts.
  • With the additional selection of DE K.J. Henry, Clemson’s defense produced the first four picks of a draft for the first time since 2019. It marked the first time in the Common Draft era that Clemson’s defensive front seven was responsible for all of the program’s first four picks in a draft.
  • Clemson placed three defensive linemen in the NFL Draft for the third time in the last eight years, joining the 2016 (Shaq Lawson, Kevin Dodd and D.J. Reader) and 2019 (Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins, Dexter Lawrence and Austin Bryant) NFL Drafts.
  • With the addition of a selection by the Ravens, Dabo Swinney has now produced a draft pick for 28 of the 32 NFL teams in his head coaching tenure. The only NFL teams not to select a Clemson player in Swinney’s head coaching tenure are the Chicago Bears, Denver Broncos, New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers.
  • Overall, Clemson has had at least one player chosen by 30 of the 32 NFL franchises since 2003. The lone exceptions in that time frame are the Patriots, who last selected a Tiger in 1991, and the Panthers, who have never selected a Clemson player.
  • Clemson’s first three selections across the first two days were all early entrants. Clemson’s three selections on Day 3 were all senior team captains. The only two Clemson team captains from 2022 that were not drafted were DT Tyler Davis and S Jalyn Phillips, both of whom opted to return for an extra year of eligibility in 2023.
  • Clemson’s three fifth-round picks tied for the most in a single round in the Dabo Swinney era, matching the 2011 second round, 2016 second round, 2016 seventh round and 2019 first round.
  • Clemson has now produced 26 draft picks in the last five years and 54 draft picks in the past 10 years.

 

NOTES ON THE SELECTION OF K.J. HENRY:

  • Henry became the 75th player in Dabo Swinney’s head coaching tenure to be drafted into the NFL, including the 12th fifth-round pick of Swinney’s tenure.
  • Henry became the eighth Clemson player ever selected by Washington, joining B Charlie Timmons (1942), B Buck George (1955), DB Frank Liberatore (1968), FS Leomont Evans (1996), WR Rod Gardner (2001), DT Jarvis Jenkins (2011), CB Bashaud Breeland (2014) and DE K.J. Henry (2023).
  • Henry became Clemson’s second all-time selection with the No. 137 overall pick, joining multi-time Pro Bowl DT Grady Jarrett, whom the Atlanta Falcons selected at that spot in 2015.
  • Henry became the 14th Clemson defensive lineman to be drafted since 2015. Those 14 players include seven first-round picks and 13 Top 150 picks.

 

NOTES ON THE SELECTION OF JORDAN MCFADDEN:

  • McFadden became the 76th player in Dabo Swinney’s head coaching tenure to be drafted into the NFL, including the 13th fifth-round pick of Swinney’s tenure.
  • McFadden became Clemson’s second all-time selection with the No. 156 overall pick, joining QB Lowndes Shingler, who was selected by the Dallas Cowboys at that spot in the 12th round in 1961.
  • McFadden became the 10th Clemson player selected by the Chargers in an NFL Draft, joining DB Hollis Hall (1982), C Curtis Whitley (1992), LB Patrick Sapp (1996), DE Adrian Dingle (1999), FS Robert Carswell (2001), QB Charlie Whitehurst (2006), LB Anthony Waters (2007), CB Marcus Gilchrist (2011) and WR Mike Williams (2017).
  • McFadden became Clemson’s fourth offensive lineman selected in the last three NFL Drafts, joining Jackson Carman (2021), John Simpson (2020) and Tremayne Anchrum (2020). 
  • McFadden’s selection snapped a streak of sixth consecutive Clemson defensive players selected across the 2022-23 drafts. The six straight defensive picks came following all five of Clemson’s 2021 draft picks coming from the offensive side of the ball. 

 

NOTES ON THE SELECTION OF DAVIS ALLEN:

  • Allen became the 77th player in Dabo Swinney’s head coaching tenure to be drafted into the NFL, including the 14th fifth-round pick of Swinney’s tenure.
  • Allen became the seventh Clemson tight end drafted all-time and the third to be selected during Head Coach Dabo Swinney’s tenure. The Indianapolis Colts selected Dwayne Allen in 2012 and the New York Jets selected Jordan Leggett in 2017.
  • Allen became the first Clemson player selected with the No. 175 overall pick all-time.
  • Allen became the 14th Clemson player selected by the Rams all-time and the first since OL Tremayne Anchrum in 2020. (Note: Includes the Supplemental Draft selection of OT Isaiah Battle in 2015).

 

COACHES’ COMMENTS ON K.J. HENRY

HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY:

"K.J. Henry is one of the one of the best young men that's come through our program — a captain, one of our best leaders. He'll be a leader the day he gets there. He'll be a guy that makes a difference in the community. He'll be one of those guys that makes the coaches better. He just has every intangible that you could ever want in a young person. He's got a master's degree, he's the son of a coach, he just gets football on a very high level. He's very self-aware, and he's a guy that has truly committed himself to making himself the very best he can be every single year. Five years in this program and he has truly transformed himself as a player. He's long, he's athletic, he's really strong. He's got a lot of diversity to his game. He can play multiple positions. He really understands the game, and I'm just really proud of him. 

 

“He has high special teams value and is a guy that is a lot like [Clemson tight end and draft prospect] Davis Allen. I would put those two guys together in that their teams are getting truly complete players. They really are very, very complete and will make their teams they go to better the day they get there. There's no doubt about it. I'm excited for K.J. because he's worked his tail off to go from a young guy coming in here that wasn't very strong to an absolute, no-doubt NFL Draft pick and a guy that I think will help his team right out the gate."

 

DEFENSIVE ENDS COACH LEMANSKI HALL:

“They are getting a guy who is athletic and who loves the game. He brings a lot of energy. He’s very smart, very tough and very charismatic. He’s a great guy who is going to do a great job there.”

 

COACHES’ COMMENTS ON JORDAN MCFADDEN: 

HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY:

"Jordan McFadden is going to be fun to watch in the NFL. We've had some really, really good linemen that have come through here since I've been here as the head coach — obviously Brandon Thomas, Tyler Shatley, John Simpson, Jackson Carman, and Tremayne Anchrum was going to be a starter this year for the Rams until he got hurt. We've had a good group of guys that have rolled through over the years, but probably the guy with the most tools is Jordan McFadden. And what I mean by that is he's played a million snaps, has a ton of experience, and he can play five positions. There's not many guys that can play five positions, but he absolutely can play left tackle, right tackle, left guard, right guard and he's done that at Clemson, but he also can play center, and I think you'll see that with him at the next level. 

 

“He can really, really run. He's incredibly strong. He's got good length to him; he's not a 6-5 guy but he plays that way. A captain, just one of the best young people you could ever meet. He's been a pro as far as his approach for a long, long time. And, again, his ability to play five positions separates him. He's going to be a guy that makes the team and makes their roster better and will become an incredibly valuable player. If he stays healthy, I think he'll play a long time just because of his football IQ and his diversity to his game."

 

OFFENSIVE LINE COACH THOMAS AUSTIN:

“The Chargers are getting a fully committed, veteran player with a lot of experience. Jordan has a very high football IQ. He’s tough, physical at the point of attack and a great athlete. He’s been a leader in his time at Clemson and he is going to make that locker room better.”

 

COACHES’ COMMENTS ON DAVIS ALLEN: 

HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY:

"Davis Allen is a complete tight end. I mean, he is a complete football player in every sense of the word. He's tough, he's physical, he's strong, he's incredibly smart. He loves to play the game. He loves to work at the game. To me, he's one of those guys that has really kind of handled himself like a pro long before becoming a pro. They're going to love him. I mean, he is truly one of the best young people that we've had come through this program, one of the guys that has really developed. He wasn't a tight end in in high school; he was a defensive player and he's just developed.

 

"He's got great length as a receiver. He's one of those guys that when he's covered, he's still open. Unbelievable ball skills and collision balance, a great finisher on the ball. He also brings a lot of special teams value. I think he's a guy that helps the Rams the day he gets there. He'll be ready to play and he'll be a fan favorite for years to come."

 

PASSING GAME COORDINATOR/TIGHT ENDS COACH KYLE RICHARDSON:

“The Rams are getting a great football player who is an even better person. He has treated everything in his life like a professional before he ever became a professional. He comes from a great family that instilled a great work ethic in him and it shows in everything he does. On the field, he can do anything you need a tight end to do whether it’s in the box or as a matchup problem outside the box. He’s got the physicality and the ball skills to succeed in both areas.”

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Trio of Tigers Selected Saturday as Clemson Places Six in 2023 NFL Draft

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