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September 25, 2023

Best NFL landing spots for Clemson draft prospects

Matt Mynes // Photo Editor

Former Clemson defensive end Myles Murphy lines up against Miami on Nov. 19, 2022 at Memorial Stadium.

The 2023 NFL Draft is right around the corner, with the first round taking place next Thursday, April 27. Many Clemson alumni are in the prospect pool hoping to hear their names called, so let’s take a look at the best landing spots for former Tigers to start their professional careers:
DT Bryan Bresee 
At the NFL combine, the 6-foot-5, 298-pound prospect ran the fourth-fastest 40-yard dash time among defensive tackles at a 4.86 and the second-fastest 10-yard split at 1.71 seconds. Bresee projects as a first-round starting-caliber defensive tackle who can both clog running lanes and rush the passer. “The Clemson product is a talented interior defender with amazing tools that could help him blossom into a star as a pro,” Bucky Brooks, an analyst at, said. 
Best fits: New Orleans Saints, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Chargers
Edge Myles Murphy
Murphy will most likely be the first Tiger selected in the draft, and rightfully so. With a 6-foot-5, 268-pound frame, Murphy possesses the ideal build many scouts look for in edge rushers. Murphy did not run in any drills as he was dealing with a hamstring injury during the combine; however at Clemson’s pro day on March 14, Murphy ran a 4.51 40-yard dash. Murphy also logged a 1.59 10-yard shuttle, which would have tied for third in Indianapolis. “Murphy is an athletic edge defender with the potential to develop into a double-digit sack producer,” Brooks said. 
Best fits: Atlanta Falcons, Chicago Bears, Houston Texans
LB Trenton Simpson
During his time at Clemson, Simpson displayed his ability to rush the passer and drop back into coverage. He is projected as a top-two-round pick. His raw athleticism makes him a very intriguing prospect for many teams due to his versatility on the field. At the combine, Simpson ran the second-fastest 40 time among linebackers at 4.43 seconds. His 25 reps on the bench press ranked fourth in his position group as well. “Simpson is versatile in the passing game, and one of his best strengths is his man-to-man matchup skills against running backs and tight ends,” according to his ESPN evaluation.  
Best fits: Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints 
Edge K.J. Henry
Henry projects to be more of a prospect that needs some fine-tuning rather than a day-one contributor. That said, at 6-foot-4 and 251 pounds, Henry also has an ideal build for NFL edge rushers. “As a pass-rusher, Henry wins with length and effort when he’s successful rushing the passer,” his ESPN evaluation states. “But he doesn’t bend, change directions or close particularly well.” Henry will most likely be drafted in the middle to later rounds of the draft, but his physical traits and leadership qualities give him a good value as an edge prospect. 
Best fits: Carolina Panthers, New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers 
OL Jordan McFadden
McFadden also projects as a later-round pick, but his athleticism at the combine demonstrated his potential in the NFL. McFadden ran a 4.99 40-yard dash, fourth among all offensive linemen, and a 1.74 10-yard split, fifth among linemen. While at Clemson, McFadden played left tackle, but his build is more typical of a guard in the NFL. “McFadden has the quickness to get into position as a driver-blocker and enough footspeed to reach defenders as a zone-blocker,” according to his ESPN evaluation. “He flashes a strong punch at the line of scrimmage and covers up second-level defenders on combo blocks. He has enough length to take the edge away from speed rushers and changes directions well enough to mirror when his technique is sound.”
Best fits: Arizona Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, Washington Commanders

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Thomas Romano, Asst. Sports Editor
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