After having six players selected in the 2019 NFL draft, the 2020 Tiger draft class is looking to top last year’s high standard. Six of the Tigers’ seven NFL candidates took a major step on their NFL journey this past week when they participated in the NFL combine. Here’s a look at how the Tigers performed as they continue to prepare for next month’s NFL Draft.
Regarded as Clemson’s top NFL talent, Isaiah Simmons put his athletic ability on display for NFL scouts and fans alike this past week. Before the combine, most expected Simmons to be picked with one of the top 10-15 selections, but after his performance this week, he has been propelled into the top five by most analysts. At 6’ 4” and 238 pounds, Simmons ran a blistering 4.39 40-yard dash, the fastest by any linebacker. Simmons also impressed with an 11 foot broad jump, good for second-best amongst linebackers. When asked what position he plays, Simmons responded by simply saying, “Defense” -- a testament to his versatility. Simmons’ athletic ability will surely have NFL teams hoping that he falls to them come April 23.
In his time at Clemson, Tanner Muse had a reputation for making big plays and getting turnovers. While his role in the NFL is still to be determined, Muse certainly made the case that he belongs there with his performance this weekend. Muse surprised many with his 4.41 40-yard dash, which was good for second-best amongst safeties. Muse’s 20 reps on the bench press also helped improve his draft stock.
Wallace is another former Clemson safety that may see his position change upon arriving in the NFL, being listed as a defensive back for this week’s workouts. Wallace turned in solid performances on the 40-yard dash, broad jump and vertical jump with scores of 4.58 seconds, 133” and 38” respectively. Wallace also turned in the best three cone drill time of any defensive back at 6.76 seconds. Wallace currently projects as a mid to late round pick, but his showing this week should secure his spot on an NFL roster ahead of training camp.
Though AJ Terrell’s last game as a Tiger was not one to remember, he was an anchor for the team’s secondary for the past two seasons. Terrell ran an impressive 4.42 second 40-yard dash and added a 34.5” vertical jump and a 129” broad jump. Despite his tough showing in the National Championship game, Terrell’s resume and solid measurables make him a potential first-round draft selection.
During his time at Clemson, John Simpson was an anchor for the team’s offensive line. At the combine, Simpson demonstrated his strength with 34 reps on the bench press--good for third amongst linemen. Simpson showed solid athletic ability with his 5.24 40-yard dash and 107” broad jump as well. Simpson currently projects as a mid-round pick after a strong performance at the combine.
Clemson tackle Tremayne Anchrum, who also served as a key contributor for the Tiger offensive line alongside Simpson, is currently projected to be a mid-late round selection in the NFL draft. With a 5.21 40-yard dash and 26 reps on the bench press, Anchrum likely did well enough to secure a place on an NFL roster.
Projected as a first-round talent, Tee Higgins opted not to perform at the combine. Higgins may participate in drills during Clemson’s pro day on March 12.