Clemson Finishes 2021 NFL Draft with Five Total Selections
CLEMSON, S.C. — A historic draft for Clemson that started with the first No. 1 pick in program history on Thursday concluded Saturday with the fifth-round selection of Cornell Powell by the Kansas City Chiefs with the No. 181 overall pick. Powell’s selection gave Clemson five total picks in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Powell became the latest in Clemson’s lineage of productive Tiger wideouts drafted into the NFL, becoming the 11th Clemson receiver selected in the last nine drafts. His selection coupled with the Packers’ third-round selection of Amari Rodgers gave Clemson multiple wide receivers in a single draft for the third time in the Dabo Swinney era, joining 2014 (Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant) and 2018 (Deon Cain and Ray-Ray McCloud).
Collectively, Clemson reached at least five selections for the third straight draft, one shy of the longest streak in school history (2014-17). Clemson is one of only eight schools with at least five picks in each of the last three drafts. The five picks also pushed Swinney’s career draft pick total to 69, the second-most by any college coach since the 2009 NFL Draft.
With the vast majority of Clemson’s 2020 defense returning this season, the 2021 NFL Draft was a historical anomaly for Clemson in terms of the distribution of offensive and defensive picks. With the selections of quarterback Trevor Lawrence, running back Travis Etienne, offensive lineman Jackson Carman, wide receiver Amari Rodgers and Powell, the 2021 NFL Draft marked the first time Clemson’s entire draft class came from the offensive side of the ball since tight end Bennie Cunningham, running back Don Testerman, wide receiver Craig Brantley and offensive tackle Gary Alexander comprised Clemson’s 1976 NFL Draft class.
As Clemson’s current NFL Draft picks head to the professional level, Clemson’s next wave of future NFL selections will open the 2021 season with one of the most-anticipated non-conference showdowns of the season when the Tigers face Georgia on Saturday, Sept. 4 in Charlotte. Clemson will return to Death Valley for its home opener a week later when it hosts South Carolina State at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 11.