The Duel

3 Clemson Players Most Likely to Be First-Round Picks in 2021 NFL Draft

Zach Brunner
Three Clemson players likely to go in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Three Clemson players likely to go in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. / Alika Jenner/Getty Images
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The Clemson Tigers are preparing for yet another college football season in which they are expected to contend for a national championship, after establishing their dominance and making Clemson, South Carolina, a go-to destination for many of the top recruits.

Clemson also just saw two of their former players get selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, with both Isaiah Simmons and A.J. Terrell being taken on the first day. There are even more Tigers that are expected to go early next year. These are the three Clemson players most likely to be draft in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

1. Trevor Lawrence, QB

Trevor Lawrence is a potential top over draft selection.
Trevor Lawrence is a potential top over draft selection. / Alika Jenner/Getty Images

This is a no-brainer. Merely hours after the 2020 NFL Draft, there were speculations of teams passing on many signal callers in hopes to draft Trevor Lawrence early next season. He is among the favorites to win the Heisman Trophy, and he has a good chance to be in the discussion for the first overall pick.

2. Justyn Ross, WR

Justyn Ross has totaled 1,865 yards in two Clemson seasons.
Justyn Ross has totaled 1,865 yards in two Clemson seasons. / Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Lawrence will likely bring his top pass catcher with him to the first round, with Justyn Ross expecting to have a big season. The 6-foot-4-inch wide receiver has all the makings to be a go-to player in the NFL. Over his first two college seasons, Ross has grabbed 112 passes for 1,865 yards and 17 touchdowns. With Tee Higgins now in the NFL, there should be as much opportunity as Ross can handle.

3. Xavier Thomas, EDGE

Xavier Thomas is a former top-five recruit.
Xavier Thomas is a former top-five recruit. / Alika Jenner/Getty Images

Xavier Thomas came to Clemson as a top-5 recruit and totaled 8.5 tackles for a loss as a true freshman, despite playing a reserve role behind three first-round picks. Last season, the expected breakout from Thomas did not come to fruition. However, Thomas said in an offseason interview that he "has his edge back" from his freshman season. If this is true, he could be a force to be reckoned with and he could earn his way into the first round.


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