Ft. Dorchester alum John Simpson 1 of 3 Clemson players picked on final day of NFL Draft
CLEMSON, S.C. — The Day 3 selections of guard John Simpson by the Las Vegas Raiders, safety K’Von Wallace by the Philadelphia Eagles and offensive lineman Tremayne Anchrum by the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday brought Clemson’s total number of draftees in the 2020 NFL Draft to seven.
The seven Clemson selections in the 2020 NFL Draft pushed Clemson’s number of draft picks over the last five years to 31, adding to what is now the most-prolific five-year stretch of drafts in school history. Six of Clemson’s seven 2020 picks were selected in the first four rounds, breaking the program’s previous four-round record of five, set previously five times in 1991, 2011, 2016, 2017 and 2019.
For the third straight day, Clemson fans didn’t have to wait long to watch a former Tiger be selected. After Isaiah Simmons was selected with the eighth pick of Day 1 and Tee Higgins was selected with the first pick of Day 2, the Raiders selected Simpson with the third pick of Day 3. At No. 109 overall, Simpson’s selection marked the Raiders’ second pick from Clemson in a span of nine picks, representing the shortest span of picks between selecting two Clemson players in school history, passing the 14 picks between the Denver Broncos’ selections of Nick Eason and Bryant McNeal in 2003.
Wallace became the second Clemson player to be selected on Day 3, going to the Eagles at No. 127 overall. It marked the third time in history that the Eagles have selected a Clemson defensive back, starting in 1996, when the franchise drafted Pro Football Hall of Famer Brian Dawkins.
The Rams selected Anchrum in the seventh round with the No. 250 overall pick, as Anchrum will head to Los Angeles, where his father, Tremayne Anchrum Sr., played basketball at the University of Southern California. With the selections of both Simpson and Anchrum, Clemson produced multiple offensive linemen in a single draft for the first time since 1998 (Glenn Rountree and Jim Bundren).
Draft notes and comments from Clemson coaches from Day 3 of the 2020 NFL Draft included below.
- Clemson has now produced a school-record 31 NFL Draft picks in the last five years, surpassing the 29 drafted across both the 2013-17 and 2015-19 drafts.
- Clemson produced at least six draft picks for the fourth time in five years. Clemson is one of only three schools with five or more picks in at least six of the seven most recent drafts (Alabama and Ohio State).
- Clemson's seven picks were its fourth-most in a single draft in program history, trailing 1983 (10), 2016 (nine) and 1991 (eight). The seven selections in 2020 are Clemson's second-most in the seven-round era, trailing the nine selections in 2016.
- Clemson finished tied for fifth in the nation in 2020 NFL Draft picks. Clemson led the ACC, three players ahead of Miami, which finished second in the conference with four.
- Head Coach Dabo Swinney (64) moved into second among active head coaches in total draft picks since the 2009 NFL Draft, trailing only Alabama’s Nick Saban.
- Clemson watched teammates be selected by the same NFL team in a single draft for the 18th time, joining the 1946, 1951, 1955, 1959, 1960, 1968, 1970, 1972, 1979, 1983, 1991, 1998, 2003, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019 drafts.
- Clemson has now produced multiple first-round picks in back-to-back years for the first time in program history. Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State and Oklahoma were the only schools to produce multiple first-round picks in both the 2019 and 2020 NFL Drafts.
- Clemson produced multiple first-round picks on defense for the second year in a row, the two of three instances of multiple first-round defenders in school history. Clemson had two offensive players selected in the 1979 and 2017 first rounds, two defensive players selected in 2015, and had one offensive and one defensive player selected in 1982.
- Clemson produced two Top 16 picks for the third time in school history and the third time in four drafts, joining the 2017 (Mike Williams and Deshaun Watson) and 2019 (Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins) drafts.
- Clemson has now had at least one first-round selection in seven of the last eight NFL Drafts. Clemson is now one of only three schools with at least one first-round pick in at least seven of the last eight drafts, alongside Alabama and Florida.
- Clemson produced four players in the first three rounds of a draft for the fourth time in school history, matching school records for the first three rounds set in the 1991, 2016 and 2019 drafts. Clemson has now produced four players in the first three rounds of consecutive drafts for the first time in program history.
- Clemson's six selections through the first four rounds were the most in a draft in school history. The previous record of five had been set five times, including in 1991, 2011, 2016, 2017 and 2019.
- Clemson produced multiple draft picks from the offensive line for the first time since 1998 (Glenn Rountree and Jim Bundren).
- Clemson extended its streak of consecutive drafts with at least one selection to 18 since 2003, representing the second-longest streak in school history behind a 24-year streak across the 1951-74 NFL Drafts.
- Clemson has had at least one player selected by 29 of the 32 NFL franchises since 2003. The lone exceptions in that time frame are the Patriots, who last selected a Clemson player in 1991, and the Panthers and Ravens, who have never selected a Clemson player.
- The draft was the final one to feature members of the starting lineup of Clemson's 2018 defense that led the nation in scoring defense en route to winning the national championship. Those 11 starters accounted for five first-round picks, a second-round pick, a third-round pick, two fourth-round picks, a college free agent signing and a rookie minicamp tryout invitee (plus two additional college free agent signings who were not primary starters).
- Became the 62nd player to have played for Head Coach Dabo Swinney to be drafted into the NFL, including the 13th fourth-round pick of Swinney’s tenure.
- Became the first Clemson offensive lineman drafted since Brandon Thomas’ selection in the third round (No. 100 overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft.
- Represents the fifth-highest Clemson offensive lineman selected in the NFL Draft in the Common Draft era since 1967, trailing Harry Olszewski (No. 64 in 1968), Joe Bostic (No. 64 in 1979), Wayne Mass (No. 99 in 1968) and Thomas (No. 100 in 2014). It makes Simpson the third-highest Clemson offensive lineman selected since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger.
- Was the 11th Clemson player selected by the Raiders all-time, including an AFL Draft and Supplemental Draft selection. Prior to last year, the Raiders had gone nine years since their most recent selection from Clemson (Jacoby Ford in 2010). The Raiders have since drafted five Clemson players across the 2019-20 drafts.
- Made the Raiders the first franchise ever to select multiple Clemson players in back-to-back drafts and made them the first franchise to select five Clemson players in a two-draft span.
- Set a Clemson record for the shortest span between two Clemson players being picked by one team by virtue of being selected nine picks after the Raiders also selected Tanner Muse. The previous one-team span had been 14 picks, set by the Denver Broncos in 2003 when they selected Nick Eason and Bryant McNeal 14 picks apart.
- Became Clemson's second player selected with the No. 109 overall pick all-time, joining LB B.J. Goodson (2016).
- Became the 63rd player to have played for Head Coach Dabo Swinney to be drafted into the NFL, including the 14th fourth-round pick of Swinney’s tenure.
- Became the 15th defensive back (and sixth safety) selected in the Swinney era, dating back to the 2009 NFL Draft. Clemson has now had at least one defensive back selected in 10 of the last 12 NFL drafts.
- Became Clemson's third player selected with the No. 127 overall pick all-time, joining DT Archie Reese (1878) and DE Mallicah Goodman (2013).
- Became the Eagles' 12th selection from Clemson all-time and Philadelphia's first since selecting DE Ricky Sapp in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL Draft.
- Represents the third Clemson defensive back selected by the Eagles all-time, including when Philadelphia selected Pro Football Hall of Famer Brian Dawkins in the 1996 NFL Draft.
- Became the 64th player to have played for Head Coach Dabo Swinney to be drafted into the NFL, including the fifth seventh-round pick of Swinney's tenure.
- Joins Chris Hairston (2011), Brandon Thomas (2014) and John Simpson (2020) as offensive linemen selected in Swinney's tenure.
- Became the first Clemson player ever selected with the No. 250 overall pick.
- Represents the Rams' 12th all-time selection from Clemson, including the team's first since selecting DT Dorrell Scott in 2009. He is the fifth Clemson offensive lineman selected among that group and the first since C Dustin Fry in 2007.
- Became the first Clemson player selected by the Rams in Los Angeles since P Dale Hatcher in 1985. The Rams' six most recent selections from Clemson prior to Anchrum came during the organization's stint in St. Louis before returning to Los Angeles.
- Will play in Los Angeles, where his father, Tremayne Anchrum Sr., played basketball at the University of Southern California.
COMMENTS ON SIMPSON
HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY: “John Simpson was a captain and a graduate and is as good of an offensive lineman as we’ve had come through Clemson—going on 18 years, my 18th season—as good an offensive lineman as I’ve seen here. He’s ready-made. He’s what everybody’s looking for at the next level. He’s got all the measurables that everybody’s looking for as far as the strength, size, athleticism, flexibility and power. He’s been a great player for us. He’s played against the best of the best. I’m excited about his continued development at the next level.”
OFFENSIVE LINE COACH ROBBIE CALDWELL: “John Simpson is a big guy and mighty powerful. He brings an athleticism to the Raiders that is very special for a guy his size. I think he’s going to help the Raiders in the run and the pass game.”
COMMENTS ON WALLACE
HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY: “K’Von Wallace is a graduate and was one of the most underrated guys probably in this draft. He’s kind of a Swiss Army knife as well. He’s kind of like Marcus Gilchrist in that he can play either safety, he can play nickel, he can play dime, and he can truly play corner. He does all the dirty work and he doesn’t mind doing it. He can blitz. He’ll come fill the gaps in the run game. He’s an excellent special teams player. High character, a captain, and one of the most energetic guys you’re going to have on your team and just a guy I think is going to make somebody a heck of a player. There is really nothing he can’t do. He can run. He’s got good size, strength, power and great versatility. He, along with Isaiah Simmons and Tanner Muse, do all the same things, just in a different way. He’s a true safety that can play corner. He’s got the toughness to go up in the box and the nickel and dime spots as well.”
SAFETIES COACH MICKEY CONN: “K’Von Wallace is a highly motivated football player. He’s smart and very instinctive player. He can play multiple positions. He can play safety, he can play nickel, he can play corner, and he plays them all really well. He is extremely determined to succeed. He will learn the playbook and he will get the job done; he’ll learn it early too because he’s extremely smart. He’ll be great on special teams, and he’ll make a huge impact. He’s a very unselfish player and willing to take on whatever role is best for the team. He’s a great team player and pulls for his teammates. He’s a very, very unselfish person and a winner, and that’s what they’re getting in taking K’Von Wallace.”
COMMENTS ON ANCHRUM
HEAD COACH DABO SWINNEY: “Tremayne Anchrum was a very underrated guy in this draft. He has been a four-year starter out of position and has played against the best of the best from Chase Young to Clelin Ferrell and everybody in between. He’s incredibly smart, very athletic, strong, and has a great football I.Q. He is another guy that’s going to change a locker room from a leadership standpoint. He is a captain and a graduate. He brings a lot of versatility to the offensive line because he can play tackle, obviously, because he started for us at this level for four years, but I think he’s got a chance to really make a really good guard at the next level.”
OFFENSIVE LINE COACH ROBBIE CALDWELL: “Tremayne can play several positions and is going to bring an intelligence factor to the Rams. He can play left or right and also has the ability and the knowledge to play center as well.”