Gridiron Heroics partners with Draft Scout to give each school’s Top 5 NFL Draft prospects in the SEC. Welcome to a list of Clemson’s Top 5 NFL Draft prospects, as seen by Draft Scout.
Each week brings us closer and closer to one of the most anticipated days on the sports calendar — the NFL Draft. This year’s draft will be held in Kansas City, Mo. from April 27-29. Starting today? We take a look at the ACC seniors, the class of 2023. Since we don’t know yet which underclassmen will declare? We’ll reconfigure the rankings when that happens, so be sure to revisit us.
Our ACC Draft prospect series will run beginning Nov. 7 and will run for the next week, with three schools running per day in alphabetical order. A master conference list of the ACC’s Top 20 NFL draft prospects will wrap things up on Monday, Nov. 14. Please check the team links below frequently so you can check out the other schools’ top prospects as the week progresses.
ACC TOP 20 PROSPECTS: Overall ACC Top Prospect List
ACC ATLANTIC PROSPECTS: Boston College | Clemson | Florida State | Louisville | N.C. State | Syracuse | Wake Forest
ACC COASTAL PROSPECTS: Duke | Georgia Tech | Miami | North Carolina | Pittsburgh | Virginia | Virginia Tech
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So, we all know that not every team in the country has five surefire draft picks on it. Some programs do, especially in some of the more elite conferences, but the vast majority don’t have that many top-flight prospects. But, we also know that the definition “top-flight” doesn’t always pan out, and at the same time that strong undrafted free agent everybody forgot? He ends up making an NFL roster and flourishing.
Below is a look at Clemson’s Top 5 Draft Prospects, and how they project in the eyes of Draft Scout. Again, for now, we’ll go strictly with seniors (c/o 2023), as no underclassmen have been allowed to declare earlier yet, though when they do? We’ll update the lists below.
CLEMSON’S TOP 5 NFL DRAFT PROSPECTS
NO. 1 PROSPECT
NAME: Jordan McFadden (OT)
DRAFTSCOUT PROJECTION: 2nd-3rd round
CAREER STATISTICS: McFadden has been a four-year starter for the Tigers at left tackle. He was named to the all-ACC second team in 2021.
THE TRUTH: McFadden is a bit small to fit in at tackle in the NFL, likely forcing him to slide to guard. However, that doesn’t take away from his ability on the field. The 305-pound lineman plays with heavy hands and an effective initial punch, with fairly quick feet to boot. His one concern at Clemson has been foot speed on the edge, but moving him in at guard will help mitigate this issue. All in all, a solid day two offensive line prospect.
NO. 2 PROSPECT
NAME: Tyler Davis (DT)
DRAFTSCOUT PROJECTION: 3rd round
CAREER STATISTICS: In rare fashion, Davis had his best statistical season during his freshman year, racking up 44 tackles and 5.5 sacks. Injuries then forced him out of multiple games his sophomore and junior years, significantly decreasing his statistical output. So far in 2022, he’s made 21 tackles and four sacks, not quite matching his freshman campaign. He was named second-team all-ACC in 2019, first-team all-ACC in 2021, and a semifinalist for the Bednarik Award in 2022.
THE TRUTH: Davis is seen as a consensus top 10 DT in this year’s draft, making him a quality day two pick. Despite some injury concerns, he’s been fairly productive in his four years at Clemson, showing flashes of strength and athleticism. He’s a bulky interior lineman likely best suited as a one-technique, although he could be athletic enough to slide over to three-tech. His one real weakness is pursuit as he’s primarily a straight-line runner, but on the interior, that’s not much of a concern.
NO. 3 PROSPECT
NAME: Joseph Ngata (WR)
DRAFTSCOUT PROJECTION: 4th round
CAREER STATISTICS: Like Davis, Ngata started off hot his freshman year before cooling off a bit in his second season. During his junior year, he started creating some hype for himself by posting 438 yards and a touchdown on 23 catches with 19 yards per reception. A breakout season was expected of Ngata in 2022, but that really hasn’t come to fruition. His current stat line is 24 catches for 346 yards and two touchdowns.
THE TRUTH: At 6’3, Ngata is a big body receiver who thrives in tight coverage and jump-ball scenarios. He’s got strong hands to make tough catches in traffic and is physical against press coverage. However, Ngata lacks the top end speed required of receivers in today’s NFL. That’s his main problem–he struggles to create separation. Still, he’s a crafty runner after the catch and could, if anything, be a viable kick return option at the next level.
NO. 4 PROSPECT
NAME: KJ Henry (DE)
DRAFTSCOUT PROJECTION: 4th round
CAREER STATISTICS: Henry started to see significant playing time during his redshirt sophomore season where he totaled 23 tackles and 3.5 sacks. The following year in 2021 was his most productive season with 22 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and a forced fumble. 2022 has been fairly run of the mill for Henry with 29 tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble.
THE TRUTH: Henry has the size and intangibles to justify his five-star rating out of high school, but hasn’t flashed NFL traits during his time at Clemson. The redshirt senior has the frame and toolset that any coach would love the chance to develop, but in a league where production is key, he’s going to need to put it all together. On a positive note, he’s excellent with his hands and puts his length to good use, which allows him to stand out in pass rush. Overall, Henry will fit best on a team with an already established d-line where he can sit and develop for a year or two, potentially rotating in if need be.
NO. 5 PROSPECT
NAME: Davis Allen (TE)
DRAFTSCOUT PROJECTION: 4th-5th round
CAREER STATISTICS: Allen truly entered the fold during his sophomore season, recording 16 catches for 247 yards and four touchdowns. He took a small step backwards in 2021, catching 12 more passes for a lesser 208 yards and three touchdowns. So far in 2022, he’s been slightly more productive with 27 catches for 325 yards and three touchdowns.
THE TRUTH: Allen’s college career can really be boiled down to inconsistent quarterback play. His passer rating when targeted has been consistently high throughout his career, showing that he can be a reliable target for a quarterback when the passer can get him the ball. Looking at his skillset, Allen is a capable blocker–he’s not special but can hold his own–but what he’ll be drafted for is his receiving ability. He has consistently displayed soft hands and an ability to make high point and acrobatic catches. While his speed and size are fairly average, he can make up for these weaknesses with an excellent ability to play the ball.
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