Three more members of Clemson’s 10th ranked defense were selected in the second round of the NFL draft on Friday evening. Kevin Dodd, MacKensie Alexander and T.J. Green were all selected, giving Clemson four drafted players within the first two rounds, all defensive players. It is the first time Clemson has had four players taken within the first 60 selections.
Dodd was the first to be selected on Friday night as he was the second selection of the evening, the 33rd choice of the draft by the Tennessee Titans. Dodd’s selection, combined with Shaq Lawson’s selection by the Buffalo Bills pick in the first round on Thursday night, gave Clemson two players at the same position chosen within the first 35 picks for the first time since 1987 when running backs Terrence Flagler and Kenny Flowers were chosen within the first 31 selections.
Dodd ranked second in the nation in total tackles for loss with 22.5 in 2015, and he had 12 sacks overall. Dodd came on strong in the College Football Playoffs when he had eight tackles for loss in games against Oklahoma and Alabama. His five tackles for loss were a Clemson record for a bowl game. Dodd made an incredible improvement in 2015 after playing just 92 snaps from scrimmage in 2014.
Dodd is the first Clemson player drafted by the Titans within the first two rounds in history, but is the third Clemson player drafted in any round by the franchise in the last five years. With the selection of Dodd in the second round, Clemson has now had seven defensive ends selected in the last seven years.
Alexander was selected in the second round, the 54th pick overall, by the Minnesota Vikings. Alexander is the first red-shirt sophomore in history to be selected in the NFL draft. The native of Florida did not allow a touchdown pass over his last 22 games in a Clemson uniform. He is the first player drafted from Clemson by the Vikings since Chris Jones in 1999 and he is the first Clemson Tiger drafted by the Vikings within the first two rounds of any draft.
Green, who started his career as a wide receiver, was the second round selection of the Indianapolis Colts, the 57th selection of the entire draft. Green was third on the Clemson team in tackles according to the coaches film evaluation with 130. His draft stock rose after the NFL combine when he ran a 4.32 in the 40, the fastest time for a safety on record. Green is the first Clemson player drafted by the Colts since 2012 when they selected Dwayne Allen with the 64th selection of the draft.
With the selection of Green and Alexander on Friday night, Clemson has now had 10 defensive tackles selected over the last eight years.
From SC State Sports Information:
South Carolina State All-American defensive lineman Javon Hargrave was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the third round of the 2016 National Football League Draft.
The Steelers selected Hargrave with the 89th pick overall. The 6-1, 309 pound Salisbury, NC native was the first player selected from an (HBCU) Historically Black College in this year’s draft, and was pegged by many pre-NFL draft websites as one of the top defensive lineman in the country in FCS/ I-AA.
Hargrave is the second Bulldog to be selected this high in the NFL draft. Defensive end Robert Porcher was taken in the first round with the 26th pick in 1992 by the Detroit Lions. The Bulldogs’ most recent draftee was Christian Thompson, who was selected by the Baltimore Ravens in the fourth round with the 130th pick of the 2012 draft.
Hargrave saw action in 47 games during his four-year career for the Bulldogs. He joined the short list of athletes selected as the SBN/Mel Blunt Defensive Player of the Year and was named MEAC Defensive Player of the Year for a second straight year in 2015. He was named to numerous All-American teams during the pre- and post-seasons, and in 11 games this season, he finished with 43 solo tackles (59 total), 13.5 sacks and was fifth in the nation in tackles for loss with 22 for 106 yards.
He also became one of the most decorated defensive lineman in school history by earning multiple All-American honors, and is the third Bulldog invited to the NFL combine since Arther Love in 1999 (New England) and Christian Thompson in 2012 (Baltimore Ravens).
He was ranked 11th out of 207 defensive tackles in the 2016 NFL combine. He completed the 40-yard dash in 4.73 seconds, had a vertical jump of 34 ½ inches and did 29 reps on the bench press (225 pounds).