Two more rounds of the NFL Draft were completed Friday night, and the state of South Carolina contributed three more to the league. Clemson offensive tackle Jackson Carman went 46th to the Bengals. Tigers wide receiver Amari Rodgers went 85th to the Packers. And USC linebacker Ernest Jones was the 103rd pick of the Draft by the Rams. Four players from Clemson and two from USC have been chosen thus far with rounds 4-7 to be held Saturday.
CARMAN NOTES (from Clemson)
- Became the 67th player to have played for Head Coach Dabo Swinney to be drafted into the NFL, including the 10th second-round pick of Swinney’s tenure.
- Became Clemson’s highest-selected offensive lineman since the Detroit Lions selected G Dave Thompson with the No. 30 overall pick in the 1971 NFL Draft.
- Gave Clemson back-to-back drafts with at least one offensive lineman selected for the first time since 2007-08.
- Became the first No. 46 overall pick in school history.
- Marked the second straight season that the Bengals have used a second-round pick on a player from Clemson, joining their selection of wide receiver Tee Higgins with the No. 33 overall pick a year ago. The 2021 NFL Draft is actually the second straight draft that the Bengals have selected an LSU Tiger in the first round (Joe Burrow in 2020, Ja’Marr Chase in 2021) and a Clemson Tiger in the second round (Higgins in 2020, Carman in 2021).
- Marked the second straight year that Clemson has had an offensive player taken in the second round. Prior to Higgins’ selection in the second round last year, every Clemson second-round pick had come from the defensive side of the ball since the Seattle Seahawks selected WR Doug Thomas in 1991. Clemson’s previous 17 second-round picks prior to Higgins and Carman had been defensive players, including the previous eight who all played under Head Coach Dabo Swinney.
- Became the Bengals’ fifth all-time selection from Clemson, joining TE Jim Riggs (1987), DT Donald Broomfield (1999), DT Brandon Thompson (2012) and Higgins (2020).
- Was selected by his hometown Bengals, marking the second straight draft in which a Clemson player has been selected by his home state team (Atlanta CB A.J. Terrell in 2020). Carman will now play home games in Cincinnati fewer than 25 miles from his high school in Fairfield, Ohio.
Head Coach Dabo Swinney on Jackson Carman:
“The Bengals are getting a first-round talent. Like Tee Higgins last year, Tee Higgins went in the second round, but he was a top-15 talent and I think you saw that in how he played. Tee Higgins was a ready-to-go guy right out of the gate with his best football still in front of him and he left early right after his junior year, and I would say the same exact thing about Jackson. We have had him here for two-and-a-half years and Jackson is a ‘day one’ guy. He is going to play day one; he is not a guy who is going to redshirt. He is ready to play and that is because you can’t find what he has. It is hard to find offensive linemen, first of all, but especially offensive linemen that are incredibly athletic, big, strong, and can play literally four positions — and more importantly has the knowledge to play four positions. He just gets it. He understands football. So wherever he went, his team was going to get a first-round talent. I think if he had been back, he would have been a top-15 pick. I think he is one of those guys that has a chance to play a long time, and if his body holds up, I think he’ll decide when football ends for him — he has got that type of upside to him. So I’m super excited about his future and excited for the team that gets him because I know how hard it is to find ready offensive linemen and that’s what you get with Jackson Carman. You get a guy that is ready to make you better the day he steps on the field.”
Jackson Carman talks with the Bengals media
RODGERS NOTES (from Clemson)
- Became the 68th player to have played for Head Coach Dabo Swinney to be drafted into the NFL, including the seventh third-round pick of Swinney’s tenure.
- Became the 11th wide receiver in Swinney’s head coaching tenure to be drafted into the NFL.
- Became the 15th Clemson wide receiver under Swinney’s guidance to be drafted including Swinney’s stint as wide receivers coach from 2003-08.
- Represented Clemson’s 10th draft pick at wide receiver since 2013. Clemson’s nine previous selections at wide receiver across the 2013-20 NFL Drafts were tied for the most in the country in that span.
- Extended Clemson’s school-record number of consecutive drafts with a wide receiver selected to six, currently the nation’s longest active streak.
- Gave Clemson at least one receiver selected in eight of the last nine NFL Drafts, dating to DeAndre Hopkins’ selection in 2013.
- Became the first No. 85 overall pick in school history.
- Became the 11th Clemson player selected by the Packers all-time and the first since DT Donnell Washington in the third round of the 2004 NFL Draft. Four of the Packers’ 11 all-time selections from Clemson have come in the third round, including Fred Cone (1951), Gary Barnes (1962), Washington (2004) and Rodgers (2021).
- Became the Packers’ highest-drafted wide receiver since selecting four-time Pro Bowler Davante Adams with the No. 53 overall pick in 2014.
Head Coach Dabo Swinney on Amari Rodgers:
“The Packers are getting a true professional. He is the ultimate pro. This kid has handled himself like a pro since I met him, and I mean in every aspect of his life. He is incredibly committed to excellence in every area: academics, his relationships, how he deals with media, how he responds to adversity, you name it. He is the same guy every day. He has an incredible mind to him. He has an incredible mental toughness and grit, and then he is just highly skilled. He brings a ton of experience. He has played a ton of football. He has incredible special teams value. He can do a lot of things there. He played his first two years on the outside, he played his last two years in the slot. He is crafty. He is a technician at his position, and he is a guy that’s going to be ready day one since he can play multiple positions and is incredibly smart. Again, he is built like a running back, but he has the length of a 6-foot-3 wideout and plays long. He is a tough yards-after-the-catch guy and I think is one of those guys that, like I said, is a true pro and will be a leader from the moment he gets there.”
NOTES ON JONES FOLLOWING 2020 SEASON (from USC)
Junior middle linebacker who was the vocal leader of the defense… named one of four permanent team captains… earned fourth-team All-SEC honors from Phil Steele… started each of the first nine games, missing the final contest with an ankle injury… led the team in tackles for the second-straight year with 86 stops… averaged 9.6 tackles per game, sixth in the SEC… had four games with at least 11 tackles during the season… logged 11 stops in the season opener against Tennessee… credited with 13 stops, including a career-high 3.0 tackles for loss in the win at Vanderbilt… also had his lone sack of the season against the Commodores… notched a career-best 19 tackles at LSU… it was the most tackles in a game by a Gamecock since Roy Hart had 19 stops at Nebraska in 1987… nearly matched that total with 18 tackles at Ole Miss… had two of the top 17 single-game tackles total recorded at the FBS level in 2020… one of 16 semifinalists for the Butkus Award… recorded 199 tackles in just 26 games over the past three seasons, including 21 starts… had 10.5 tackles for loss with a pair of sacks… credited with two interceptions, five pass breakups, six quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles and a pair of fumble recoveries… invited to the NFL Combine.