Offensive tackle Chris Hairston, running back Jamie Harper and defensive back Byron Maxwell were all selected on the third and final day of the NFL draft on Saturday afternoon. Their selection gives the Tigers six total players drafted over the three-day process, tied for the third most selections in a draft in Clemson history.
Clemson had 10 players chosen in 1983 and had eight taken in 1991 and those are the only years Clemson has had more than six in a single draft. It is he seventh time Clemson has had exactly six players selected and the first time since the 1999 draft.
Clemson’s six selections ranked in a tie for fifth best in the nation. North Carolina and Southern California led the nation with nine apiece and Miami was third with eight and Nebraska was fourth with seven. Clemson, LSU, Iowa, and Georgia all had six selections.
Four of Clemson’s six selections were defensive players. It is tied for the second most defensive players in one draft from Clemson in school history. Clemson had six defensive players taken in the 1999 NFL draft and that is the record.
Five of the six selections came over the first four rounds and it marks just the second time Clemson has had five players taken in the first four rounds. The only other time was at the 1991 draft.
Hairston was taken in the fourth round by the Buffalo Bills, the second year in a row the Bills have taken a player from Clemson. Last year, the Bills took C.J. Spiller in the first round with the ninth overall pick. Prior to last year the Bills had not taken a player from Clemson since 1982 (Perry Tuttle).
Harper also went in the fourth round to the Tennessee Titans. Harper is just the second Clemson player taken by Tennessee since 1989. Keith Adams (2001) was the only other Tiger taken by the Tigers in the last 22 years. With Harper’s selection, Clemson has had a running back drafted in each of the last three years. James Davis was drafted by Cleveland in 2009 and Spiller was taken by Buffalo last year.
With the selection of Maxwell on Saturday, 10 member of Clemson’s 2008 defense have now been drafted. Dorell Scott, Mike Hamlin and Chris Clemons were drafted in April of 2009, Ricky Sapp, Crezdon Butler and Kavell Conner were taken in 2010 and Jarvis Jenkins, Marcus Gilchrist, Da’Quan Bowers, and Byron Maxwell were all taken this year for a total of 10. Freshmen on that team could be drafted next year and could add to that total.