Buccaneers: Clemson Tigers 2018 NFL Draft Prospects to Watch

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01: Kelly Bryant
NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01: Kelly Bryant /

The Buccaneers will be picking seventh in the upcoming draft and will have several elite players to choose from when they’re put on the clock. The Clemson Tigers, perennial contenders in the college football landscape, will have several options for the Bucs to evaluate.

For the last couple of years the Clemson Tigers have consistently pumped out star level talent, and this draft process seems to be no different. Jason Licht and the Buccaneers front office will have fourteen senior members of the Clemson Tiger football team to evaluate and potentially draft this April. The full list goes as follows:

Linebacker, Dorian O’Daniel

Wide receiver, Jack Swinney

Cornerback, Marcus Edmond

Cornerback, Ryan Carter

Kicker, Christian Groomes

Linebacker, Connor Sekas

Center, Justin Falcinelli

Guard, Tyrone Crowder 

Offensive tackle, Kelby Bevelle

Defensive end, Kaleb Bevelle

Center, Pat Godfrey

Offensive line, Maverick Morris

Tight end, D.J. Greenlee

Kicker, Drew Costa

Senior to watch: Guard, Tyrone Crowder

The 6’2, 340 lb. senior guard was named first team All-ACC in 2016, and was considered an anchor for the Clemson offensive line. Crowder started 28 games for the Tigers, and according to the team website, was credited with 46 knockdowns during his collegiate career.

Crowder has been a part of several high-flying Clemson offenses, and helped protect quarterback Deshaun Watson on their way to a national championship. NFL teams are always extra keen on drafting players from championship-winning programs, and Clemson has proved in recent years to be an NFL-prospect factory.

The Buccaneers desperately need help at guard, so don’t be surprised if they kick the tires on Crowder during the process leading up to the draft. Crowder would theoretically slide in at the right guard spot between center Ali Marpet and Demar Dotson, and would give the Bucs the beef in the middle that they need to help establish a more effective ground game. Tampa was awful at scoring touchdowns last year and all 340 lbs of Crowder could go a ways towards fixing that.

Related Story: Draft Prospects to watch on UCF

Underclassman to watch: Defensive end, Clelin Ferrell

Though there’s been whispers that he may return to school, Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell is far and away the most interesting player that the Tigers can offer the Buccaneers. As the video above so appropriately puts it, Ferrell is a 6’5 monster of a defensive end. In two full years of starting at Clemson,  Ferrell racked up 15.5 sacks, 30.5 tackles for loss, 110 total tackles, and two forced fumbles. Ferrell has tremendous burst off the line of scrimmage, and often made offensive tackles look silly in the games that I watched.

Ferrell red-shirted in 2015 and hit the ground running once he got his shot in 2016. Playing on a championship-winning defense, Ferrell was clearly the most important player as a freshman and had a team-high 24 pressures on the quarterback. In 2017 he was able to build on the rapid success that he found, increasing his sack, tackle, and tackle-for-loss numbers.

From the Buccaneers perspective, the fit is obvious. They need pass rush in the worst way after finishing with a league-low 22 sacks in 2017. Ferrell would start opposite Noah Spence and instantly give the Buccaneers defense a much-needed boost to their pass rush. It’s unclear where exactly Ferrell will go if he does indeed declare, but the range is likely between rounds one and two.

Keep a close eye on whether Ferrell officially declares, because your Tampa Bay Buccaneers could be extremely interested in acquiring his services for their ailing defensive line.

Next: Chris Godwin discusses his off-season plans

The Clemson Tigers, as usual, are rich with potential draft prospects this off-season, and offer several quality options to help the Buccaneers fix their offensive and defensive lines. Which Tigers are you looking for the Buccaneers to target? Sound off in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter!

Check out our exclusive interview with Buccaneers’ receiver Chris Godwin on the latest Locked On Bucs Podcast below!