Player News

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Pro Football Focus notes that Clemson QB Deshaun Watson is "as tough of a prospect to evaluate as there is coming out of college."

"Watson is not a pure progression passer, with his limited pocket feel and vision, and whenever that’s the case, there will be a huge risk involved when hoping to land a franchise quarterback," explains the PFF analysis team. Per the outlet, Watson's 14 interceptions in a clean pocket this past season were tied for most in the country. "The former Clemson quarterback’s work ethic and intangibles will make him an attractive option, but there will be some risk involved," concludes their breakdown. NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah has heard that five different quarterbacks -- including Watson -- have received top ranking at their position depending on the team. While quarterback is often one of the more static positions at the top of the draft, it is much more difficult to gauge this year. Watson will be on hand in Indianapolis as a full Combine participant next week.
Feb 25 - 1:52 PM

Clemson ILB Ben Boulware has the "the attitude and swagger for the position but lacks the desired size and quickness," according to NFL Media's Lance Zierlein.

Boulware is your classic overachiever in the middle of the defense. The 6-foot, 235-pounder isn't big, fast or athletic, but he's smart and physical. "Margin for error might be too small to become a starter in the league, but his potential on special teams could be a way to open the door to an NFL career," Zierlein concluded.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 22 - 1:54 PM

ESPN's Tom Luginbill writes that "Clemson should [know] by the end of spring practice whether [freshman QB Hunter] Johnson is truly ready to take over."

"Johnson is so talented that going from a dynamic athlete like Deshaun Watson to more of a pocket-player like Johnson isn't as a dramatic as it sounds," Luginbill notes. He believes that either the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Johnson or redshirt freshman QB Zerrick Cooper will ultimately win out as Watson's replacement this offseason. Johnson ranked as Rivals' No. 18 overall prospect in the 2017 class. Cooper was a four-star quarterback in his own right during the 2016 cycle.
Feb 21 - 7:23 PM

Clemson associate AD Bert Henderson was found dead on Tuesday.

Henderson, 60, did not show up for work on Monday and his family subsequently reported him missing. On Tuesday, authorities found his body in a wooded area about a mile from his home in Easley, South Carolina. A cause of death has not been disclosed. He had been with Clemson since 1978, when he worked as an athletic trainer.
Source: ESPN.com
Feb 21 - 4:39 PM

247 Sports reports that transferring Clemson graduate DT Scott Pagano has narrowed his list of finalists to Arkansas, Cal, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas.

Pagano graduated in December, making him immediately eligible to play with one year of eligibility remaining. The 6-foot-4, 295-pounder bench presses 470 pounds and reps 225 pounds 38 times. CBS Sports lists Pagano as one of the top 10 defensive tackles in the 2018 NFL Draft Class.
Source: 247 Sports
Feb 21 - 3:00 PM

Clemson QB Deshaun Watson has heard that he'll go as high as the top-five.

"I'm hearing that," he said. "First round, anywhere in that range, top 10, top five, just depends on what the teams say." Watson confirmed that he will be a full participant at the NFL Scouting Combine next month.
Feb 21 - 1:59 PM

Clemson QB Deshaun Watson plans to do participate in every part of the NFL Combine.

"Run, throw, meetings, everything," Watson said. Watson declined an invitation to the Senior Bowl, and we expect every other healthy quarterback to join him in fully participating in Indianapolis. The quarterbacks will work out on Saturday, March 4.
Feb 21 - 10:43 AM

247Sports' Ryan Bartow reports that 32 teams have contacted transferring Clemson graduate DT Scott Pagano.

Well that didn't take long. News of Pagano's transfer intentions broke on Friday. Almost immediately, a veritable wave of programs contacted him in the hopes to lure him over. Among the teams name-checked by Bartow, LSU, Washington, North Carolina, Oregon, Oklahoma, Ohio State and Georgia (among many, many others). Bartow passes along that Pagano plans on making a few visits before he decides on his final collegiate home. This past season, the 6-foot-3, 295-pounder registered 31 tackles (4.5 for loss) and two sacks in 12 games played. He started four of those contests.
Source: 247Sports
Feb 19 - 12:39 PM

NFL Media draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah compared Clemson QB Deshaun Watson to Miami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill.

Jeremiah tossed his comp forward on the Move the Sticks podcast. Co-host Bucky Brooks responded to that comparison in the affirmative, saying, "Both had a quick release, and you have to think of the way you build the system around them. You have to think in the same terms, a movement-based system. You want to take advantage of the athleticism." NFL Films producer Greg Cosell has comped the Clemson star to Alex Smith in terms of his abilities as a distributor.
Source: NFL.com
Feb 17 - 8:13 PM

Clemson junior DT Scott Pagano will transfer as a graduate.

Pagano asked for his release from the program and intends to play elsewhere next season. As a graduate, he'll be eligible if he transfers to another FBS program. "I met with Scott Pagano yesterday," Swinney said. "We had a good talk and he told me about his intentions to be a graduate transfer for his final year of eligibility. I told him to think about it overnight." Pagano was the No. 104 player in the nation by Rivals coming out of the prep ranks. In 12 games (and four starts) in 2016, he converted 299 snaps into 31 tackles, 4.5 TFL and two sacks.
Source: Tiger Net
Feb 17 - 12:52 PM

Pro Football Focus compared Clemson WR Mike Williams to Chicago Bears WR Alshon Jeffrey.

"Like Jeffery, Williams is physical at the catch point and capable of turning off-target throws into completions. Both receivers can win in the short game while providing a downfield threat in contested situations," writes the PFF analysis team. The outlet goes on to note that the 6-foot-3, 225-pounder "projects as a receiver capable of using his body to move the chains while adding a downfield component to the passing game due to his ability to win at the catch point with strong ball skills." As far as general consensus goes, Williams and Western Michigan wideout Corey Davis are being viewed as the top two receivers in the 2017 draft pool. Both should land as first-round picks unless craziness ensues.
Feb 16 - 5:17 PM

NFL Films producer Greg Cosell believes Clemson QB Deshaun Watson "is an orchestrator, a distributor... along lines of Alex Smith."

Cosell doesn't use the "game manager" tag that is frequently bestowed on many passers, but the verbage is similar. The evaluator adds Watson does have some playmaking skills, but "he is not big." At some level every quarterback is a distributor, working within the structure of an offense, but the real skill is shown when the play does not go according to plan, either due to pressure or some other factor, and the quarterback must create outside of structure. We think Watson absolutely creates outside of structure, however, he is not always composed or consistent in that area.
Source: Mid Day 180
Feb 16 - 8:52 AM

The full list of 330 NFL Combine participants has been released.

All of the big names will be there, and a few, like Deshaun Watson, have already announced they will throw and participate. As Rich Hribar notes, the wide receivers not invited to the NFL Combine is important to pay attention to, as the success rate of those pass catchers is very very low. We will have more on the "snubs" left off the list in the near future.
Source: NFL Combine
Feb 15 - 11:16 AM

The NCAA Football Rules Committee is considering a proposed rule change which could reduce the number of targeting ejections next season.

According to the new proposal, players would only be ejected if the targeting is confirmed via replay. As matters currently stand, an on-field call of targeting stands even if replay review proves inconclusive. Said NCAA associate director Ty Halpin, "We still want to the official to throw the flag there. But if replay says there's a little bit of contact on the shoulder and it's more because the player adjusted and it wasn't a dangerous attempt by the player delivering the contact, then maybe that player deserves to stay in the game."
Source: CBS Sports
Feb 14 - 10:45 PM

Former Clemson WR Germone Hopper will participate in Clemson’s Pro Day on March 21.

Last February, Hopper announced his intention to transfer. He never made it to another school for his last year of eligibility. Instead, Hopper worked part-time job at his godfather’s barbershop as a receptionist. An NFL scout told SI that Hopper is an "intriguing talent" with value on special teams. He's no sure thing to get drafted.
Source: SI
Feb 14 - 2:31 PM


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