CLEMSON, SC - Three more members of Clemson's 2012 football team that won 11 games for the first time in 31 years were selected in the National Football League Draft on Saturday. The draft ended on Saturday evening after seven rounds over three days.
Clemson wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was taken on Thursday evening in the first round, the 27th overall selection by the Houston Texans.
On Saturday, Malliciah Goodman was taken in the fourth round, the 127th overall selection, by the Atlanta Falcons. Jonathan Meeks was a fifth round selection, the 143rd overall pick, by the Buffalo Bills. Andre Ellington was a sixth round pick, the 187th overall selection by the Arizona Cardinals.
With four selections in this year's draft, Clemson has now had 23 players chosen over the last five years, at least four every year Dabo Swinney has been Clemson's Head Coach. It is the first time in history Clemson has had at least four players drafted each of the last five years. Clemson is the only ACC school that can make that claim.
All three of the former Tigers drafted today were chosen between 100-199 in the draft. That is still a good sign. Eighteen of the last 19 Clemson players drafted in the 100s made NFL clubs and played in an NFL game.
Below are some other notes on the Clemson players drafted Saturday:
Malliciah Goodman, DE, Atlanta Falcons, 4th Round
- Even though 19 former Clemson players have played for the Atlanta Falcons, Goodman is just the fourth former Tiger to be drafted by the organization. The others are Rod McSwain (1984), Reggie Pleasant (1985) and Kenny Flowers (1987).
- Goodman hopes to join his former Clemson teammate Michael Palmer on the Falcons. Palmer was a senior tight end at Clemson in 2009, Goodman's freshman year. Palmer made the Falcons as a free agent and has just completed his third season.
- Goodman will play his home games in the same stadium he experienced his greatest game as a Tiger, the Georgia Dome. In his final game as a Tiger, Goodman had three sacks to lead Clemson's defense in the 25-24 win over LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
- The Director of Pro Personnel for the Atlanta Falcons is former Clemson defensive lineman DeJuan Polk.
Jonathan Meeks, DB, Buffalo Bills, 5th Round
- This marks the third year in the last four that Buffalo has drafted a former Clemson player. C.J. Spiller was a first round pick of the Bills in 2009, Chris Hairston was a fourth round pick in 2010 and now Meeks is a fifth round selection in 2013.
- Spiller and Hairston were both on the Bills roster last year as starters. Spiller was named to the Pro Bowl. So Meeks hopes to make it three former Tigers on the Bills next year.
- Meeks' selection was a bit of a surprise to many draft analysts. No one had him in mock drafts within the seven rounds.
Andre Ellington, RB, Arizona Cardinals, 6th Round
- Ellington is first Clemson player drafted by the Arizona Cardinals since 2005 when Airese Currie was a fifth round selection.
- Ellington is the fourth Clemson running back drafted in the last five years, joining James Davis, C.J. Spiller and Jamie Harper. Clemson did not have a single running back drafted between 1999-2008. Clemson has had eight offensive players drafted the last five years and four of the eight are running backs.