CLEMSON — Even with spring football over, there is still plenty going on at Clemson. Senior writer Matt Connolly is ready to answer whatever questions you might have. You can submit your question for the “Question of the Day” here. Today’s question is about the NFL Draft.
Any updates on the quarterback situation? Also, which recently drafted Clemson player do you see as the most likely to succeed the fastest?
— Dianne McKenzie (@Tigrrrfan) May 3, 2021
Let’s start with the second question first.
I believe all five Clemson draft picks — Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne, Jackson Carman, Amari Rodgers and Cornell Powell — landed in good spots.
Lawrence and Etienne teaming up in Jacksonville should help both college stars adjust to the NFL. Urban Meyer has been successful everywhere he’s gone, as Lawrence pointed out on draft night, and that should eventually continue in Jacksonville.
Carman is returning home to Ohio and joins an offense that appears to be on the rise with Joe Burrow, Tee Higgins, Ja’Marr Chase and other young pieces. Carman’s reuniting with a former teammate as well in Higgins.
Meanwhile, Amari Rodgers and Cornell Powell were drafted by the Packers and Chiefs, respectively, and are in line to catch passes from Aaron Rodgers and Patrick Mahomes — arguably the top two quarterbacks in the NFL.
For now I’ll go with Amari Rodgers as the Clemson player most likely to succeed right away, assuming Aaron Rodgers is his quarterback. Aaron Rodgers is reportedly unhappy with the Packers’ front office and could demand a trade, but if not this is a great spot for Amari.
Aaron Rodgers is the reigning MVP, and Amari Rodgers will be playing alongside arguably the top receiver in the NFL in Davante Adams. The Packers need someone to step in and be a playmaker in the slot alongside Adams, and Rodgers is more than capable.
“With Aaron Rodgers, him being the prolific quarterback that he is, and with Davante being the prolific receiver that he is, just to bring me in and take a little attention off of him, I feel like that will be perfect,” Amari Rodgers said. “Just my skillset and what I’m able to do in the offense, I feel like it’s something that will be able to help the offense, for sure.”
Lawrence will play more right away and is the favorite to win Rookie of the Year. But he’s also going to the team with the worst record in the NFL last season. Amari Rodgers should be able to contribute for a contender from the start, assuming Aaron Rodgers is his quarterback.
Clemson backup QB update
As for the first question, there’s no update on the quarterback situation right now. I still expect Clemson to explore transfer portal options at quarterback at some point, but a commitment doesn’t seem imminent.
Incoming quarterbacks Bubba Chandler and Will Taylor are still projected to land in the first round of this summer’s MLB Draft, and it’s very possible both play professional baseball rather than quarterback at Clemson.
This is obviously a big summer for walk-on Hunter Helms, and he very well could end up as Clemson’s backup quarterback this season. He’s impressed in limited playing time so far as a Tiger.