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 Clemson’s offensive line.
Does Jackson Carman’s draft round help Clemson with future issues at the o-line?
— Trap the Fly 🥢🦅 (@Kirtap_Fly) May 3, 2021
Clemson has not had much success turning offensive linemen into high draft picks under Dabo Swinney.
In fact, when Jackson Carman was drafted in the second round this past Friday, he became the highest-selected Clemson offensive lineman drafted since 1971. That’s a span of 50 years.
Just as Clemson sells to recruits its ability to develop quarterbacks like Deshaun Watson and Trevor Lawrence into top draft picks, other programs sell their ability to produce offensive linemen who are ready for the next level.
Clemson hopes Carman being drafted No. 46 overall is the start of the Tigers showing that offensive linemen can come to Clemson and be high draft picks.
“We’ve just kinda took what we got,” Swinney said this spring. “That was the area where our recruiting has transformed over the past probably three years. I think you’ll see more of that.”
Carman being selected this year and John Simpson going in the fourth round to the Raiders last year gives Clemson back-to-back drafts with at least one offensive lineman selected for the first time since 2007-08.
That streak could continue for several years moving forward.
Matt Bockhorst and Jordan McFadden are veterans who should be drafted in the next couple of years, and the Tigers also have several highly-recruited young offensive linemen currently on the roster who could develop into high draft picks.
That includes Marcus Tate, Tristan Leigh, Walker Parks and Mitchell Mayes.
“As you look at our recruiting the past two or three years, it’s exciting, because I think we have more ready guys that have a little more long-term potential to play in the NFL,” Swinney said.
Don’t be surprised if Carman being drafted in the top two rounds is the start of a trend for the Tigers.
“I think hopefully over these next few years… we have 16 offensive linemen and 13 of them are freshmen and sophomores. We’ve got the right guys and a lot of guys that will have an opportunity. We’ve got a bunch of guys right now that have that long-range potential.”
The more offensive linemen Clemson has drafted, the more success the Tigers should have bringing in top offensive line recruits as well.