As NFL draft plays out, teams could be choosing between Tigers, Gamecocks

The Clemson Sports Blog

Clemson's Andre Ellington runs with the ball against South Carolina.

Clemson's Andre Ellington runs with the ball against South Carolina.

Andre Ellington or Marcus Lattimore?

Malliciah Goodman or Devin Taylor?

Jaron Brown or Ace Sanders?

It's quite possible that some NFL teams with similar needs will be making Clemson vs. South Carolina choices as the draft plays itself out this week in New York.

While it's hard enough to get a handle on forecasting the first round, it's almost impossible to peg a player accurately to a single team in subsequent rounds.

But clubs have demonstrated something about what they're looking during the long-and-winding evaluation period that has included the Senior Bowl, the NFL Combine, Pro Days at various schools, and individual workouts.

Both Ellington and Lattimore are being projected in the third-round range by most draft analysts. Teams with needs for running backs include the San Diego Chargers and the San Francisco 49ers.

Both Goodman and Taylor are considered among the second tier of defensive end prospects, and are generally being projected as fifth rounders. Teams mentioned as possibilities for both players include the Atlanta Falcons and the Detroit Lions.

Teams looking for a late, sixth or seventh-round, pick-up at wide receiver will have multiple options, including Brown, who climbed on the charts after an impressive showing at Clemson's Pro Day, South Carolina's Sanders, Duke's Conner Vernon and Virginia Tech's Corey Fuller.

Also getting some mention as a sixth or seventh-round pick is Clemson center Dalton Freeman.

All eyes will be on the first round on Thursday. Clemson wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is widely viewed as a late first-round, early second-round pick. His best chance at a first-round selection might be with the St. Louis Rams, for whom Hopkins worked out last week. The Rams have two first-round picks, and are expected to use the No. 14 overall choice on a defensive player, and to take a wide receiver with the No. 22 pick.

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