CLEMSON, S.C. — Five former Clemson players entered Day 3 of the 2022 NFL Draft on Saturday hopeful they would have their named called. Only one actually had it happen.
Former linebacker Baylon Spector joined cornerback Andrew Booth, Jr. as the two former Tigers that were selected by NFL teams. Spector was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the seventh round Saturday with 231st overall pick of the draft. Booth was taken in the second round (42nd overall) by the Minnesota Vikings on Friday.
The two picks mark the fewest for the Clemson program under head coach Dabo Swinney. The 2018 NFL Draft was the previous low when just three Tigers were selected that year.
Clemson’s two picks also represent the football program’s lowest total since 2008, when former head coach Tommy Bowden was in charge of the program.
Going into the draft, as many as four former Tigers were expected to be drafted and possibly five. That did not happen, though.
The big surprise was wide receiver Justyn Ross, who was at one time considered a possible first-round pick after a great freshman season in 2018. But a congenital fusion to the spine, which he had surgery to correct in June of 2020, forced him to miss the 2020 season. He came back in 2021 but did not have the type of year he had hope for, plus an injury to his foot sidelined him for the final three games of the season.
Besides Ross, cornerback Mario Goodrich, safety Nolan Turner and linebacker James Skalski also went undrafted. Immediately following the draft’s completion, Goodrich and the Philadelphia Eagles agreed to an undrafted free agent deal.
Reportedly, Goodrich was offered a $217,000 guarantee.
Former Clemson CB Mario Goodrich is signing with the #Eagles on a deal that includes a whopping $217,000 fully guaranteed – more than late-round picks receive, per his agents @NessMugrabi and @davidcanter.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 30, 2022
Turner also reportedly agreed to terms as an undrafted free agent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
As for Spector, the Bills like his versatility at linebacker, which is why they drafted him in the second round. They also like his toughness and the way he plays the game.
“As you saw at the Combine, he can really run,” head coach Dabo Swinney said in a release. “You don’t see many guys his size that can run like that. Very athletic. Baylon is a true Will [linebacker] that can really cover and play on the edge but also can move in and play Mike.
“I think that he’s got outstanding Day 1 potential with his size, with his speed, with his experience, with his knowledge of the game, but also his ability to be a Day 1 starter on special teams on all core teams. Another graduate, a fifth-year player, that has a ton of championship experience that he’ll bring with him.”