Topic: Clemson First Rounders--whatever happened to...?
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Clemson First Rounders--whatever happened to...?

emoji_events [28]
Posted: Apr 26, 2019, 2:38 PM

To follow up on a Transfer "Where are they now" Thread I started a couple of days ago, in honor of our 3 First-Round Draft Picks last night, I thought I'd look into all our previous First-Round Draft Picks and what happened after they turned pro.

Ferrell, Wilkins, and Lawrence were Clemson's 30th, 31st, and 32nd First Rounders all time.

Banks McFadden
-1940 Draft
-4th Overall
-Brooklyn (Football) Dodgers
Arguably Clemson's greatest all-around athlete, McFadden was a 2-sport All-American at Clemson (football, basketball) and lettered in track. He played 1 season in the NFL where he had the longest rush that season (75 yards), was 5th in YPG, and also had 2 INTs on Defense. He fought in WWII and later returned to Clemson where he coached track and football and later was the head of the Intramural Dept. He passed away in 2005 at the age of 88.

Bobby Gage
-1949 Draft
-6th Overall
-Pittsburgh Steelers
Gage was also drafted by the All-American Football Conference Baltimore Colts but played 2 seasons for the Steelers. He set a record for longest rush of 97 yards that stood as an NFL record until it 1982 when it was broken by Tony Dorsett. It's still an unbroken Steelers record. He retired from football and worked as an executive at a textile company in Greenville. He passed away in 2005 from an apparent heart attack.

Lou Cordileone
-1960 Draft
-12th Overall
-NY Giants
Cordileone played for 6 seasons in the NFL. He was traded by the Giants to the SF 49ers for HOFer Y.A. Tittle and later had stints with the LA Rams, the Steelers, and the NO Saints. He also starred in a reality show on TV Land in 2013 called "Forever Young." Who knew?

Bennie Cunningham
-1976 Draft
-28th Overall
-Pittsburgh Steelers
Cunningham was a beloved long-time member of the Steelers with whom he won 2 Super Bowls. He had 2,879 yards and 20 TDs and is a member of the Steelers All-Time Team. You may recall that he sadly passed away last year from cancer.

Jerry Butler
-5th Overall
-Buffalo Bills
Butler's probably best remembered by Tiger Fans as the recipient of "The Catch" against USC in 1977. He played 8 years in the League, all with the Bills, and was a Pro-Bowler in 1980. He was a long-time off-the-field assistant with the Browns and Bears until his retirement in 2017.

Steve Fuller
-1979 Draft
-23rd Overall
-KC Chiefs
The guy who threw that TD pass to Butler was also a First-Rounder in '79. He won a Super Bowl in '85 with Da Bears (and did the Super Bowl Shuffle with The Fridge) but was mostly a career backup. He finished his NFL Career with 7,156 passing yards and 28 TDs (vs. 41 INTS...). He was inducted in the SC Football HOF this past year and coaches HS football on Hilton Head.

Jim Stuckey
-1980 Draft
-20th Overall
-SF 49ers
Stuckey played for 7 seasons with the 49ers and the NY Jets. He won 2 Super Bowls with SF. Interestingly, he recovered a fumble against the Cowboys to actually win the '81 NFC Title game in the ensuing drive following fellow-Tiger Dwight Clark's Legendary "Catch"--there were actually 51 seconds when Clark scored so few people remember that Dallas got the ball back afterwards and had a chance to drive into FG range for the win.

Jeff Bryant
-1982 Draft
-6th Overall
-Seattle Seahaws
Bryant played for twelve long seasons in the League, all with the Seahawks. He finished his career with 63 sacks.

Perry Tuttle
-1982 Draft
-19th Overall
-Buffalo Bills
Tuttle was the first Tiger to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated after scoring his TD in the '81 National Championship Game. He played 3 seasons in the League with the Bills, Falcons, and Buccaneers before heading up North for a 6-season stint with the Winnipeg Bombers of the CLF. He won 2 Grey Cups with the Bombers. He spends his time these days as an inspirational speaker and minister.

Terry Kinard
-1983 Draft
-10th Overall
-NY Giants
Kinard played for 8 seasons in the League for the Giants until his final season when he went to Houston. He won a Super Bowl with the Giants and made the Pro Bowl in 1988, finishing his career with 31 INTs. He had a bit of legal trouble a few years ago in Myrtle Beach and works in the management of a property company on Pawley's Island.

William Perry
-1985 Draft
-22nd Overall
-Chicago Bears
"The Fridge" was a beloved member of the Bears and still to this day, I believe, the only Clemson Tiger to score a TD in the Super Bowl, with his goal-line plunge against the Pats in the '85 Super Bowl. He played for 10 seasons in the NFL where he finished with 29.5 sacks and 3 offensive TDs. He is also an inductee in the WWE HOF. He retired to his hometown of Aiken where he's sadly suffered serious chronic health problems over the last few years, primarily from Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

Terrence Flagler
-1987 Draft
-25th Overall
-SF 49ers
Flagler spent 6 years in the league, mostly with the 49ers, also playing for the Cowboys, Cardinals, and LA Raiders. He won 2 Super Bowls with the 9ers. He later played 4 seasons with the Arena Football League Jacksonville Tomcats as a WR. He coached HS football in Jacksonville for many years before becoming a training camp coach for the NY Jets and last year the 49ers.

Donnell Woolford
-1989 Draft
-11th Overall
-Chicago Bears
Woolford played 10 seasons in the League with the Bears, Steelers, and Panthers. He was a Pro-Bowler in 1993 and an All-Pro in 1994, finishing his career with 36 INTs. As of 2014 he was living in Charlotte and active in assisting the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

Chester McGlockton
-1992 Draft
-16th Overall
-LA Rams
Big Chester played for 12 seasons in the League for the LA/Oakland Raider, KC Chiefs, Denver Broncos, and NY Jets. He was a 3-time All-Pro and 4-time Pro-Bowler. He sadly passed away in 2011.

Wayne Simmons
-1993 Draft
-15th Overall
-Green Bay Packers
Simmons spent 6 seasons in the NFL with the Packers, KC Chiefs, and Bills. He won a Super Bowl with the Packers. He was tragically killed in 2002 in a single-car accident.

Trevor Pryce
-1997 Draft
-28th Overall
-Denver Broncos
Pryce had a long, decorated NFL career for the Broncos, Ravens, and, briefly, Jets. He was a 2-time Super Bowl Champion, 4-time Pro-Bowler, and 3-time All-Pro and is a member of the Broncos' 50th Anniversary team. He finished his career with 91 sacks! He's currently an author of young adult fiction. One of his works--Kulipari: An Army of Frogs--was adapted into a Netflix series!

Anthony Simmons
-1998 Draft
-15th Overall
-Seattle Seahawks
Simmons played 9 seasons in the League, mostly for the Seahawks with a final stop in New Orleans. He finished his career with 595 tackles, 10 sacks, and 9 INTs.

Antuan Edwards
-1999 Draft
-25th Overall
-Green Bay Packers
Edwards spent 8 seasons in the NFL with the Packers, Dolphins, St. Louis Rams, Falcons, and Redskins. He finished his career with 244 tackles, 7 INTs, and 3 sacks.

Rod Gardner
-2001 Draft
-15th Overall
-Washington Redskins
Gardner is fondly remembered in Tiger Town for "The Catch II" and played 6 seasons in the League for the 'Skins, Panthers, Packers, and Chiefs. He finished his NFL career with 3,165 yards and 23 TDs. He currently lives in Atlanta and works for a technology company.

Tye Hill
-15th Overall
-St. Louis Rams
Hill spent 5 years in the NFL with the Rams, Falcons, Titans, and Lions, finishing with 115 tackles, 17 PBUs, 5 INTs, and 1 TD.

Gaines Adams
-2006 Draft
-4th Overall
-TB Buccaneers
Gaines is tied with McFadden, Sammy Watkins, and now Clelin Ferrell as the highest Clemson draft picks. He played for the Bucs before being traded to the Bears in 2009. He tragically passed away in 2010 from complications due to an undiagnosed heart condition. He had 13.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 2 INTs, and 1 TD in his too-brief NFL career.

CJ Spiller
-2010 Draft
-9th Overall
-Buffalo Bills
I always felt like Spiller would've had a much better NFL career if he hadn't gone to the black hole that is the Buffalo Bills (for more info, see: Watkins, Sammy). He did play for 8 seasons with the Bills, Saints, Seahawks, Jets, and KC Chiefs--where he had a bizarre sign-cut-sign-cut-sign-cut back-and-forth in 2017. He was a Pro-Bowler in 2012 and finished his career with 3,451 rushing yards, 1,484 receiving yards, 2,056 return yards, and 23 total TDs.

Deandre Hopkins
-2013 Draft
-27th Overall
-Houston Texans
Nuk is arguably our best ever offensive pro. He's a 3-time Pro-Bowler, 3-time All-Pro, and led the League in touchdowns in 2017. He holds the franchise record for single-season TDs and to date has 7,437 receiving yards and 47 TDs.

Sammy Watkins
-2014 Draft
-4th Overall
-Buffalo Bills
Like Spiller, I firmly believe Sammy would've had a better career to date had he gone somewhere other than Buffalo. He spent 3 seasons there where he was successful but battled injuries and mediocre QB play. He was traded to the LA Rams in 2017 and in 2018 signed a $48million contract with the Chiefs where he had a solid season that ended in the AFC Title Game. Thus far he has 3,571 yards and 28 TDs.

Vic Beasley
-2015 Draft
-8th Overall
-Atlanta Falcons
Beasley has had an overall successful tenure in Atlanta although he set the bar for himself very high in 2016 when he led the league in sacks. He was an All-Pro that same year as well and to date has 29.5 sacks, 9 forced fumbles, 1 INT, and 2 TDs. He's been retained by the Falcons but the fanbase has largely turned on him due to production drop-off since his 2016 season. He needs to step it up this year.

Stephone Anthony
-2015 Draft
-31st Overall
-New Orleans Saints
Anthony was poised to have a great career after a break-out rookie season. However, he inexplicably was moved to strong side linebacker prior to the 2016 season where he struggled and battled injuries. He was traded to the Dolphins in 2017, released in 2018, and is currently a free agent.

Shaq Lawson
-2016 Draft
-19th Overall
-Buffalo Bills
Lawson underwent shoulder surgery following the Draft and spent most of the 2016 season on the injured list. He had 4 sacks in 2017 but battled an ankle injury late in the year. He had a solid season last year, recording a multi-sack game against the Dolphins.

Mike Williams
-2017 Draft
-7th Overall
-LA Chargers
Williams eased into the 2017 season after spending much of it on the bench with a back injury. He had a nice season last year recording 10 TDs and being named the AFC POW for Week 15. He's poised for a break-out season this year. To date he has 759 yards and 11 total TDs.

Deshaun Watson
-2017 Draft
-12th Overall
-Houston Texans
Watson took over mid-season in 2017 and was on fire until being sidelined with an ACL tear. Last year, despite having no offensive line, he led the Texans to a surprising 11-5 record and playoff berth. He was named to the Pro-Bowl last year. To date, he's thrown for 5,864 yards, 820 rushing yards, 45 passing TDs, and 7 rushing TDs.

By Position
-QB: 2
-RB/TB/HB: 3
-WR: 6
-DB: 5
-LB: 3
-D-Line: 12 (including last night)
-TE: 1
-O-Line: None

By Decade
-Pre-1970: 3
-1970s: 3
-1980s: 7
-1990s: 5
-2000s: 3
-2010s: 11 (including last night)

By Coach
-Frank Howard: 3
-Red Parker: 1
-Charley Pell: 2
-Danny Ford: 7
-Ken Hatfield: 2
-Tommy West: 3
-Tommy Bowden: 4*
-Dabo Swinney: 11*

*I credited Spiller to Swinney and Bowden

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Re: Clemson First Rounders--whatever happened to...?

Posted: Apr 26, 2019, 2:51 PM

nice work.always like to hear what former CU players are up to.

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^ Nice compilation!

Posted: Apr 26, 2019, 2:52 PM

Oh, did Michael D Perry go 1st round?

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Michael Dean was actually a 2nd round pick in the 88 Draft.

Posted: Apr 26, 2019, 3:15 PM

He was a much more highly decorated pro than his brother though: 6-time Pro Bowler, 4-time All-Pro, 1989 AFC DPOY.

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2nd to the Browns***

Posted: Apr 26, 2019, 3:15 PM

Re: Clemson First Rounders--whatever happened to...?

Posted: Apr 26, 2019, 2:59 PM

Thanks for taking the time to compile this.


Re: Clemson First Rounders--whatever happened to...?

Posted: Apr 26, 2019, 3:52 PM

That is great information, thank you for sharing.

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no Clip board Jesus ? did I miss something? where is the

Posted: Apr 26, 2019, 4:12 PM

ultimate COOT Killer ????


oh sure - just the first rounders

Posted: Apr 26, 2019, 4:13 PM

my bad


251 NFL Draft Picks from CU All Time

Posted: Apr 26, 2019, 4:17 PM

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Re: 251 NFL Draft Picks from CU All Time

Posted: May 1, 2019, 4:34 PM

I bet she has as much free time as I do.

2021 white level member

Great forgotten trivia on Jim Stuckey!...

Posted: Apr 26, 2019, 4:15 PM

in the NFC Championship game

Nice job - one other first rounder

Posted: Apr 26, 2019, 4:28 PM

Bill Mathis, who was an AFL first round selection and had a nice pro career.

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Interesting - thank you!***

Posted: Apr 26, 2019, 4:58 PM

2021 purple level member

"It is not part of a true culture to tame tigers any more than it is to make sheep ferocious."
--Henry David Thoreau

Thanks, that's a lot of work***

Posted: Apr 26, 2019, 5:02 PM

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Well done, sir. Hard for me to pick a favorite, but...

Posted: Apr 26, 2019, 5:18 PM

I was at Wake Forest on that cold rainy day in 2006 watching our Tigers getting beat by another sorry WF team, when Gaines Adams turned the tide....


He'll always be one of my favorite Tigers, God rest his soul.

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Re: Well done, sir. Hard for me to pick a favorite, but...

Posted: Apr 26, 2019, 5:31 PM

Thanks for posting. My all time favorite Tiger play.

Re: Well done, sir. Hard for me to pick a favorite, but...

Posted: May 1, 2019, 4:30 PM

To be fair, WF was 11-3 that year and won the ACC. But yeah that play was massive. Lose that game, and the matchup against GT a couple of weeks later probably wouldn't have gotten Clemson its first College Gameday.

Phillip Merling was the 32nd pick

Posted: Apr 26, 2019, 8:35 PM

the year the Patriots lost a draft pick, due to SpyGate. (2008)
Merling was technically drafted as the first player in the Second Round.
Merling was the 32nd overall draft pick, and many Scouts felt the Patriots would have taken him.
The Dolphins took him at 32.
I ran into Phillip recently, here in the LowCountry. He is currently working for a Canadian forestry equipment manufacturer, in St. George, S.C.

Thanks! Awesome work.***

Posted: May 1, 2019, 5:48 PM

2021 white level member

Re: Clemson First Rounders--whatever happened to...?

Posted: May 1, 2019, 6:08 PM


Thanks! Very much appreciated! Good Job!

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