First Tiger taken Scott picked in fourth round
CLEMSON — After Clemson produced no first-day selections, four Tigers were picked Sunday during the NFL Draft's second day.
Defensive tackle Dorell Scott was the first off the board, selected in the fourth round with the 103rd overall pick by the St. Louis Rams. Clemson's starting safeties last fall were taken with back-to-back picks in the fifth round: Chris Clemons went with the 165th pick to Miami, and Michael Hamlin went 166th to Dallas. Running back James Davis joined his mentor Jamal Lewis, selected in the sixth round by the Cleveland Browns.
Clemson draft hopefuls Cullen Harper and Aaron Kelly were not picked.
Scott or Clemons was expected to be the first of the Tigers off the board. Defensive tackles are scarce, and Clemons ran a blistering sub 4.4-second, 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.
"I am really glad it is all over with and I found where my new home is going to be," said Scott, who is taking his final exam at Clemson on Wednesday. "I was trying to not watch the draft. Whatever happens was going to happen. I was just sitting down with couple of friends when (the Rams) called."
Scott said he can put on 10 pounds to "comfortably" play at 325. Scott weighs 312 pounds and said "(Clemson coaches) wanted everyone to be kind of quick."
He joins former Clemson corner Tye Hill on the Rams.
Clemons joins another former Tiger, Phillip Merling, who was selected by Miami with the 32nd overall pick last season.
Clemons was confident during the Dolphins' conference call, telling reporters he compares his game to NFL stars Brian Dawkins or Ed Reed. They are always around the ball making plays. That's what I like to do when I'm out there."
Though Davis was selected last, it's conceivable he has the best chance of the group to play early. Cleveland's starting running, Jamal Lewis, is an aging veteran with no clear-cut heir behind him.
Davis is a Browns fan and attended the same high school (Douglass in Atlanta) as Lewis. The two have trained together in the offseason.
Davis said Sunday he believes his experience sharing time with C.J. Spiller at Clemson should ease his transition to the NFL.
"I played in a two-back system so it shouldn't be hard for me to come in and (contribute)," Davis said.
Davis helped himself at Clemson's pro day when he showed versatility as a pass catcher in addition to his abilities as a between-the-tackles runner.
Kelly, the school's all-time leading receiver, and Harper were no doubt disappointed.
Scouts questioned Kelly's strength and ability to separate. After throwing 27 touchdowns against six interceptions as junior, Harper regressed by throwing more interceptions than touchdowns last season.