NFL Draft Watch 2024: Nate Wiggins and Ruke Orhorhoro Selected

The 2024 NFL Draft has completed its first two rounds, and two Clemson Tigers heard their names called as they get set to begin their professional careers.

As expected, cornerback Nate Wiggins was selected in the first round. He was the top choice of the Baltimore Ravens where he joins former Clemson teammate Trenton Simpson.Wiggins was selected Wiggins with the 30th overall pick, and Nate will join a team that is already one of the NFL’s top franchises. The Ravens coveted an elite cover corner, and that is exactly what they are getting in Wiggins.

Ravens GM Eric DeCosta even called Wiggins a “ridiculous athlete.”

In his junior season at Clemson, Wiggins was a First Team All-ACC selection while recording 29 tackles, two interceptions, two forced fumbles, and a sack. His trip sack of North Carolina Drake Maye to save a touchdown, after chasing him the length of the field, will go down as one of the great plays in Clemson history.

“Nate is as talented as we’ve ever had come through here at his position from a skill set standpoint,” said Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney following Wiggins’ selection. “Really, really fast. He’s really honed his craft from when I first met him. He’s a really competitive kid, and how he’s channeled his competitiveness, he’s really developed.”

Dabo Swinney

Nate Wiggins was the only Clemson player whose name was called on day one of the NFL Draft, but another Tiger defender did not have to wait long to hear his.

The Atlanta Falcons selected defensive tackle Ruke Orhorhoro in the second round with the 35th overall pick. Atlanta traded up to that spot in order to draft Orhorhoro and add some needed muscle to the interior of their defensive line. Draft analyst Mel Kiper had actually projected Ruke to the Falcons, but in the third round.

Ruke was an All-ACC selection in 2023 and finished his final season as a Tiger with 25 tackles, eight tackles for loss, and five sacks.

Orhorhoro joins three former Clemson stars with the Falcons in Grady Jarrett, A.J. Terrell, and Bradley Pinion.

Swinney added his thoughts on Ruke Orhorhoro:

“This is going to be fun. Ruke is a guy that I think everyone is in love with his measurables. He’s big, his athletic, he’s got great length, he can really run. He’s got position diversity and can play multiple spots on the defensive line. He’s a high character guy. The thing that everybody likes about Ruke is that he’s not quite a blank canvas, but he still very much has his best football in front of him.”

Dabo Swinney

While Wiggins and Orhorhoro were the first two Clemson Tigers off the board in the 2024 NFL Draft, eight others are waiting to hear their names called including linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr. and all-purpose running back Will Shipley. That Trotter Jr. was not selected in the first two rounds is a surprise but expect to hear Jeremiah’s name called in the third round on Saturday.

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