Clemson defensive end Austin Bryant was selected by the Detroit Lions in the 4th round with the 177th overall pick in the NFL draft.
Bryant is the 4th Clemson defensive lineman to be selected in the first 4 rounds of the NFL draft. Austin’s draft value may have dropped because he was unable to physically participate in the post season draft process while recovering from a torn pectoral muscle that he played through during the second half of Clemson’s 18/19 season.
Austin was a three year starter for Clemson. As a sophomore he was plagued by a foot injury that cost him the majority of of the season, starting the first 3 games of the year and then returning to limited action in the Tigers post season run to the National Championship. He recored 13 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, and 2.5 sacks in limited playing time. Bryant came on as a junior, starting 14 games, recording 50 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks and an interception. Bryant returned to the Tigers as a senior and put in another stellar season putting up 45 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, and 8.5 sacks.
When healthy (and even when not as a senior), Bryant was a terror at his left end position. At 6’5, 260, he is a freaky athlete that Brent Venables liked to move around the field. You saw that against Virginia Tech in 2017 when he was tasked with blowing up wide receiver screen passes. You won’t find many defensive ends able to flank out to the perimeter and take away screen passes. For his effort, he was rewarded with an interception he managed to stab with one hand.