By Morgan Thomas & Amy McKenna
*As of 10:30am on 5/3/22
Justyn Ross (WR)
Ross confirmed Monday afternoon that he has signed with the Kansas City Chiefs. He finished his career as a Tiger with 2,379 yards and 20 touchdowns. Ross had to have spinal surgery in 2020 which kept him out the entire season. Many fans and experts had high hopes that he would return to his highlight reel form from his freshman campaign. While he was able to show off his skills in the slot position early, 2021 became a season to forget for the entire Clemson offense, including Ross. The vertical passing game was severely hampered by poor execution, accuracy and touch from the quarterback position. Adding to that the lack of protection from the offensive line, neither Ross nor quarterback DJ Uiagalelei had a chance to really bond on the field.
"Not only did he miss all of 2020, but when he came back the offense was a mess and the quarterback had a hard time getting him the ball with any accuracy or touch. You have to grade his 2019 (film), in my opinion." -- College scouting director for AFC team speaking to NFL.com
It has been some time since Ross' freshman and sophomore years but they were still impressive compared to his competition. Of the receivers that were drafted, only nine of the 28 selected in the 2022 NFL Draft reached both the 2,000-yard and 20-touchdown marks for their careers.
Braden Galloway (TE)
Galloway saw his production decline in 2021 but announced via his Instagram that he has signed as an undrafted free agent with the Chicago Bears. He caught four passes for 14 yards over 6 games. He suffered a concussion against Boston College and three weeks later returned only to injure his shoulder and labrum.
James Skalski (LB)
The general of the Clemson defense did not get his name called during the three-day event. However, he recently signed with the Indianapolis Colts on a free-agent deal.
He finished 2021 by being named to the First-Team All-ACC Defense. He earned All-ACC honors in each of the past two seasons. He finished his career with 310 tackles, 10.0 sacks, 12 pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble in 1,920 snaps over 69 games. His 69 career games played is tied for the school and modern FBS record.
The Colts and head coach Frank Reich will be getting a player who is a true leader in the locker room and on the field. Over the past few seasons, Clemson has relied heavily on Skalski to line up the defense and get former defensive coordinator Brent Venables adjustments relayed to the front 7 pre-snap. Skalski plays hard every down and when he was not on the field the entire defense changed. The speed at the NFL level is a major step up and Skalski will have to prove he is more than just a player who plays hard.
Mario Goodrich (CB)
Another First-Team All-ACC Defensive player in 2021. Goodrich was a very physical cornerback for the Tigers once he got his chance to play more snaps. He played with great instincts and by the end of the season was listed as one of the top cornerbacks in the country. Speed is a big priority for most NFL teams, however, and Goodrich was typically schemed away from the faster receivers due to his inability to keep chase with faster opponents.
The Philadelphia Eagles are willing to give him a chance in 2022. The Eagles did not draft a cornerback but they signed Goodrich to a $217,000 guaranteed free-agent deal. This amount is not typical for even late-round picks in the NFL Draft. The cornerback room will be crowded in Philadelphia but his contract is already a good sign that the Eagles coaching staff believes in his abilities.
Nolan Turner (S)
The two-time team captain for the Tigers will have his chance in the NFL. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed Turner as an undrafted free agent. He finished his Clemson career with 259 tackles, 20 pass breakups and seven interceptions. One of the most memorable interceptions was that of his drive-ending interception of Justin Fields in the College Football Playoff Semifinal game against Ohio State with 37 seconds to go.
Even with some of his amazing highlights, Turner was not invited to the NFL Combine this year. However, he had a chance to show out during Clemson's Pro Day and he was successful. He ran a 4.46 40-yards dash and also showed off his explosiveness and jumping skills during the event.
“I think that he is truly one of those sleepers, one of those diamonds in the rough that at the next level, he’s going to find a great fit and a great home,” ACCN Analyst and former Clemson Tiger Eric Mac Lain said of Turner.
NFL Mini Camp Invites - Clemson men's basketball player Naz Bohanan, Clemson punter Will Spiers and Clemson long snapper Jack Maddox have been invited to NFL Mini Camps. Bohanan to the Jaguars, Spiers to the Packers and Maddox to the Giants.
Check back in for any updates that may occur. Find out how Clemson fared in the 2022 NFL Draft here.