Defensive players were front-and-center in terms of NFL Draft picks with a local connection Thursday night.
The Panthers took Auburn’s sizeable defensive tackle Derrick Brown (6-5, 326) with the seven pick of the opening round.
That was followed by Arizona landing Clemson LB/DB Isaiah Simmons with the eight overall pick as they need someone to contain damage tight ends did against them in 2019 and determine Simmons is that player.
Simmons joins a Cardinals team that recently acquired former Clemson wide receiver Nuk Hopkins in a trade with Houston.
The Super Bowl runner-up 49ers used the 14th overall pick on USC defensive lineman Jayvon Kinlaw, who they expect to help their pass rush. He’ll now be on the same roster with former Gamecocks teammate Deebo Samuel.
Two picks later, Clemson cornerback and Atlanta native A.J. Terrell was selected by the Falcons. Terrell had 39 tackles and two interceptions this past season