Nick Eason and Byrant McNeal, Clemson's top two defensive players in terms of quarterback sacks in 2002, were both drafted in the fourth round of the National Football League Draft by the Denver Broncos this past April. Eason was the 114th selection of the draft, while McNeal was the 128th choice.
Eason, 6-3, 301 pounds, was the Broncos' second of four fourth-round draft picks (114th overall) in the 2003 NFL Draft.
As a three-year starter at Clemson, he started 35 of 47 games, recording 153 tackles (87 solo) with 15 sacks for -128 yards, 30 stops for losses of 194 yards and 38 quarterback pressures.
Additionally, he caused and recovered a pair of fumbles, and deflected six passes. Eason graduated from Clemson in August, 2001 with a degree in Sociology, and is presently working on his master's degree in Human Resource Development. Born Nicholas Eason on May 29, 1980, he resides in Lyons, Georgia.
McNeal, 6-4, 248 pounds, was selected by the Broncos' with their third fourth-round pick (128th overall), and joins his former Clemson teammate, Eason, in the Mile High City.
A two-year starter for the Tigers, McNeal recorded 156 tackles (89 solo), 21 sacks (-147 yards), 46 quarterback pressures, five forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 48 career games (25 starts). Born Bryant Ashley McNeal on July 13, 1979, he resides in Swansea, South Carolina.
Clemson already has a defensive influence in Trevor Pryce was the starting defensive tackle for the Broncos in 2002. Pryce was named to the Pro Bowl for the fourth straight year.
Pryce was a first-round pick of the Broncos in the 1997 draft and that was the last time the Broncos drafted a Clemson player.
History is on the side of Eason and McNeal as far as making the Broncos roster. Since 1985 Clemson has had 40 players drafted within the top 150 players taken in the draft. Thirty-seven of those 40 players have made NFL rosters.
McNeal, Eason Sign with Denver
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