Spiller expected to be first round pick

Former Clemson running back C.J. Spiller is expected to be selected in the first-round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night.

The NFL Draft will be held at Radio City Music Hall in New York City and will be televised by ESPN and the NFL Network.

The draft begins with the St. Louis Rams selection at 7:30 PM. The first round will be held Thursday night, then the second and third rounds will be conducted Friday night starting at 6:00 PM. The final four rounds will be held Saturday morning beginning at 10:00 AM.

Spiller will be in New York for the draft and will be joined by his mother, brother, sister, daughter, pastor and Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney and his wife Kathleen. Spiller is the third Clemson player to be invited to New York for the draft. Chester McGlockton was present for the draft in 1992 and Gaines Adams was in New York for the 2007 NFL draft.

Eighteen of 19 mock drafts by national media (see below) have Spiller going within the top 15 picks on Thursday. Todd McShay of ESPN, Clark Judge of CBS Sportsline and NBC Sports all have Spiller going to Seattle with the sixth selection. The only media outlet that has Spiller outside the top 15 is Sporting News, who has Spiller going 20th in the first round to Houston.

Ironically, Sporting News ranks Spiller as the fifth best prospect in the draft and has him on the cover of its draft preview magazine. They do have him as the first running back taken in the draft.

If Spiller is taken in the first round he will be the third Clemson player taken in the first round in the last five years. Tye Hill was the No. 15 pick of the 2006 draft by the St. Louis Rams and the late Gaines Adams was the No. 4 pick of the 2007 draft by the Tampa Bay Bucs. Spiller will be the third straight Clemson first round selection to also earn first-team All-America honors and graduate in the year he was drafted. Spiller will be the first Clemson running back taken in the first round since Terrence Flagler was the No. 25 selection of the draft by the San Francisco 49ers in the 1987 NFL draft. He will be the first player on offense to go in the first round since wide receiver Rod Gardner was the No. 15 pick in 2001. Adams was Clemson's last first-round selection in 2007 when he was taken by the Bucs.

Other Draft Notes
•Clemson has not had two players taken in the first round since 1982, the draft after Clemson won the national championship when Jeff Bryant and Perry Tuttle went in the first round. Ricky Sapp has a chance to be a first round selection according to some services. He is predicted to go 22nd in the first round according to Sporting News.

•22 of the last 24 Clemson players drafted have gone on to play in at least one NFL game. That includes all four players who were drafted last year, James Davis, Chris Clemons, Michael Hamlin and Dorell Scott.

•Spiller will be the 23rd Clemson player to be chosen in the first round.

•Clemson could have three players taken within the top 100 of the draft, as Ricky Sapp and Jacoby Ford could also go within the first three rounds. The last time Clemson had three top 100 picks was 1993 when Wayne Simmons, James Trapp and Rudy Harris all went in the top 100 selections. The most top 100 selections Clemson has had in one year is five, set in 1991. The most overall selections in one draft for the Clemson program is 10 set in 1983.

•Clemson has had four players selected with the No. 15 choice of the first round since 1993. Wayne Simmons, Anthony Simmons, Rod Gardner and Tye Hill were all chosen with the No. 15 pick of the first round. The No. 50 selection has also been popular over the years. Michael Dean Perry, Brentson Buckner and Patrick Sapp were all chosen with the number-50 pick.

C.J. Spiller Mock Draft Predictions

Clark Judge, CBS Sportline.com 6 to Seattle

Todd McShay, ESPN 6 to Seattle

NBC Sports 6 to Seattle

Charles Davis, NFL Network 7 to Cleveland

Brian Baldinger, NFL Network 7 to Cleveland

Pat Kirnan, NFL Network 7 to Cleveland

Alan Caplan, Fox Sports 9 to Buffalo

Rob Rang, NFLDraft.com 10 to Jacksonville

Steve Wyche, NFL.com 10 to Jacksonville

Mel Kiper, ESPN 10 to Jacksonville

Peter Prisco, CBS Sportsline.com 10 to Jacksonville

Don Banks, SI.com 10 to Jacksonville

Chad Reuter, CBS Sportsline.com 14 to Seattle

Bleacher Report.com 14 to Seattle

Bucky Brooks, NFL Network 14 to Seattle

Pete Schrager, Fox Sports 14 to Seattle

Chris Steuber, Fox Sports 15 to New York Giants

Doug Farrar, Yahoo Sports 15 to New York Giants

Sporting News 20 to Houston

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