Nov 2, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets defensive end Jeremiah Attaochu (45) tries to get around Pittsburgh Panthers offensive linesman T.J. Clemmings (68) in his pursuit of quarterback Tom Savage (7) during the fourth quarter at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Tech won 21-10. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports
The Bengals have been looking at Unversity of Pittsburgh tackle T.J. Clemmings as an option in the first round of this year’s draft, but according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, Clemmings has a previously unknown injury.
This could hurt his draft stock as we are less than a week from the start of the NFL Draft. It could mean a few things for the Pittsburgh prospect. First, a team with an immediate need at tackle may not be willing to take a risk on a player who has an injury. Second, he will fall a little further in the draft, but should not be out of the first round. Third, the Bengals could possibly trade down to late in the first round and still get him, if they decide to pick offensive tackle over safety.
The Pitt offensive lineman was a second team All-American, first team All-ACC, and three-time ACC Offensive Lineman of the Week in 2014. He is a raw talent that, with a year, could mold into a great starting offensive tackle and an option for the Bengals with the expected departure of either Andre Smith or Andrew Whitworth to free agency next season.
The Bengals could use someone like Clemmings on the line in the near future and this injury should only be a minor setback to a player who could be the second first round pick in just as many years for the Pitt Panthers; Aaron Donald went to the Rams 13th overall last season. Regardless of the team that takes Clemmings, he is bound to make a positive impact once he returns from the stress fracture.
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