While skill players James Conner and Tyler Boyd grabbed most of the headlines in 2014, Pitt's football team got huge contributions from offensive lineman T.J. Clemmings. Clemmings is about to cash in on some of that success in the NFL Draft this week.
The Draft kicks off with the first round on Thursday at 8:00 p.m. EST on the NFL Network and will also be televised on Friday and Saturday as well. Clemmings is expected to not only be selected highly, but in that initial round.
The Panthers' are back to producing draft picks after a two-year hiatus of not having anyone selected in 2012 and 2013. Last year, the Panthers had several players selected, including Devin Street, Tom Savage, and first-round pick Aaron Donald.
Clemmings will become somewhat of an unlikely high pick. He began his career on the defensive line but failed to make much of an impact. A position switch to the offensive line, where he played some in high school, is what propelled his career. Former coach Paul Chryst has to get credit for moving him there and catapulting his career. He became an immediate starter at tackle, despite some struggles as a junior, and anchored this year's line that allowed James Conner to rush for more than 1,700 yards.
The move to the offensive side didn't only work out, but it's been an amazing fit. This SI article talks about his tremendous upside. And the ACC recognized his achievements so much that he won the conference's Offensive Lineman of the Week award several times.
We'll have more this week on where Clemmings is expected to go and other news on him leading up to the draft. But it looks like Pitt has a shot at producing first round picks in consecutive years.