Pitt offensive tackle T.J. Clemmings was selected in the NFL Draft’s fourth round on Saturday by the Minnesota Vikings.
Clemmings was the 110th overall pick in the draft. Initially projected as a first-round prospect, he fell to the fourth round after being recently diagnosed with a foot stress fracture.
With his selection, Pitt has now had at least one player chosen in 14 of the last 16 drafts. Clemmings is the first Pitt player in 25 years to be drafted by Minnesota. Defensive back Alonzo Hampton was a fourth-round pick of the Vikings in 1990.
A relative newcomer to the game, Clemmings played only two seasons of high school football at New Jersey’s Paterson Catholic. At Pitt, he began his career as a defensive end before moving to offensive tackle prior to his junior season.
Following a year of adjustment, Clemmings enjoyed an exceptional senior season. His 2014 postseason accolades included first team All-ACC, second team All-America (Phil Steele and the Football Writers Association of America) and selection to the prestigious Senior Bowl.
“Everyone at Pitt is incredibly proud of T.J.,” first-year Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi said. “We know he is going to be a great asset for the Vikings, on and off the field. I can remember recruiting him when he was in high school. It has been really great reconnecting with him at Pitt these past few months. He is a tremendous player and person.”
In its pre-draft evaluation, NFL.com wrote that Clemmings has “elite change-of-direction talent and knee bend” and owns “the talent to make any block asked of him in the running game.” The analysis added that he “moves like a tight end in space with an ability to zero in on targets and finish them in the screen game.”