A lot of Clemson Tigers players will become eligible for next year's NFL Draft, which could endanger the team's status as one of the country's top college football teams. At least five Clemson Tigers could choose to become part of the 2021 NFL Draft instead of pursuing a junior season, reports Group State. These players include quarterback Trevor Lawrence, receiver Justyn Ross, cornerback Derion Kendrick, defensive end Xavier Thomas, and left tackle Jackson Carman.

Thankfully, there is a chance that they will still return next year. This is because Clemson has a reputation for convincing their top players to put off playing pro for one last season.

This happened with running back Travis Etienne. Etienne made the surprising decision to go back for a senior season this year. The running back is almost assured to be entering the 2021 Draft.

Pre-season rankings for Clemson Tigers

The 2020 class of the Clemson Tigers is so strong that the team is going into the season as among the top favorites. According to an early CBS Sports pre-season ranking, the presence of players like Trevor Lawrence and Justyn Ross bolstered Clemson to the top of the list. It was also predicted the team will clinch a sixth consecutive ACC championship in 2020. The Ohio State Buckeyes and the Alabama Crimson Tides are just below Clemson in the tally.

Clemson also topped the early Sports Illustrated pre-season ranking due to their strong offensive line.

The Georgia Bulldogs and the Ohio State Buckeyes complete the top three of the Sports Illustrated list. It can be remembered that Clemson ranked no. 1 in the pre-season rankings, last year. However, the team got beaten by the LSU Tigers in the College Football Playoffs National Championship Game. This gave the LSU Tigers a 15-0 record for the season, which only happened for the second time since 1897.

LSU eventually topped the season-end rankings. Clemson followed, with the Ohio State Buckeyes, Georgia, and Oregon Ducks right behind.

Top NFL Draft players for next season

Four Clemson Tigers players have been listed as among the top NFL-eligible players for the 2021 NFL Draft. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence led the list, just ahead of other college football stars like Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields and Oregon lineman Penei Sewell.

Lawrence was chosen because of his stellar showing for the Tigers in the past two years. He was also praised for how he has been consistent in handling the pressures of fame at such a young age.

Clemson running back Travis Etienne also placed at no. 7. Etienne is the highest-ranking running back on the list. According to the list, Etienne caught media attention mainly because of versatility and speed in the football field. Linebacker James Skalski is at no. 23. Receiver Justyn Ross is the last Clemson Tigers player on the list at no. 28.