Football

Who is Trayvon Mullen, the Clemson Tigers cornerback drafted by the Oakland Raiders?

Clemson’s Trayvon Mullen celebrates after the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Alabama, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif. Clemson beat Alabama 44-16.
Clemson’s Trayvon Mullen celebrates after the NCAA college football playoff championship game against Alabama, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif. Clemson beat Alabama 44-16. AP

The Clemson Tigers have another early-round NFL Draft pick and the latest has roots in South Florida.

Trayvon Mullen, an all-Atlantic Coast Conference cornerback from Coconut Creek, is heading to the Oakland Raiders as the No. 8 pick in the second round — No. 40 overall — in the 2019 NFL Draft.

Mullen is the sixth player from Miami-Dade and Broward counties to go in the first 40 picks of the 2019 Draft, and the first of the second day.

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Mullen comes from a strong football pedigree. The defensive back is a cousin of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who was a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and younger brother Tiawan Mullen is headed to the Indiana Hoosiers after playing in the All-American Bowl in January.

The Clemson corner, however, always seemed like the safest bet to be an early pick. Mullen was the No. 63 overall player in the 247Sports.com composite rankings for the Class of 2016 coming out of high school in Pompano Beach and he contributed immediately for the Tigers, who were coming off an appearance in the national championship game.

Clemson won the national title Mullen’s freshman year, then, the athlete cracked the starting lineup as a sophomore and helped the Tigers get back to the College Football Playoff.

As a senior, Mullen helped Clemson win its second championship in three years by grabbing an interception, and guiding the Tigers to the No. 24 pass defense and No. 5 overall defense in the nation. Mullen finished his career in South Carolina with four interceptions, seven passes defended, a forced fumble, two tackles for loss and 93 total tackles in three seasons.

Mullen, who was defensive MVP of the national championship in January, is already the fourth Clemson player to get picked in 2019. Defensive linemen Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence were all first-round picks.

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