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Is Clemson’s John Simpson the top guard in the 2020 NFL draft?

In what has been called a weak draft class at the position, finding a consensus No. 1 guard has been difficult.

Clemson’s John Simpson would like to toss his name in the hat as the top interior lineman.

Simpson had a dominant performance Saturday against one of the top defensive tackles in the nation as Clemson squared off against South Carolina. Pro Football Network NFL draft analyst Tony Pauline took notice during his live blog:

“While people will fawn over that touchdown pass from Trevor Lawrence, which was a terrific throw, I was more impressed with left guard John Simpson who used great body positioning, hand technique and strength to remove Javon Kinlaw from the play and keep the pocket clean,” Pauline wrote.

“Simpson presently ranks number one on my guard board and I expect him to end up in the second day of next year’s draft.”

Simpson is the No. 200-ranked player in the Fanspeak-Jake big board, while Kinlaw is the No. 17 player. Simpson is expected to move up in the next big board update.

“It is obvious the Clemson offensive line is focusing on Kinlaw and double teaming him when possible, but thus far Simpson is winning the one-on-one battles when the two are paired off,” Pauline wrote.

Simpson is Pauline’s top-rated guard. He expects the 6-foot-4, 330-pound senior to go in the second or third round of the 2020 NFL draft.

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