Will Another Clemson CB Be on the Draft Menu for the Vikings in 2024?

Nov 25, 2023; Columbia, South Carolina, USA; Clemson Tigers cornerback Nate Wiggins (2) smiles after breaking up a pass to South Carolina wide receiver Nyck Harbor (8) during the fourth quarter at Williams-Brice Stadium. Clemson won 16-7. Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

Two years ago, the Minnesota Vikings selected Andrew Booth in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft.

While Booth hasn’t exactly carved out a consistent role for himself in the Vikings’ defense, another Clemson CB looks like an intriguing player who could go even higher in the draft than Booth did. That player is Nate Wiggins, and he is the focus of today’s edition of the Vikings Draft Thermometer series.


Clemson CB
Sep 16, 2023; Clemson, South Carolina; Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins (2) celebrates with teammates after he returned an interception for a touchdown during the first quarter against Florida Atlantic at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY NETWORK
  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 185 pounds
  • Arm Length: TBD
  • Hand Size: TBD
  • Wingspan: TBD
  • 40 Yard Dash:
  • School: Clemson
  • Games Watched: Florida State (2022), North Carolina (2023), Duke (2023), Florida State (2023)

Nate Wiggins came out of high school as a four-star recruit by 247 Sports. He was the 77th-ranked prospect in the Class of 2021 while also being the No. 6 player at the cornerback spot. After receiving offers from a multitude of high-profile programs including Alabama, LSU, and Texas, the cornerback ultimately committed to the Clemson Tigers.

Wiggins spent all three of his collegiate seasons at Clemson, and he became a full-time starter at the cornerback spot in 2022. He turned in a fantastic season as a sophomore, but he then battled through a bone bruise in the middle of the 2023 season, which forced him to miss two games. However, he came back to the lineup to conclude the season on a tear and was named a first-team All-ACC member as a result.

Now, Wiggins enters the spring hoping to become the latest Clemson Tiger to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.


Dec 3, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Clemson Tigers cornerback Nate Wiggins (20) breaks up a pass intended for North Carolina Tar Heels wide receiver Antoine Green (3) in the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
  • 2021: 2 tackles, 2 passes defended, 50.3 NFL passer rating against (7 games)
  • 2022: 29 tackles, 2 TFLs, 13 passes defended, 1 INT, 74.8 NFL passer rating against (13 games)
  • 2023: 29 tackles, 1 TFL, 1 sack, 6 passes defended, 2 INTs, 2 forced fumbles, 44.4 NFL passer rating against (10 games)


Sep 16, 2023; Clemson, South Carolina; Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins (2) returns an interception for a touchdown during the first quarter against Florida Atlantic at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY NETWORK

Nate Wiggins has the overall size and length that is ideal for an NFL cornerback. He is also a very versatile defender who looks comfortable either in man or zone coverage. This past season, the junior played 58.3% of his snaps in man while 32.4% came in zone, per PFF.

Wiggins utilitzes fluid movements and great speed downfield allow him to keep up with athletic receivers, and his 6’2″ frame allows him to blanket them in coverage.

The 21-year-old cornerback isn’t afraid to get physical in coverage either. He attacks the catch point with a fervor while his technique in coverage is disciplined, and he is patient enough to avoid penalties. He was penalized just one time during the 2023 season, a massive improvement from his five penalties in 2022.


Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins (2) warms up near cornerback Myles Oliver (16) during preseason practice in Jervey Meadows in Clemson, S.C. Thursday, August 10, 2023.

While Wiggins has great height and length to utilize in coverage, he could benefit from filling out his frame a touch more. He is on the slighter side of the spectrum for a 6’2″ cornerback at 185 pounds.

As mentioned, penalties were a bit of an issue for Wiggins in 2022. Seeing as it was his first season as a true starter at the collegiate level, perhaps these penalties will come back into the fold in his rookie NFL season.

Finally, for all his physicality in coverage, Wiggins is a bit timid against the run. He rarely finds himself engaging against the run. This is an area where some extra enthusiasm and effort wouldn’t hurt.

NFL Projection

Clemson defensive end Armon Mason (34) and cornerback Nate Wiggins (20) enter the field with the team before the before the first quarter of the ACC Championship football game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina Saturday, Dec 3, 2022.
  • Draft Stock: Top 10-First Round
  • Immediate Role: Starting boundary CB
  • NFL Comp: Darius Slay
  • Vikings Draft Thermometer: 30

At the end of the day, the Vikings have enough bodies in their cornerback room to at least be serviceable in pass coverage, particularly if they can find a way to stay healthy. That being said, things could change quickly if either Mekhi Blackmon or Byron Murphy were to struggle with injuries again like they did down the stretch of the 2023 season.

There is also the matter of Minnesota’s pass rush, which could be set to lose Danielle Hunter and/or much of its depth. If that happens, the Vikings very well could need to find more of a lockdown CB in the first round.

Editor’s Note: Statistics for this article were found via 247 SportsPro Football Focus and Sports Reference CFB.

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.