University of Memphis’ Chris Claybrooks drafted by Jaguars


Memphis’ Chris Claybrooks runs the opening kickoff back 94 yards for a touchdown against Cincinnati in the first half of an NCAA college football game Friday, Nov. 29, 2019, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Defensive back Chris Claybrooks (Nashville, Tenn./McGavock HS/Fort Scott CC/Cohoma CC) was selected in the seventh round of 2020 NFL Draft Saturday by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the 223rd overall pick. He is the second Tiger drafted this season, following Antonio Gibson’s third round selection Friday by the Washington Redskins.

Claybrooks came to Memphis and transitioned from offense to defense. In his first year at Memphis, Claybrooks appeared in 12 games, largely on special teams, recording his first career pick-six touchdown in the Birmingham Bowl against Wake Forest.

As a senior, Claybrooks missed the first five games of the season due to a foot injury, but finished the season tied for 10th in total tackles (42). He also added two PBU, two quarterback hurries, one interception, one forced fumble and one sack. He was one of three Tigers to return a kickoff for a touchdown, taking one back in the regular-season finale, a game Memphis needed to win to earn a spot in the AAC Championship game.

In that championship game, he had a hand in both Bearcat turnovers. He forced a fumble inside the Memphis 25-yard line, ending a Bearcat scoring threat. Later, he intercepted a Desmond Ritter pass on Cincinnati’s first play after the Tigers had cut the Cincinnati lead to 21-20.

He is the first Tiger to be drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars and his selection gives Memphis multiple draftees for a third straight season. With Dustin Woodard drafted seven picks after Claybrooks, Memphis has had three draftees for the first time since the 2001 draft (Idrees Bashir, Michael Stone, Marcus Bell).

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