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April 23, 2010
GREENSBORO--The Atlantic Coast Conference saw one of its streaks continue Thursday night at the 2010 National Football League Draft.
When Clemson running back C.J. Spiller, the ACC's Player of the Year, was chosen as the 9th overall selection it preserved a streak for the Conference of having a player chosen among the Top 10 Draft picks in each of the past five years. Since the 2006 Draft, the ACC is the only conference to have had a Top 10 selection in each of the past five years.
In all four ACC players were taken in the first round of the Draft: Spiller drafted 9th overall by the Buffalo Bills; Georgia Tech defensive end Derrick Morgan, the ACC's Defensive Player of the Year, taken 16th overall by the Tennessee Titans; Georgia Tech wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, drafted 22nd by the Denver Broncos and Florida State cornerback Patrick Robinson, who was the final pick on the first round, selected 32nd overall by the New Orleans Saints.
Only the Big 12 Conference (8) and the SEC (7) had more first-round selections than the ACC. And since 2006, the ACC has 16 Top Ten selections, trailing only the SEC (17) in that category. The Big 12 was next with 12 Top Ten draftees since 2006.
Also since 2006, the ACC, with 34 overall first-round selections, has more first-round picks than any other conference save the SEC (36). Spiller was the third first-round selection of a Clemson player since 2006. Spiller also was the sixth-highest NFL Draftee in Clemson history, trailing only the late Gaines Adams (4th, 2007), Jeff Bryant (6th, 1982), Jerry Butler (5th, 1979), Bobby Gage (6th, 1949) and Banks McFadden (4th, 1940). The two first-round draftees for Georgia Tech marked only the second time Tech has had two first round draft picks and is the first multiple first-round choices for the school in 31 years. Tech had two first-round picks in the 1979 NFL Draft, when Eddie Lee Ivery (15th , Green Bay Packers) and Kent Hill (26th, Los Angeles Rams) were both selected in the opening round. Robinson became Florida State's first first-round draftee since 2007, but its 35th first-round pick overall. Only Miami (60) of all ACC schools have had more players drafted on the first round. Clemson now has 22 first-round selections, while Georgia Tech now has 11.
The NFL Draft continues Friday with the second and third rounds and concludes on Saturday with rounds four through seven.