ACC Football Prepares for 2012 NFL Draft

April 25, 2012

ACC Had 25 Percent of Top 60 Chosen in 2011 NFL Draft
Though the ACC had only three players chosen in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, the conference had a total of 15 of the first 60 players chosen. That's 25 percent of the top players selected  in the Draft. The SEC was the next closest conference to the ACC with 10 picks among the first 60 selections in 2011.

Five of the Top 10 Rated Linebackers for the 2012 Draft are ACC Players
Boston College's Luke Kuechly Rated Top Linebacker
According to the NFL.com, five of the top 10 rated linebackers in this year's NFL draft are ACC players; a group that includes Boston College's Luke Kuechly, who is the top rated draftee at the position of linebacker.

Besides Kuechly, four other ACC linebackers are rated among the top ten at their position including North Carolina's Zach Brown (4th), Miami's Sean Spence (7th), NC State's Terrell Manning (9th) and Florida State's Nigel Bradham (10th).

Also, two more ACC products--NC State's Audie Cole and Wake Forest's Kyle Wilber--were rated 17th and 19th, respectively giving the ACC 7 of the top 19 rated linebackers.

ACC Leads All Conferences in NFL Linebackers in 2011
In each for the past three years, the ACC has led, or has tied for the lead, in linebackers playing in the NFL. According to the rosters of NFL teams on the NFL.com, 45 players from ACC schools are listed as linebackers; that's one more than the Big Ten (44). The SEC (38) and Pac-12 (31) followed.

ACC Leads All Conferences With 15 Players Graded at 80 Percent
The ACC had more players earn a pre-NFL Draft grade of 80 percent or better from the NFL, than any other conference. The ACC had a total of 15 of its players post grades of 80 percent or better this year from the NFL, finishing ahead of the SEC (14), the Big Ten (11), the Pac-12 (10), the Big 12 (9) and the Big East (4).

ACC players who earned grades of 80 percent or better included: LB Luke Kuechly of Boston College (91.0), DE Quinton Coples of North Carolina (88.0), DE Andre Branch of Clemson (86.5), WR Stephen Hill of Georgia Tech (86.0), RB David Wilson of Virginia Tech (85.0), LB Zach Brown of North Carolina (85.0), RB Lamar Miller (84.5), DT Brandon Thompson of Clemson (84.5), TE Dwayne Allen of Clemson (84.2), CB Jayron Hosley of Virginia Tech (84.0), T Zebrie Sanders, Florida State (82.7), DE Vernon Olivier of Miami (82.0),  CB Chase Minnifield of Virginia (81.5), LB Sean Spence of Miami (80.),WR Chris Givens of Wake Forest (80.0)

ACC Has 63 Draft Prospects Rated by the NFL
A total of 63 ACC players were rated for this year's NFL Draft, which placed the league third behind the SEC (75) and the Pac-12 (65). The league finished ahead of the Big Ten (61), the Big 12 (46), the Big East (38) and the Mountain West (21).

ACC Recent First and Second-Round Wide Receivers
If Georgia Tech' Stephen Hill is chosen on the first round of this year's NFL Draft, his selection will continue a recent tradition of ACC wide receivers being chosen in the first or second round of the Draft. Georgia Tech's Calvin Johnson (2007), Maryland's Darrius Heyward-Bey (2009), North Carolina's Hakeem Nicks (2009), and Georgia Tech's Demaryius Thomas (2010) were all chosen on the first round;   Virginia Tech's Eddie Royal (2008), Maryland's Torrey Smith (2011) and North Carolina's Greg Little (2011) were selected in the second round..

Players from Current ACC Schools Dominate 2011-12 NFL Playoff Pass Receiving Leaders
Of the Top 10 pass receivers in this year's NFL Playoffs, five were from current ACC schools, including the three most productive playoff receivers; Hakeem Nicks (North Carolina) of the New York Giants, Demaryius Thomas (Georgia Tech) of the Denver Broncos and Vernon Davis (Maryland) of the San Francisco 49'ers.

In all, of the top 22 receivers in the 2011 NFL Playoffs, 10 were from current ACC schools. The next closest conference was the SEC with three.

Other players for ACC schools finishing among the Top 22 NFL playoff receivers were: Calvin Johnson (7th, Georgia Tech, Detroit), Andre Johnson (8th, Miami, Houston), Anquan Boldin (11th, Florida State, Baltimore), Jimmy Graham (13th, Miami, New Orleans), Torrey Smith (19th, Maryland, Baltimore), Frank Gore (20th, Miami, San Francisco ) and Eddie Royal (22nd, Virginia Tech, Denver).

Clemson's Allen Rated No. 2 Tight End in 2012 Draft
Clemson's Dwayne Allen is the No. 2-rated tight end in this year's draft according to the NFL.com. His rating of 84.2 is second only to Coby Fleener of Stanford (86.5).

Virginia Tech's Wilson, Miami's Miller Ranked Among
Top Four 2012 Draft Running Backs
Two players from ACC schools are ranked among the top four running backs rated on the NFL.com. Virginia Tech's David Wilson is ranked 3rd among all RBs with an 85.0 grade, while Miami's Lamar Miller is 3rd with an 84.5 grade. Both Wilson and Miller are early-entries.

Georgia Tech's Hill, Wake Forest Givens Rated Among Top 10 NFL Draft Wide Receivers
Two ACC receivers are ranked among the top nine pass receivers ion the Draft with Georgia Tech's Stephen Hill ranked 4th (86.0) and Wake Forest's Chris Givens rated 9th (80.0).

ACC Trails Only SEC in Numbers of Draft Selections and First Round Picks Since 2006
Over the past six years, the ACC has had more players selected on the first round of the NFL Draft (37) and more total players selected (214) than any other conference with the exception of the SEC which had 46 first round choices and 237 overall selections. The next closest conference to the ACC is the Big Ten with 31 first-round and 191 overall selections and the Big 12 with 31 first-round and 182 overall picks, respectively.

Miami Streak Stretches 37 Years; FSU, Virginia at 28
A streak which should continue this year; Miami has had a player chosen in the NFL Draft each year since 1974, a span of 37 consecutive Drafts. Florida State and Virginia have each had one player chosen in each of the last 28 NFL Drafts.

Florida State's Draft String Stretches 24 Years
Florida State has had a player chosen in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft in each of the past 24 seasons, or since the 1988 NFL Draft. That streak includes 30 first-round selections.

Miami Ranks Second Only to Ohio State in Total Draftees since 1993
Since 1993, Miami has had 108 players chosen for the NFL Draft. During that time only Ohio State (114) has had more. Florida State ranks third during that time with 107 players selected.

ACC Set NFL Draft Records in 2006
The ACC set NFL Draft records in first-round selections (12) and overall picks (51) in the 2006 draft.