ACC Again Scores Big At 2009 NFL Draft
April 26, 2009
GREENSBORO, N.C.—For the fourth consecutive year the Atlantic Coast Conference was a pacesetter at the annual National Football League (NFL) annual draft, as the league was the only conference in the nation to have four of its players drafted among the first nine selections of the 2009 Draft.
The Conference became the first conference to achieve the feat since the ACC did it four years ago in the 2006 NFL Draft. It also marked the 9th time in the history of the NFL Draft that a league has managed to have four picks among the first nine choices. The Big Ten set the record with five picks in the 1967 and 1996 Drafts.
Wake Forest linebacker Aaron Curry was the first ACC player selected when he was tabbed fourth overall in the first round by the Seattle Seahawks. Curry was followed, in short order, by Maryland wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, who was tabbed seventh by the Oakland Raiders; Virginia offensive tackle Eugene Monroe, taken eighth by the Jacksonville Jaguars; and Boston College defensive lineman B.J. Raji, who was selected ninth by the Green Bay Packers.
With five players selected in the first round overall—North Carolina’s Hakeem Nicks was the 29th pick on the first round by the New York Giants--the ACC has had more first round selections in the NFL Draft than any other conference with 30 first rounders chosen since 2006, the first year the Conference became a 12-team league. The SEC is second with 29 first round selections.
Overall, the ACC had nine of the first 45 players selected in the Draft, the most of any Conference in the nation among the Top 45.
The Conference did have its unprecedented streak snapped of three consecutive years when the league supplied the first defensive player chosen in the draft by the barest of margins when LSU defensive end Tyrone Jackson was tabbed third overall, just ahead of Wake Forest’s Curry. No other league has ever gone more then two consecutive years with the top defensive player chosen. The ACC now has supplied the top defender in four of the past eight years of the Draft.
In all, the ACC had 33 players drafted, trailing only the SEC (37). Over the past four years the ACC has had 158 players drafted, again second nationally only to the SEC (159).
Maryland and North Carolina led all ACC schools with five players chosen each, followed by Clemson, Georgia Tech, Virginia and Wake Forest with four each; Boston College and NC State with two as well as Florida State, Miami and Virginia Tech with one each.
Although Miami did have its impressive streak of 14 consecutive years with a first round draft pick snapped, the Hurricanes continued their string of string of consecutive seasons with a player in the NFL Draft to 35 straight years with outside linebacker Spencer Adkins drafted on the 6th round. Miami has now had a player taken in every NFL Draft since 1974.
Florida State also continued its skein of 22 straight years with a player taken in the top three rounds when defensive end Everettte Brown was chosen in the 2nd round by the Carolina Panthers.
ACC Selections in the 2009 NFL Draft