When you look at the numbers over the last few years of the draft, the ACC seems to hold its own when it comes to talent. 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 selectedÂ 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 Recent First and Second-Round Wide Receivers
Georgia Tech' Stephen Hill was chosen in the second round of this year's NFL Draft by the New York Jets. His selection continues 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;Â Â 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).
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.
That being said, why isn't the ACC winning anything. Sure the SEC has dominated the football world, but why has the ACC not even been mentioned? If coaches have all this talent, why aren't any ACC programs threatening the top 10? The answer is simple, coaching. The ACC doesn't really have any major names any more. When these coaches hit the ACC, they don't stay very long or when a school gets a winner something usually comes up and the school panics and lets the coach go too soon.
If there is so much draftable talent in the ACC, results should be better. Maybe it's time someone took a better look at why the ACC isn't competing and focused on the guys at the top and not point at the players.
Stay Breezy ~ I'm Out!