Mel Kiper has issued his “first look at how the 2012 NFL Draft could play out.” See here. The ACC is fairly well represented in this first mock-up of the draft.
Here are the ACC players included:
- With the #7 pick, Kiper has the Jacksonville Jaguars opting for Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina. He sees need at wide receiver and in the pass rush, with Coples fitting the bill for the latter.
- With the #15 pick, Kiper has the Philadelphia Eagles selecting ACC defensive player of the year Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College. The Eagles obviously need defensive help. Might as well draft a guy who was an Eagle in college.
- With the #21 pick, Kiper has the Cincinnati Bengals opting for another underclassman, Lamar Miller, RB, Miami (Fla.). Kiper believes that the Bengals need an explosive compliment to Cedric Benson.
- With the #23 pick, Kiper has the Detroit Lions selecting Zach Brown, LB, North Carolina. There is no dispute that the Lions need defensive help to go along with that great offense. With Suh and Fairley, the defensive line is set.
- With the #29 pick, Kiper has the New York Giants selecting Zebrie Sanders, OT, Florida St. Kiper sees the offensive line as a need area for a team that likes to establish the run.
- With the #32 pick, Kiper has the New England Patriots selecting Andre Branch, LB, Clemson. Kiper anticipates a position change from defensive end to linebacker.
All in all, that is 6 ACC players out of 32. There are likely to be plenty of familiar faces on the first night of this year’s draft.