ACC All Over the 1st Round of the 2013 NFL Draft
When previewing the NFL draft, it was noted that there were numerous players with ACC connections expected to be taken in the first round. With the first round completed, the ACC more than held its own.
- Jonathan Cooper, a guard from North Carolina, was taken by the Arizona Cardinals at pick #7
- In one of the true draft surprises, the Buffalo Bills selected Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel with the 16th pick.
- Syracuse’s Justin Pugh, an offensive lineman, was taken nineteenth by the New York Giants.
- Tyler Eifert, a tight end from Notre Dame, was taken by the Cincinnati Bengals at pick #21.
- The Indianapolis Colts selected Florida State defensive end, Bjoern Werner with the 24th pick.
- In a mini-run on Florida State Seminoles, the Minnesota Vikings followed up by taking cornerback Xavier Rhodes.
- The Houston Texans selected Clemson’s DeAndre Hopkins, a wide-receiver, with the 27th pick.
- The 28th pick was North Carolina’s Sylvester Williams, a defensive tackle.
Thus, of 32 players taken, 25% have ties to the present or future of the ACC. Even excluding Pugh and Eifert, the ACC contributed nearly 20% of the first round. That is fine by any standard.
In case you were wondering, the SEC had 12 players drafted and the Pac-12 had 5 players drafted. The Big XII had three players drafted. Brigham Young, the AAC (Houston), the Mac (Central Michigan), and the Big 10 (Wisconsin) had one player drafted each. There is no doubting the supremacy of the SEC, but the ACC has, once again, supplied players to the NFL disproportionate to its success on the field.
Notably, no players from Virginia Tech, North Carolina State, Georgia Tech, Miami, Louisville, or Pittsburgh were selected in the first round either. It is hard not to be excited about the potential for the new-look, newly-revenued ACC when it comes to football.