The Confidential

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Archive for the tag “nfl draft”

ACC In the NFL–2016 Draft Update After 3 Rounds

Yesterday, the Confidential recapped Round 1.  There was an error–there were only 31 picks because New England lost its first round pick to whatever latest scandal they were embroiled in.  For whatever reason, having 6 of 31 picks just looks a lot better than 6/32.  Still, it was hard to call Round 1 spectacular with so much Notre Dame influence.  Day 2 did not do much to improve the analysis.  But, upon further review, there is nothing for the ACC to hang its head about.

Here is a list of the ACC players taken in Round 2:

  • Kevin Dodd, DE Clemson (Tennessee Titans)
  • Jaylon Smith, LB Notre Dame (Dallas Cowboys)
  • Nick Martin, OL Notre Dame (Houston Texans)
  • Mackensie Alexander, CB Clemson (Minnesota Vikings)
  • Tyler Boyd, WR Pittsburgh (Cincinnati Bengals)
  • TJ Green, S Clemson (Indianapolis Colts)
  • Roberto Aguayo, K Florida State (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
  • Adam Gotsis, DL Georgia Tech (Denver Broncos)

After 2 rounds, the ACC had 14/63 picks.   That is 22%.  With 5 major conferences, right about where the ACC should be to maintain par.  However, with 4 of those being Notre Dame, and the fair perception that Notre Dame is not really an ACC football school, that drops things to 10/63, or 16%.  Still, that is not horrible given that 8 of those 63 draftees were not from P5 schools.  10 out of the 55 P5 players drafted works out to 18%, maybe 1 draftee short of where the ACC “should be.”  Certainly not worthy of concern.

Here is a list of the ACC players taken in Round 3:

  • Keivarae Russell, CB, Notre Dame (Kansas City Chiefs)
  • Joe Thuney, OG, NC State (New England Patriots)
  • Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech (Washington Redskins)
  • C.J. Prosise, RB, Notre Dame (Seattle Seahawks)
  • Jacoby Brissett, QB, NC State (New England Patriots)
  • Justin Simmons, S, Boston College (Denver Broncos)

Of the 98 players drafted in the first three rounds, 20 were from the ACC (including Notre Dame).  That works out to 20.4%.  If you exclude Notre Dame’s impressive six draftees, that drops things down to 14.3%, roughly 1 in 7 draftees being from ACC schools.

The Confidential is of the opinion that the ACC should strive to supply approximately 17% of the draftees each year.  That corresponds to 1/6th of the draftees, with 1/6th also apportioned for the SEC, Big 10, Pac 12, Big 12, and “other.”  As for the “other,” the NFL certainly does not shy away from taking players with potential from outside the P5.  In fact, 15 of the 98 players drafted through 3 rounds were from schools outside the P5.

Here are the “by conference” totals:

  1. Big 10: 22
  2. SEC: 22
  3. ACC: 20 (including Notre Dame)
  4. Other: 15
  5. ACC: 14 (excluding Notre Dame)
  6. Pac 12: 10
  7. Big XII: 9

If you do not include Notre Dame as an ACC school, even an unspectular first three round still has the ACC well ahead of the Pac 12 and Big XII for producing players.  Even adjusted for fewer teams, the Pac 12 and Big XII still fall short of meeting the 1 draftee per school ratio that the ACC meets.  If you include Notre Dame, then the ACC bumps right up behind the Big 10 and the SEC.

The best way to sum up the first three rounds from an ACC perspective is to state that it has been an “OK” draft.  The draft has done nothing to suggest that the ACC is not worthy of every respect as a football conference.  Regardless of whether you count Notre Dame as an ACC school, the ACC is still a solid “third” in producing NFL talent.

NFL Draft Update: ACC Players Round 1

With Round 1 of the NFL Draft complete, here is a look at which ACC schools had players drafted and where they went:

  • With the 5th overall pick, the Jacksonville Jaguars selected FSU cornerback, Jalen Ramsey.
  • With the 6th overall pick, the Baltimore Ravens selected Notre Dame tackle, Ronnie Stanley.
  • With the 12th overall pick, the New Orleans Saints selected Louisville defensive tackle, Sheldon Rankins.
  • With the 19th overall pick, the Buffalo Bills selected Clemson defensive end, Shaq Lawson.
  • With the 21st overall pick, the Houston Texans selected Notre Dame wide receiver, Will Fuller
  • With the 25th overall pick, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Miami cornerback, Artie Burns

Thus, 4/32 picks are from ACC schools… 6/32 if you include Notre Dame (as we do).   By comparison, the SEC had 8 players drafted, while Ohio State alone had five players drafted in the first round.  Not a great first day, but there are six more rounds for the ACC to show itself as a top conference for producing NFL talent.

Among the key ACC Players still left to be drafted are:

  • QBs: Jacoby Brissett, NC State
  • RBs: CJ Prosise, Notre Dame; Shaquille Powell, Duke; Shad Thornton, NC State
  • WRs/TEs: Tyler Boyd, Pitt
  • Offensive Line: Nick Martin, Notre Dame; Joe Thuney, NC State; Landon Turner, North Carolina
  • Defensive Line: Kevin Dodd, Clemson; Sheldon Day, Notre Dame; Ron Thompson, Syracuse
  • Linebackers: BJ Goodson, Clemson;
  • Secondary: Mackensie Alexander, Clemson; TJ Green, Clemson; Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech, Jeremy Cash, Duke
  • Special Teams/Other: Roberto Aguayo (K), FSU;

It will be interesting to see if and when each of these players gets drafted.


NFL Draft: ACC Schools

The 2014 NFL Draft has come and gone.  Which ACC schools fared the best?

Read more…

Clemson North

“The Cleveland Browns have traded the fourth pick to the Buffalo Bills. With the fourth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select Sammy Watkins, wide receiver, Clemson.”

The Bills gave up their 2015 first and fourth round draft picks for that trade, talk about a bold move. General Manager Doug Whaley told Sammy they were going to draft him and clearly, he meant it. The Bills had the 9th pick, but waiting their turn was not an option if they were going to get their number one choice. This trade was more than just getting Sammy Watkins; it was a statement to the NFL and Bills fans everywhere. The Bills are going to make it to the playoffs this season.  Or bust. Let’s hope it’s not the latter.

From a Clemson standpoint, I love this pick. I was fortunate enough to watch CJ Spiller run over defenses as a Clemson Tiger for one season before he was drafted 9th overall by the Bills in 2010. I watched Sammy Watkins glide his way through secondary defenses countless times on his way to the end zone in that Tiger uniform and I am thrilled to see Spiller and Watkins as teammates next season.

“Clemson North” is what they are calling it, as the Bills now have five former Clemson Tigers on their roster. Running back, CJ Spiller, offensive linemen, Chris Hairston and Antoine McClain, safety, Jonathan Meeks, and now wide receiver, Sammy Watkins.

Sammy Watkins is a player so outstanding that he makes others around him better. To get EJ Manuel healthy and prepped for the 2014 season, there is no doubt Sammy is going to shine. He is on his way to scoring touchdowns on Sundays and I can’t wait to watch. He has been compared to Detroit Lions wide receiver, Calvin Johnson, but next fall Sammy Watkins will begin his professional legacy and players to come will be compared to him.

To all Bills fans out there, rejoice. Clemson Nation gives you Sammy Watkins and we only hope you grow to love him as much as we did (and still do).

The fun is not over for the Clemson faithful. Still left to be drafted are QB Tajh Boyd, WR Martavis Bryant, CB Brashad Breeland, and OL Brandon Thomas.

You can catch night two of the 2014 NFL Draft tonight on ESPN.

ACC Well-Represented in Mel Kiper’s Final Big Board

Mel Kiper issues a “big board” periodically at  In his latest pre-draft version, he ranks the top 100 players heading into the NFL draft.  This is a fairly decent cheat sheet for the first two nights of the draft.  The ACC is well-represented on this list.

Read more…

ACC Football in the Pro Hall of Fame

If you are a fan of college football, then you are at least slightly interested in how players from your favorite school fare in the NFL.  Perhaps you are even a big fan of the NFL too.  Did you know which schools have placed the most players in the NFL Hall of Fame?

Here is the top 10 list, as per the best source we have–the NFL Hall of Fame itself:

  1. Southern California (11)
  2. Notre Dame (10)
  3. Ohio State (9)
  4. Michigan (8) & Pittsburgh (8)
  5. (tie)
  6. Alabama (7) & Syracuse (7)
  7. (tie)
  8. Illinois (6), Miami – Florida (6), Penn State (6), Oregon (6) and Minnesota (6)

That’s right.  Miami, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and Notre Dame.

Not Florida State, Virginia Tech, Clemson, and Virginia Tech.  You do not see the Big 10’s Wisconsin, Michigan State, Maryland, Rutgers, or Nebraska.  You do not see the SEC’s Florida, Auburn, Georgia, or L.S.U.  You do not even see the Big XII’s Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, or even Texas.

Just recent additions to the ACC, courtesy of the now-destroyed Big East.

Recently, the ACC had a very good NFL draft in 2013.  Looking backward, who are the Hall of Famers, by school, from the ACC?  Here you go:

  • Boston College (2): Art Donovan, Ernie Stautner
  • Clemson (0)
  • Duke (3): Sonny Jurgensen , George McAfee , Clarence (Ace) Parker
  • Florida State (2): Fred Biletnikoff , Deion Sanders
  • Georgia Tech (2): Joe Guyon, Billy Shaw
  • Louisville (1): Johnny Unitas
  • Maryland (2): Stan Jones , Randy White
  • Miami (6): Ted Hendricks , Michael Irvin , Jim Kelly , Cortez Kennedy, Jim Otto , Warren Sapp
  • North Carolina (2): Chris Hanburger , Lawrence Taylor
  • North Carolina State (0)
  • Notre Dame (10): Nick Buoniconti , Dave Casper , George Connor, Paul Hornung , Earl (Curly) Lambeau , John (Blood) McNally, Wayne Millner , Joe Montana , Alan Page , George Trafton
  • Pittsburgh (8): Mike Ditka , Chris Doleman , Tony Dorsett , Russ Grimm , Rickey Jackson , Dan Marino , Curtis Martin , Joe Schmidt
  • Syracuse (7): Jim Brown , Larry Csonka , Al Davis, Floyd Little , John Mackey , Art Monk , Jim Ringo
  • Virginia (3): Bill Dudley , Henry Jordan , Ralph Wilson, Jr.
  • Virginia Tech (1): Bruce Smith
  • Wake Forest (1): Bill George

So there you have it.  The ACC has put quite a few people into the NFL Hall of Fame, led mostly by teams that are new to the ACC fold.

By the way, who has been to Canton?  Did you like the NFL Hall of Fame or find it disappointing?


ACC & 2014 NFL Draft

After a great 2013 NFL Draft weekend, it is time to start looking ahead to the 2014 NFL Draft.  At least that is the case if you are a draftnik like ESPN’s Todd McShay!  He already has a ranking of the top 32 NFL Draft prospects for 2014. 

There are a handful of guys with ACC ties on this preliminary list.  Obviously, much will change in the next 12 months.  But here are the guys with ACC ties getting love from McShay:

  • #2  Teddy Bridgewater QB  Louisville
  • #7  Louis Nix III  NT  Notre Dame
  • #8  Tajh Boyd  QB Clemson
  • #14  Timmy Jernigan  DT  Florida State
  • #18 Stephon Tuitt  DT  Notre Dame
  • #20 Jeremiah Attauchu WR Georgia Tech
  • #21  Sammy Watkins WR Clemson

So that is 4 guys playing in the ACC and 7 guys with ACC ties.  Not sure what anyone else thinks, but the ACC is claiming Notre Dame effective immediately.  So we will call it 6. 

As always, the  SEC is the dominant conference, with 14 guys on the list.  The Big 2/Little 12….err… B1G has 3–exclusively represented by Michigan and Ohio State.  The Big XII has two.  The Pac-12 actually finishes ahead of the Big XII and B1G with 5 guys on the list. 

What do you think?  Who is McShay leaving out from the ACC?

FSU Sets School Record – Tops for NFL Draft

This is my first post for ACC Confidential as the new contributor for the Seminoles of Florida State. I grew up in the middle of Big 10 country (Indiana), but fell in love with all things FSU during my first game at the Doak. Im looking forward to a turn around in ACC football and total domination during the basketball season.

Let’s begin…

Florida State had 11 former players drafted in this week’s NFL draft setting an all-time school record and leading all teams. 2012 Champion Alabama had 9 players drafted. The Noles got off to a fast start with three players drafted in the first round on Thursday evening and another two in the early portion of the second round accounting for 5 of the first 42 picks.

Seminoles drafted in the Top 42 picks:
EJ Manual QB 16th (Bills)
Bjoern Werner DE 24th (Colts)
Xavier Rhodes CB 25th (Vikings)
Tank Carradine DE 40th (49ers)
Menelik Wilson OT 42nd (Raiders)

Obviously the cupboard was filled with talent for the Noles last year.

Jimbo and Quarterback U?

With the selection of EJ Manual in the first round of the draft, Jimbo Fisher has solidified his reputation for developing quarterback talent. Fisher has now coached three recent quarterbacks that were drafted in the first round. In addition to Manual, Christian Ponder (2011) and JaMarcus Russell (2007)-from Fisher’s days in LSU-were drafted in the first round.

ACC Draft Recap

Regardless of how well or poorly the ACC does in BCS games, the conference is putting people in the NFL.  Just take a look at all of the ACC players drafted this weekend.  So that you can keep tabs on your former favorites (or even enemies) as they take their talents to the NFL, here is the complete list:

Round 1:

  • Jonathan Cooper, G, North Carolina, Arizona Cardinals
  • EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State, Buffalo Bills
  • Justin Pugh, OT, Syracuse, New York Giants.
  • Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame, Cincinnati Bengals
  • Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State, Indianapolis Colts
  • Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State, Minnesota Vikings
  • DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson, Houston Texans
  • Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina, Denver Broncos

Round 2:

  • Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina, Cincinnati Bengals
  • Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame, San Diego Chargers
  • Cornellius Carradine, DE, Florida State, San Francisco 49ers
  • Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State, Oakland Raiders
  • David Amerson, CB, North Carolina State, Washington Redskins

Round 3:

  • Mike Glennon, QB, North Carolina State, Tampa Buccaneers
  • Brennan Williams, OT, North Carolina, Houston Texans

Round 4:

  • Ryan Nassib, QB, Syracuse, New York Giants
  • Shamarko Thomas, SS, Syracuse, Pittsburgh Steelers
  • Malliciah Goodman, DE, Clemson, Atlanta Falcons

Round 5:

  • Earl Wolff, SS, North Carolina State, Philadelphia Eagles
  • Oday Aboushi, OT, Virginia, New York Jets
  • Jonathan Meeks, SS, Clemson, Buffalo Bills
  • Brandon McGee, CB, Miami (Fla.), St. Louis Rams
  • Chris Thompson, RB, Florida State, Washington Redskins
  • Brandon Jenkins, DE, Florida State, Washington Redskins

Round 6:

  • Corey Fuller, WR, Virginia Tech, Detroit Lions
  • Vinston Painter, OT, Virginia Tech, Denver Broncos
  • Jamoris Slaughter, SS, Notre Dame, Cleveland Browns
  • Dustin Hopkins, K, Florida State, Buffalo Bills
  • Nick Moody, OLB, Florida State, San Francisco 49ers
  • Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson, Arizona Cardinals
  • Mike James, RB, Miami (Fla.), Tampa Buccaneers
  • Theo Riddick, RB, Notre Dame, Detroit Lions
  • Kapron Lewis-Moore, DT, Notre Dame, Baltimore Ravens
  • Vince Williams, ILB, Florida State, Pittsburgh Steelers

Round 7:

  • Travis Bond, OG, North Carolina, Minnesota Vikings
  • Tommy Bohanon, FB, Wake Forest, New York Jets
  • Kevin Dorsey, WR, Maryland, Green Bay Packers (just in case you still care about the Terps)
  • Everett Dawkins, DT, Florida State, Minnesota Vikings
  • Zeke Motta, SS, Notre Dame, Atlanta Falcons
  • Sean Renfree, QB, Duke, Atlanta Falcons

Schools with nobody drafted: Boston College, Georgia Tech, Louisville, and Pittsburgh

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.

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