The Atlantic Coast Conference again demonstrated its strength during the recently –concluded NFL Draft, as the ACC had a total of 31 players selected, the second highest of any conference in the nation. The ACC had 10 of the first 51 players chosen in the Draft, or produced almost 20% of the most-valued players in this year's draft.
By having 31 of its players tabbed for 2013 NFL Draft, the ACC continued a streak that now stretches to nine consecutive years with at least 31 players chosen in the NFL Draft or every year since 2005, the year the Conference became a 12-team league. That is the second-longest streak in the nation.
The ACC had the first quarterback chosen in Florida State's EJ Manuel, who was selected 16th by the Buffalo Bills and the first offensive guard taken in North Carolina Jonathan Cooper, who was tabbed 7th by the Arizona Cardinals.
The ACC is fast becoming the preferred training ground for professional quarterbacks as the Conference had more starting NFL quarterbacks lead their teams into the NFL playoffs this year (4—Russell Wilson of Seattle (NC State), Matt Schaub of Houston (Virginia), Matt Ryan of Atlanta (Boston College) and Christian Ponder of Minnesota (Florida State) than any other conference. In all, the ACC had six starting QBs in the NFL which tied for the most of any conference in the nation.
In this year's draft the ACC had three quarterbacks selected—Florida State's EJ Manuel, NC State's Mike Glennon and Duke's Sean Renfree—again, more than any other conference in the nation.
Florida State had a total of 11 players chosen in the draft, the most of any school in the nation. National champion Alabama was tied for 2nd with LSU (9), while Florida and Georgia were tied for 4th (8 each). Ten of the 12 current ACC schools had at least one player selected in this year's NFL Draft.
Miami had two players chosen in the draft, CB Brandon McGee in the 5th round and RB Mike James in the 6th round. That continues the Hurricanes' streak of having at least one player drafted in every NFL Draft since 1975, a string of 39 consecutive years. Since 1962, Miami has only had one year when it did not have a player drafted—1974—having at least one player in every NFL Draft in 51 of 52 years.
The Atlantic Coast Conference enjoyed a very successful first day of the 2013 National Football League draft Thursday, with no fewer than six ACC players selected among the first 28 overall picks in the first round, the second highest total of any conference nationally.
The six first-round selections is the highest total for the League since the 2008 Draft when seven ACC players were taken in the first round. The six draftees gives the ACC a total of 51 first-round draft selections since 2005, the second-highest total of any conference nationally.
In all, the SEC led all leagues with 12 players selected on the first round, followed by the ACC with 6, the Pac-12 (5), the Big 12 (3) and the Big Ten, Big East, the Mid-American and Conference USA with one player chosen each.
The SEC tied the ACC’s record for first-round selections set in 2005 when the ACC was a 12-team league. The SEC counted 14 teams this year.
This year marked the second straight year an ACC player has been chosen in the Top 10. Boston College’s Luke Kuechly was chosen 9th last year on the first round. Florida State’s EJ Manuel was the first quarterback taken in the 2013 NFL Draft when he was tabbed 16th overall by the Buffalo Bills.
2013 ACC First-Round Selections:
Jonathan Cooper, UNC Arizona Cardinals Guard 7th
EJ Manuel, Florida State Buffalo Bills Quarterback 2nd
Bjoern Werner, Florida State Indianapolis Colts Defensive End 24th
Xavier Rhodes, Florida State Minnesota Vikings Cornerback 25th
DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson Houston Texans Wide Receiver 27th
Sylvester Williams, UNC Denver Broncos Defensive Tackle 28th