Breaking Down the ACC’s Draft Numbers

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In 2006, the ACC dominated the NFL Draft with a total of 51 selections,
beating out the second place Big Ten by a total of 10 selections. The ACC’s
number dropped to 31 this year, with most top players in the ACC in 2006
returning to school for the 2007 season. It should be an exciting upcoming
season for the ACC, but let’s first take a look at what the conference lost to
the NFL.

The ACC was a defensive conference in 2006, or a poor offensive conference,
depending on your point of view. In reality, it probably was a little bit of
both. However, ACC offenses provided the same number of draftees as the ACC
defenses.


ACC Selections, Offense vs. Defense

Offense

Defense

Player

Pos

Player

Pos

Calvin Johnson, GT

WR

Gaines Adams, Clemson

DE

Greg Olsen, UM

TE

Lawrence Timmons, FSU

LB

James Marten, BC

OT

Brandon Meriweather, UM

FS

Lorenzo Booker, FSU

RB

Jon Beason, UM

LB

Mario Henderson, FSU

OT

Josh Wilson, MD

CB

Leroy Harris, NCSU

C

Buster Davis, FSU

LB

Mansfield Wrotto, GT

OG

Tank Tyler, NCSU

DT

Chris Davis, FSU

WR

Aaron Rouse, VT

SS

Josh Beekman, BC

OG

Anthony Waters, Clemson

LB

Dustin Fry, Clemson

C

A.J. Davis, NCSU

CB

David Clowney, VT

WR

Baraka Atkins, UM

DE

Brandon Frye, VT

OT

Kareem Brown, UM

DT

Steve Vallos, WFU

OT

Josh Gattis, WFU

S

Chansi Stuckey, Clemson

WR

C.J. Gaddis, Clemson

CB

Jason Snelling, UVa

RB

Marcus Hamilton, UVa

CB

Exactly 15 offensive players were drafted, as well as 15 defensive players.
However, the one difference was the number of early round picks. Six offensive
players went on the first day of the draft (first three rounds), while nine
defensive players were taken on the first day. So while the offenses sent just
as many players to the NFL, they didn’t have as much top line talent as ACC
defenses.

It’s also interesting to see how many players were drafted at each position.


ACC Draftees by Position

Position

Number

QB

0

RB

2

WR

4

TE

1

OL

8

DE

2

DT

2

LB

4

CB

4

S

3

ST

1

Total

31

The first thing that stands out is that there were no quarterbacks selected from
the ACC. Most are returning for the 2007 season, but the fact that there were
zero NFL caliber senior quarterbacks in the conference this past season is a big
reason the offenses were down.

There were only two running backs selected as well. One of them, Lorenzo
Booker, was drafted in talent alone after having a disappointing college career
at Florida State. The other, Jason Snelling of UVA, was not a 1,000 yard rusher
and was selected near the end of the seventh round. There weren’t any impact
seniors in the backfield for the ACC last year, at quarterback or tailback.

Seven of the 15 defensive players selected were defensive backs. Despite the
Hokies leading the nation in pass defense, only one of them (Aaron Rouse) comes
from Virginia Tech. The rest of VT’s secondary returns to school this fall.

And how did the ACC stack up to the rest of the BCS conferences?


Picks from BCS Conference

Conference

# of Picks

# of Teams

Picks Per Team

SEC

41

12

3.42

Big Ten

31

11

2.82

Pac 10

28

10

2.80

ACC

31

12

2.58

Big 12

28

12

2.33

Big East

16

8

2.00

Total

175

65

2.66

In overall number of picks, the ACC finished tied with the Big Ten for second
place, trailing only the SEC. The ACC has 82 total draft picks in the last two
NFL Drafts, which is best of any conference. (The SEC is second with 78.) In
picks per team, the ACC drops to fourth of the BCS conferences this year, but
still ahead of the Big 12 and the Big East.

Although the NCAA tries to create parity, there is still a big talent dropoff
from the BCS conferences to the non-BCS conferences, as you can see from the
table below.


Picks from non-BCS Conferences

Conference

# of Picks

# of Teams

Picks Per Team

WAC

17

9

1.89

Mountain West

9

9

1.00

CUSA

8

12

0.67

MAC

8

12

0.67

Sun Belt

5

8

0.63

Total

47

50

0.97

The WAC did well in the 2007 NFL Draft, with one more player drafted than the
Big East. However they were the only non-BCS conference with more than nine
players selected.

Next year the ACC’s draft numbers should go up, with most players returning
for the 2007 season. With the number of seniors on next year’s Virginia Tech
team, not to mention talented juniors like Brandon Flowers and Branden Ore, the
Hokies have a chance to break their school record of nine players drafted, which
happened in 2006.

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