ACC Adjacent: NFL Draft First Round


Five ACC players were drafted in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft–Sammy Watkins, Eric Ebron, Aaron Donald, Kyle Fuller, and Kelvin Benjamin.

Four others came from schools that will be joining or affiliating with the ACC starting this season–Louisville’s Calvin Pryor, Marcus Smith and Teddy Bridgewater, and Notre Dame’s Zack Martin. 

That leaves 23 first rounders from other conferences. Nineteen of them played at least one game against an ACC team in their college careers.

First things first, the four who didn’t:  Khalil Mack (Buffalo), Justin Gilbert (OK State), Brandin Cooks (Ore. St.) and Deone Bucannon (WSU).

The 19 ACC Adjacent players combined for a total of 40 games against ACC teams (including Louisville and Notre Dame). The ACC just about broke even against the first rounders, going 19-21 against them. 

Team

Wins

Losses

Miami

3

0

Florida St.

4

1

Clemson

5

3

Notre Dame

5

5

North Carolina

1

1

Louisville

1

1

Virginia

0

1

NC State

0

1

Duke

0

4

Virginia Tech

0

4

A note on the numbers: If a game featured multiple first rounders, each was counted separately. So three of Duke’s losses came in the Chick Fil-A Bowl, against Johnny Manziel, Jake Matthews, and Mike Evans. (The other came against Alabama and C.J. Mosley at Wallace Wade Stadium in 2010). 

Jadeveon Clowney had the best record against the ACC, beating Clemson three times and UNC once for a perfect 4-0 mark. He had a total of 14 tackles, 12 solos, and 6.5 tackles for loss in those four games.

Mosley was 3-0, beating Duke, Notre Dame and Virginia Tech. He racked up 20 tackles, 10 solo, defended two passes and added a tackle for loss. 

Overall, defensive players combined for 110 tackles, 69 solo, in 76 games. They had 17 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, two interceptions, 9 pass defenses, and a fumble recovery. 

Odell Beckham and Mike Evans combined for seven catches and 112 yards in two games. Manziel and Blake Bortels went 51-70 for 632 yards, 6 touchdowns and an interception in two games. Jake Matthews got penalized twice for holding. 

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