Three Atlantic Coast Conference football players were selected in the first round of the 2020 National Football League Draft Thursday night.
ACC Defensive Player of the Year Isaiah Simmons of Clemson was selected eighth overall by Arizona. A unanimous first-team All-American, Simmons became the fifth player in ACC history to win the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker in 2019. He helped lead Clemson to a 14-1 mark, a fifth-straight ACC Championship and a second consecutive appearance in the CFP National Championship Game. Simmons finished fourth in the ACC in tackles for loss and eighth in sacks.
Simmons is the highest drafted linebacker from an ACC school since Clemson’s Vic Beasley was taken with the No. 8 pick in 2015.
Louisville offensive lineman Mekhi Becton was picked 11th by the New York Jets. The ACC’s Jacobs Blocking Trophy winner, Becton is the highest drafted offensive lineman from Louisville since ACC Network analyst Eric Wood was taken 28th overall in the 2009 draft. Becton helped lead Louisville to an 8-5 mark last season, including a win over Mississippi State in the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl.
Clemson cornerback A.J. Terrell was taken with the 16th overall pick by Atlanta. A first-team All-ACC selection, Terrell made 39 tackles last year and had seven pass breakups and two interceptions. Clemson was 29-1 in Terrell’s two years as a starter.
ACC Selections in the First Round NFL Draft
Rd. – Overall Pick, Name, Position, School, NFL Team
1 – 8th, Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson, Arizona
1 – 11th, Mekhi Becton, OL, Louisville, New York Jets
1 – 16th, A.J. Terrell, CB, Clemson, Atlanta
The ACC has had 89 first-round draft picks in the last 16 years, beginning with the 2005 draft. That is second-highest total among all conferences.