26 ACC players selected in the 2016 NFL Draft


The Atlantic Coast Conference had 26 players chosen in the 2016 NFL Draft, which concluded three days of activity Saturday in Chicago, Illinois.

The 26 selections give the ACC 115 draft picks over the past three years, the second-highest total by any conference during that period.

Clemson led the way for the ACC with nine selections, the most for the Tigers since the draft went to just seven rounds in 1994 and the school’s second-highest total ever. Clemson had 10 players drafted in 1983.

The nine selections for Clemson were the second-highest total by any school in the draft, trailing only Ohio State, which had 12 players drafted.

With the nine selections, Clemson is the only ACC team to have had had four or more players chosen in the draft in each of the last eight years. The Tigers also had four of the top 57 players chosen in the draft.

Eleven ACC teams had at least one player selected. Clemson (9) was followed by NC State (3), Boston College, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami and Virginia Tech with two draftees each, and Louisville, Pitt, Syracuse and Virginia each had one player chosen.

Florida State cornerback Jalen Ramsey was the first ACC player chosen in the draft, being selected fifth overall in the first round by the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was followed in the first round by Sheldon Rankins of Louisville (12, New Orleans), Clemson’s Shaq Lawson (19, Buffalo) and Miami’s Artie Burns (25, Pittsburgh).

The Seminoles, who had set a seven-round draft record with 28 players chosen over the 2013-15 drafts, had only two players chosen, but both were the first players chosen at their positions.

Ramsey was the first defensive back chosen in the draft, while his teammate, kicker Roberto Aguayo, who was tabbed 59th overall in the second round by Tampa Bay, was the first kicker or punter chosen.

Clemson defensive end Kevin Dodd was selected second in the second round, with the 33rd overall pick, by the Tennessee Titans, giving the ACC three defensive ends (Lawson, Rankins, Dodd) chosen in the first two rounds of the draft. Since 2006, the league has had 27 defensive ends or outside linebackers — the glamour positions of defense — chosen in the first or second rounds of the draft, the most of any conference.

Several teams extended long consecutive draft streaks. When Miami cornerback Artie Burns was taken in the first round, he continued the Hurricanes’ streak to 42 consecutive years with at least one player taken in the NFL Draft. Clemson and Virginia have each had a player taken in the draft in each of the last 33 years, while Virginia Tech’s streak was extended to 23 straight years.

When Virginia Tech’s Kendall Fuller was drafted in the third round as the 84th overall selection by the Washington Redskins, he became the fourth Fuller brother to have played at Virginia Tech and be drafted into the NFL. Older brother Vince was a fourth-round pick of the Tennessee Titans in 2005. Older brothers Corey, who was selected in the sixth round by Detroit in 2013, and Kyle, who was tabbed on the first round by the Chicago Bears in 2014, have also been drafted.

Syracuse had the second punter chosen in the draft when Riley Dixon was selected No. 228 overall in the seventh round by Denver.

Among NC State’s three draftees, quarterback Jacoby Brissett was the fourth signal-caller chosen, trailing only California’s Jared Goff and North Dakota State’s Cam Wentz, who were selected 1-2 in the first round, and Penn State’s Christian Hackenburg, who was taken in the second round.

Brissett, selected in the third round, was the 91st overall pick, selected by New England. Joining Brissett from the Wolfpack were guard Joe Thuney (78th overall, New England) and cornerback Juston Burris (118th, New York Jets).

In all, the ACC had four players chosen in the first round, six in the second, four in the third, three in the fourth, one in the fifth, three in the sixth round and five in the seventh.

A very young league in 2015, the ACC returns many of its top performers in 2016. The ACC is set to return nine of its top 10 rushers; nine of its top 10 passers; nine of its top 10 in receiving yardage and eight of its top 10 in total offense. The ACC had a league-record seven 1,000-yard rushers in 2015, and all seven return in 2016.


Rd, No. , Player, School, Pos., Hometown, NFL team

1st, 5, Jalen Ramsey, Florida State, CB, Smyrna, Tenn., Jacksonville Jaguars

1st, 12, Sheldon Rankins, Louisville, DE, Covington, Ga., New Orleans Saints

1st, 19, Shaq Lawson, Clemson, DE, Central, S.C., Buffalo Bills

1st, 25, Artie Burns, Miami, CB, Miami, Fla., Pittsburgh Steelers

2nd, 33, Kevin Dodd, Clemson, DE, Taylors, S.C., Tennessee Titans

2nd, 54, Mackensie Alexander, Clemson, CB, Immokalee, Fla., Minnesota Vikings

2nd, 55, Tyler Boyd, Pitt, WR, Clairton, Pa., Cincinnati Bengals

2nd, 57, T.J. Green, Clemson, S, Sylacauga, Ala., Indianapolis Colts

2nd  59, Roberto Aguayo, Florida State, PK, Mascotte, Fla., Tampa  Bay Bucs

2nd, 62, Adam Gotsis, Georgia Tech, DT, Abbotsford, Australia, Denver Broncos

3rd, 78, Joe Thuney, NC State, G, Centerville, Ohio, New England Patriots

3rd, 84, Kendall Fuller, Virginia Tech, CB, Baltimore, Md., Washington Redskins

3rd, 91, Jacoby Brissett, NC State, QB, West Palm Beach, Fla., New England Patriots

3rd, 98, Justin Simmons, Boston College, S, Stuart, Fla., Denver Broncos

4th, 109, B.J.  Goodson, Clemson, LB, Lamar, S.C., New York Giants

4th, 118, Juston Burris, NC State, CB, Raleigh, N.C., New York Jets

4th, 124, Deon Bush, Miami, S, Miami, Fla., Chicago Bears

5th, 166, D.J. Reader, Clemson, DT, Greensboro, N.C., Houston Texans

6th, 178, D.J. White, Georgia Tech, CB, McDonough, Ga., Kansas City Chiefs

6th, 203, Dadi Nicolas, Virginia Tech, OLB, Delray Beach, Fla., Kansas City Chiefs

6th, 209, Maurice Canady, Virginia, CB, Richmond, Va., Baltimore Ravens

7th, 228, Riley Dixon, Syracuse, P, Blossvale, N.Y., Denver Broncos

7th, 232, Steven Daniels, Boston College, ILB, Cincinnati, Ohio, Washington Redskins

7th, 241, Charone Peake, Clemson, WR, Moore, S.C., New York Jets

7th, 244, Jayron Kearse, Clemson, S, Ft. Myers, Fla., Minnesota Vikings

7th, 247, Zac Brooks, Clemson, RB, Jonesboro, Ark., Seattle Seahawks