15 of first 60 in NFL Draft are ACC alums

The Atlantic Coast Conference led all collegiate conferences in players chosen through the second round of the 2011 National Football League Draft, held Friday night at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

The ACC tied its all-time high with 12 players taken in the second round of the Draft. The ACC previously had a dozen players selected in the first-round of the 2006 Draft, which is still an NFL record for first-round selections.

The ACC’s strong second-round showing began early as Virginia cornerback Ras-I Dowling was the first player chosen on the second round and 33rd overall by the New England Patriots was joined in short order by 11 of his ACC teammates including Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams (38th, Cardinals), North Carolina LB Bruce Carter (40th, Cowboys), Clemson defensive tackle Jarvis Jenkins (41st, Redskins), Miami offensive tackle Orlando Franklin (46th, Broncos), and the Clemson tandem of cornerback Marcus Gilchrist (50th, Chargers) and defensive end Da’Quan Bowers (51st, Buccaneers).

Those picks allowed Clemson to become the only team in the nation to have three defensive players chosen among the top 51 players in the Draft..

North Carolina defensive tackle Marvin Austin (Giants, 52nd) became the 11th ACC player chosen and he was followed by Florida State offensive guard Rodney Hudson (55th, Chiefs); Maryland WR Torrey Smith (58th, Ravens), North Carolina wide receiver Greg Little (59th, Browns) and Miami cornerback Brandon Harris (60th, Texans) completed the second-round ACC selections.

Of the first 60 players chosen for the Draft, 15 came from the ACC, 10 from the SEC; 9 each from the Big Ten and Big 12 and 8 from the Pac-10.

In all, the SEC led all conferences with 20 total selections after the third round, including five of the first six in the first round–edging the ACC (19) by one selection 19. The Pac-12 was next with 13, followed by the Big Ten and the Big 12 with 12 players chosen each.

Miami and LSU led all teams nationally with five players chosen each; with North Carolina, Alabama and Wisconsin each having four players drafted.

The Hurricanes lead all ACC teams with five players drafted in the first three rounds followed by North Carolina with four, Clemson with three, Florida State with two and Boston College, Maryland, NC State, Virginia and Virginia Tech with one apiece.

Miami has now had a player chosen in every NFL Draft since 1974, a span of 37 straight years. Virginia and Florida State have each had a player chosen in the draft in each of the past 28 years, or every year since 1983.

Three of the four North Carolina players drafted—DE Robert Quinn, DT Marvin Austin and WR Greg Little–did not play last fall as all were serving suspensions.

The Draft concludes Saturday with the final four rounds beginning at 12 noon.

ACC Players Taken in the NFL Draft

1 12 Christian Ponder, Florida State, QB Vikings

1 14 Robert Quinn, North Carolina, DE Rams

1 22 Anthony Castonzo, Boston College, T Colts

2 33 Ras-I Dowling, Virginia, CB Patriots

2 38 Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech, RB Cardinals

2 40 Bruce Carter, North Carolina, LB Cowboys

2 41 Jarvis Jennings, Clemson, DT Redskins

2 46 Orlando Franklin, Miami, OL Broncos

2 50 Marcus Gilchrist, Clemson, CB Chargers

2 51 Da’ Quan Bowers, Clemson, DE Buccaneers

2 52 Marvin Austin, North Carolina, DT Giants

2 55 Rodney Hudson, Florida State, C-G Chiefs

2 58 Torrey Smith, Maryland, WR Ravens

2 59 Greg Little, North Carolina, WR Browns

2 60 Brandon Harris, Miami, CB Texans

3 67 Nate Irving, NC State, LB Broncos

3 79 Leonard Hankerson, Miami, WR Redskins

3 81 DeMarcus Van Dyke, Miami, CB Raiders

3 86 Allen Bailey, Miami, DE Chiefs

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