Final tally: ACC has 26 selected in 2016 NFL Draft

acc footballThe 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 gives 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 was 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), while Boston College, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami and Virginia Tech had two draftees each and Louisville, Pitt, Syracuse and Virginia had one player chosen.

Florida State CB 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, PK Roberto Aguayo, who was tabbed 59th overall in the second round by Tampa Bay, was the first kicker or punter chosen.

Clemson DE Kevin Dodd was selected second in the second round, 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 CB 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 P Riley Dixon was selected 228 overall in the seventh round by Denver.

Among NC State’s three draftees, QB 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 on the second round. Brissett, selected in the third round, was the 91st overall pick, selected by New England. Joining Brissett from the Wolfpack were G Joe Thuney (78th overall, New England) and CB 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 ten in total offense. The ACC had a league-record seven 1,000-yard rushers in 2015 and all seven return in 2016.


2016 ACC NFL First Round Draftees

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

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