Nine ACC alums taken in NFL Draft first round: Ties for most of any conference

accWhen Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston was tabbed as the first pick in the 2015 NFL Draft it marked the first time since 2006 that an Atlantic Coast Conference football player has been the first player chosen in the Draft.

NC State defensive end Mario Williams was the last ACC player chosen No 1, being taken by the Houston Texans as the top pick in the 2006 draft.

The ACC had a total of nine players taken in the first round, which ties the Pac-12 for the most of any conference in the nation. The SEC was third (6), followed by the Big Ten (3) and the American Athletic and Big 12 Conferences with two first rounders apiece.

The total of nine first round picks is the second-highest in ACC history, trailing only the NFL mark of 12 for a conference which the ACC set in 2006.

Winston also became the first player in Florida State history to be chosen No. 1. The Seminoles’ previous high pick was the third selection in 1998 when the then Phoenix Cardinals selected defensive end Andre Wadsworth.

The Bessemer, Ala., native joins fellow Seminole quarterbacks EJ Manuel (Buffalo Bills, No. 16, 2013) and Christian Ponder (Minnesota Vikings, No. 12, 2011) to give Florida State three consecutive signal callers drafted in the first round. It’s the first time a team has ever had three quarterbacks drafted in the first round in a five-year span in the modern era.

When Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley was taken eighth in the Draft by the Atlanta Falcons, it marked the third straight year that the Tigers had a player chosen in the first round and the second straight year to have someone chosen in the top eight overall selections. Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins was the fourth overall player chosen in last year’s Draft, and wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins was the 27th overall pick in the first round of the 2013 NFL draft by the Houston Texans.

The pick also marked the first time since that the Tigers had a player chosen in the first round in three consecutive seasons since Clemson had a player tabbed in three straight drafts from 1997 through 1999.

When Clemson linebacker Stephone Anthony was chosen 31st overall, it gave Clemson two first-round picks for the first time since 1982.

When Miami’s Ereck Flowers was chosen as the ninth overall selection, it marked the earliest pick for a Miami player since Antrel Rolle was taken eighth overall in the 2005 draft. Flowers was also the first Miami player taken in the first round since 2009 when UM’s Kenny Phillips was the 31st player chosen by the same New York Giants.

With Beasley and Flowers chosen back-to-back, the ACC had three of the first nine players chosen in the Draft. Last year, the Conference had four of the top 14. This marks the first time since the 2009 Draft that the ACC has had three of the first nine chosen when the Conference had four of the first nine chosen in Aaron Curry of Wake Forest (4th, Seattle), Darrius Heyward-Bey of Maryland (7th, Oakland), Eugene Monroe of Virginia (8th, Jacksonville) and defensive tackle B.J. Raji of Boston College (9th, Green Bay).

Miami’s Phillip Dorsett was taken by Indianapolis with the 29th player chosen in the draft, he became the second player from Miami selected, giving the Hurricanes two first-round selections for the first time since 2007.

Miami leads all ACC teams with 61 players chosen in the first round of the NFL Draft.

The Hurricanes have had 28 players taken in the first round of the NFL Draft since 2000, the most of any NCAA team.

When the Miami Dolphins took Louisville wide receiver DeVante Parker as the 14th overall pick in the first round, it gave the ACC four of the top 14 players in the draft for the second year in a row.  In the 2014 draft, the ACC saw Watkins (4th, Buffalo), North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron (10th, Detroit, 10th), Pitt defensive tackle  Aaron Donald (13th, St. Louis) and Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller (14 th, Chicago) among the first 14 players selected.

Parker becomes the second highest player drafted for Louisville, bettered only by defensive tackle Amobi Okoye who was taken 10thoverall in the 2007 draft by Houston. The Cardinals, who had three players taken in the first round of the draft last year, have now had four first-round picks in the past two year.

When Wake Forest cornerback Kevin Johnson was the 16th player taken in the NFL Draft by the Houston Texans, it marked the first first-round selection for the Demon Deacons since the 2009 when Curry was taken fourth overall by Seattle. It also gives the ACC five of the first 16 players selected.

When Florida State center Cameron Erving was selected with the 19th pick in the first round, it gave the Florida State a pair of first-round draft picks for the second time in three years and six first-round picks over the last three NFL Drafts.

Duke offensive guard Laken Tomlinson was the 28th overall pick in the first round by Dallas, becoming the first Blue Devil selected in the first round since QB Dave Brown was the 16th overall selection by the New York Giants in the 1993 NFL draft.

The selections of Parker and Dorsett gives the ACC a pair of wide receivers taken in this year’s first  round. The ACC has had four wide receivers taken in the first round in the past three years.

Including the 2006 draft, the ACC has had 60 players selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, second-highest total of any conference during that 10-year span.


ACC First Round Selections

No.     Player, School, Position                                                     Team
1          Jameis Winston, Florida State, QB                                Tampa Bay
8          Vic Beasley, Clemson, DE                                                  Atlanta
9          Ereck Flowers, Miami, OT                                                 New York Giants
14       DeVante Parker, Louisville, WR                                      Miami
16       Kevin Johnson, Wake Forest, CB                                   Houston
19       Cameron Erving, Florida State, C                                   Cleveland
28       Laken Tomlinson, Duke, G                                               Detroit
29       Phillip Dorsett, Miami, WR                                               Indianapolis
31       Stephone Anthony, Clemson, LB                                  New Orleans

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