Led by Clemson, ACC has 26 selected in the 2016 NFL Draft


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Clemson is the only ACC team to have 4 or more players drafted in each of the last eight years.

GREENSBORO, N.C.—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 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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