ACC Players Among the Top Picks for 2014 NFL Draft

There has been a lot of NFL Draft talk recently as the NFL Scouting Combine took place earlier this week from February 22-25.  A few ACC favorites ranked among the top performers and are looking to go early in the draft in May.

1981 super bowl ring

1981 Super Bowl XVI ring

I, myself got a little NFL fever this week when I got the chance to speak with former Cincinnati Bengals head coach, Sam Wyche.  Wyche made it to two Super Bowls in his career, winning Super Bowl XVI in 1981 as an assistant coach for the San Francisco 49ers. He even let me try on his diamond-encrusted championship ring.  Wyche is best known for his unconventional play-calling and most importantly, the no-huddle offense.  He stated that he’d been keeping up with the NFL and is ready to see some new faces.

Speaking of the no-huddle offense, Clemson Tigers Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant were a stand-outs in the Scouting Combine. Watkins came in at 7th among wide receivers in the 40-yard dash with 4. 43 seconds.  Surprisingly, Bryant ran it in 4.42 seconds, ranking 5th.  However, Bryant was given a final grade of 5.34 whereas Watkins ended with a strong 7.0.  According to the official NFL site, “(Watkins) has rare speed, soft hands and the big-play ability to challenge NFL defensive backs as a rookie. A top-10 cinch.”  You better believe he’s going in the first round.

Sammy Watkins performs at the NFL Combine. Photo creds: USAToday

Sammy Watkins performs at the NFL Combine. Photo creds: USAToday

A few other ACC teams also had breakout competitors.  North Carolina Tarheel, Eric Ebron, achieved a final grade of 6.4.  He reached top performer status among tight ends in both the 40-yard dash and broad jump and was labeled as the top tight end in this year’s class.  Louis Nix, defensive tackle for Notre Dame was ranked as this year’s top defensive tackle draft pick.  He’s down 20 pounds from his tremendous size of 351 lbs. at Notre Dame, but analysts say he’s still a versatile player at the top of his game. During an interview, Nix said, “my stomach doesn’t stick out as much… I just feel sexier.”  Nix decided to forgo his final year of eligibility as a college player in order to help provide for his 13 siblings.

Football season has ended, but the next one is right around the corner, and you can be sure these players are going to bring some ACC heat to the NFL.  Keep your eyes peeled for your favorites when the NFL Draft begins on May 8th.