Leading up to April’s NFL Draft, we’ll be taking a look at each ACC‘s school’s prospects and where they’re slated to be chosen. While 43 ACC players were invited to the NFL Draft Combine, those not in attendance also have ample opportunity to hear their name called between April 26 and 28.
Luke Kuechly, LB, Junior
During his three-year career at BC, Kuechly accomplished everything an NFL team would want from a potential first-round pick. He was a three-time All-American, was the ACC defensive player of the year, led the nation in tackles, and won last year’s Butkus and Nagurski awards. Scouts are impressed with his poise and maturity and according to National Football Post’s Wes Bunting, he plays well above his physical ability. While his 4.58 40-yard dash time isn’t incredibly impressive, I’d agree with Bunting and other pundits that those numbers aren’t as important with Kuechly. At 6’3″ and 242 pounds, he’s a tackling machine; instinctive and a natural leader. In spite of what may be perceived as a speed and slight size disadvantage, he’s proven he’s an accomplished football player and a natural at the linebacker position. Despite being the key member of an average Eagles defense, and facing constant double-teams, his number’s speak volumes about his ability to transition to the NFL. The expert opinions say he’s a top-10 pick, and I’d tend to agree. Whoever gets to draft Kuechly will have a defensive cornerstone for years.Donnie Fletcher, CB, Senior
While not as high-profile as his counterpart above, Fletcher has been a key part of the Boston College defense during his time in college. An active tackler and overall physical player, he’s also struggled in pass-defense at times due to average speed. BC Interruption believes a transition to safety would benefit him based on his skill set, though — a fair assessment bolstered by his pre- and in-game smarts. Given the high volume of total-package defensive backs in this draft, Fletcher probably falls to the sixth or seventh round, but in all likelihood, he should be drafted.
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