NFL Draft 2012: Luke Kuechly, Quinton Coples Among Four ACC First-Rounders

Former UNC Defensive End Quinton Coples Will Now Be Suiting Up for the New York Jets

Of the 32 players selected during Thursday’s first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, four ended up hailing from ACC schools. And while three of them were expected to go in the opening round, another appeared to be a slight reach, though nothing to be surprised about.

We’ll have a full breakdown post-Draft next week, but for now, here are the league’s four first round picks:

No. 9 Overall: Luke Kuechly, LB, Boston College, selected by the Carolina Panthers

We said Kuechly was top-10 the other day, and it ends up we — like many others — were spot-on in that assessment. Carolina gets themselves a fierce competitor and defender who’s likely to play an active role in the struggling defense from early on.

No. 16 Overall: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina, selected by the New York Jets

Something tells me that Coples’ big issue (effort) will become a non-factor once he arrives at Jets camp this summer. Either that, or he’ll get sucked into the Rex Ryan circus. For his sake, let’s hope he can avoid the distractions in New York, and play up to the potential he’s always shown in spurts.

No. 21 Overall: Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse, selected by the New England Patriots

The Patriots’ big issue last season was their blatant lack of a pass-rush, so it’s obvious that they’d trade themselves up to select Jones. He’s got size, length and speed, and under Belichick’s tutelage, he’s going to become a monster defender. I just wish it was for a team that wasn’t the Pats, due to my own personal biases.

No. 32 Overall: David Wilson, RB, Virginia Tech, selected by the New York Giants

With Brandon Jacobs gone, the Super Bowl champs needed a replacement back to really fight between the tackles, and they got one in Wilson. The Giants could’ve gone in several directions here, but with a less-than-deep pool of running backs in this year’s draft, I like the move to grab Wilson when they did.

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