NFL Draft 2013: Conner Vernon, Kevin Reddick, Ray Graham Top List of ACC Snubs This Year

Kevin Reddick is One of Several Standout ACC Prospects Who Did Not Hear His Name Called on Draft Day

Kevin Reddick is One of Several Standout ACC Prospects Who Went Undrafted This Weekend

While 31 (34) of their ACC cohorts were selected during this weekend’s NFL Draft, the festivities still left plenty of ACC players without an NFL team to call home yet. Of course, many have since signed as free agents with squads, however, it still doesn’t eliminate the questions about why they weren’t considered among the top 254 players available.

We’ve listed out our top 10 biggest draft snubs out of the list of undrafted ACC players for 2013 below. Also included are notes on their respective skill sets, and if they’ve landed on an NFL team at this time.

Top 10 ACC Draft Snubs

1. Kevin Reddick, LB/North Carolina (signed with New Orleans Saints)

Reddick was viewed as slightly undersized before the draft, but was still slated to be selected sometime on day three. The fact that he was passed up obviously ends up being a blessing for New Orleans here, who now have one of the best undrafted players this year, with a huge chip on his shoulder.

2. Conner Vernon, WR/Duke (signed with Oakland Raiders)

In another shock, the ACC’s all-time leading receiver also went unselected; the issue being his less-than-stellar speed and primary use as a possession receiver on short routes. The Raiders may not be the perfect fit for Vernon, but perhaps he shows enough to head elsewhere before the fall.

3. Adrian Bushell, CB/Louisville (signed with Oakland Raiders)

Bushell was seen as a fringe corner, and there weren’t necessarily any guarantees he’d come off the board. Plus, for a team that already went about drafting defensive backs in Oakland, he’ll have a hard time making the roster.

4. Matt Furstenburg, TE/Maryland (signed with Baltimore Ravens)

Furstenburg gets to stay close to home, with the nearby Ravens snagging him shortly after the draft. As a late riser on most boards, there were thoughts he could’ve gone in the fifth round. But given his perfect fit for the Ravens’ offense, being passed up may have actually been a gift for both parties.

5. Ray Graham, RB/Pittsburgh (signed with Houston Texans)

Injuries obviously scared off observers, who saw Graham more as a health liability than the stellar halfback he was while with the Panthers. And even though the Texans fail to give hm any real shot to start (all-pro Arian Foster has that position locked up for the foreseeable future), Graham may get an opportunity to contribute in garbage time this year should Houston’s offense be as prolific as projected.

6. Marcus Davis, WR/Virginia Tech (signed with New York Giants)

Davis was viewed as a project in a shallow wide receiver talent pool this year, so it’s no surprise that a team like the Giants — who are willing to work with players like that — took a flier on his potential. New York’s still unsure if Victor Cruz will be sticking around this offseason, so Davis could go from last-minute roster addition to potential fourth receiver very quickly.

7. Rodney Smith, WR/Florida State (signed with Minnesota Vikings)

Smith, like Davis, is another deep-threat speedster who needs some additional refining. With the Vikings getting rid of Percy Harvin this offseason, Smith may end up getting plenty of opportunity to do just that in Minnesota. His work ethic will be put to the test though, so it’ll be interesting to see if he’s truly up to the challenge of an NFL workload.

8. Nick Becton, OT/Virginia Tech (signed with San Diego Chargers)

Becton rose late, with only a passing opportunity to go, but the tackle is also viewed as having some major upside. As San Diego continues to rebuild on the fly, having young, talented linemen to plug in is never a bad thing, so Becton could end up seeing playing time should he make the squad.

9. Alec Lemon, WR/Syracuse (signed with Houston Texans)

Syracuse’s all-time leading receiver faced many of the same issues as Vernon — possession receiver with great hands, but questionable speed for the pro level. Houston’s certainly not the best fit, especially with the Texans possessing their own first-round talent at wideout already, but at the very least, he’ll learn from one of the best in the game in Andre Johnson.

10. T.J. Barnes, DT/Georgia Tech (signed with Jacksonville Jaguars)

It was certainly a disappointment for Barnes to miss out on hearing his name called, but if you’re going to sign anywhere afterward, perhaps Jacksonville’s the best place of all. With a team devoid of many stars or entrenched starters, the Jags give rookies ample opportunity to succeed. Now it’s just a question as to whether Barnes can take advantage of the situation this summer.

Additional signings of note:

  • Mario Benavides, C/Louisville (signed with Kansas City Chiefs)
  • Nick Clancy, LB/Boston College (signed with Atlanta Falcons)
  • Emmett Cleary, OT/Boston College (signed with Indianapolis Colts)
  • Dalton Freeman, C/Clemson (signed with New York Jets)
  • Anthony McCloud, DT/Florida State (signed with Minnesota Vikings)
  • Lonnie Pryor, FB/Florida State (signed with Jacksonville Jaguars)
  • Orwin Smith, RB/Georgia Tech (signed with Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Comment, share this post, follow/like the blog and follow @JohnCassillo on Twitter


4 thoughts on “NFL Draft 2013: Conner Vernon, Kevin Reddick, Ray Graham Top List of ACC Snubs This Year

  1. Good calls on these players being among the best of the undrafted free agents. I feel like Marcus Davis and Nick Becton both have a better than average chance to make it in the NFL. I also feel good about Veenon Davis and Alec Lemon, though both will have to out-work their competitors to succeed.

    • I don’t like where Lemon and Vernon landed relative to their skills and competition. Actually kind of hoping both end up in different camps by July.

      I do like Davis and Becton as well, though I think Davis has the most upside and best situation out of not just the VaTech prospects, but all the receivers listed here too. As I mentioned, the Giants are willing to work with players, and if he can sort out his focus and exhibit some better hands, his speed will certainly be utilized — with or without Victor Cruz lining up for them.

  2. Actually John – Houston’s a pretty good fit for Lemon. Thin roster and commitment from the staff/management that he has every opportunity to compete for a spot. He could end being Schaub’s best friend in a year or two…

    • That’s fair, actually. Schaub does need a safety valve, and with Hopkins and Johnson out there, he’ll certainly need an option underneath. He’ll have to show off a bit more than just good hands if he hopes to become a factor (they’ve got other players just like him on the roster). But agree, if he can differentiate himself, he may very well end up being a very dependable third option.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s