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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)