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.

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NFL Draft 2013: Jonathan Cooper, EJ Manuel, Bjoern Werner Among 34 ACC Players Selected

EJ Manuel Was One of 34 ACC Players Selected During Last Week's NFL Draft

Former FSU QB EJ Manuel Was One of 34 ACC Players Selected During Last Week’s NFL Draft

The 2013 NFL Draft is officially in the books after 254 selections from the NFL’s 32 franchises. In total, the ACC saw 31 players chosen in this year’s draft — 34, if you include the three draftees from Syracuse (and for argument’s sake, we will here). That number — regardless of which you decide to use — puts the conference behind just behind the more highly-regarded SEC in terms of NFL-bound talent this season. While not the only thing that counts by any means, moving players on to the NFL resonates with potential recruits, and does help all 14 (15) schools in one way or another.

We’ve included various breakdowns below — from school-by-school, to conference comparisons, an NFL team-by-team list, as well as the full list of ACC players chosen between Thursday and Saturday. Also, stop by later on, to see our compilation of the most confusing non-selections from the ACC, and where those players also ended up.

First 10 ACC Players Selected

No. 7 overall (Round 1): Jonathan Cooper, OG/North Carolina, selected by the Arizona Cardinals

No. 16 overall (Round 1): EJ Manuel, QB/Florida State, selected by the Buffalo Bills

No. 19 overall (Round 1): Justin Pugh, OT/Syracuse, selected by the New York Giants

No. 24 overall (Round 1): Bjoern Werner, DE/Florida State, selected by the Indianapolis Colts

No. 25 overall (Round 1): Xavier Rhodes, CB/Florida State, selected by the Minnesota Vikings

No. 27 overall (Round 1): DeAndre Hopkins, WR/Clemson, selected by the Houston Texans

No. 28 overall (Round 1): Sylvester Williams, DT/North Carolina, selected by the Denver Broncos

No. 37 overall (Round 2): Giovani Bernard, RB/North Carolina, selected by the Cincinnati Bengals

No. 40 overall (Round 2): Cornellius “Tank” Carradine, DE/Florida State, selected by the San Francisco 49ers

No. 42 overall (Round 2): Menelik Watson, OT/Florida State, selected by the Oakland Raiders

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NFL Draft 2013: Jonathan Cooper, EJ Manuel Among Seven ACC First-Round Picks

Now-Cardinal Jonathan Cooper Was One of Seven ACC Players Selected in Round One

Now-Cardinal Jonathan Cooper Was One of Seven ACC Players Selected in the NFL Draft’s First Round

For those who’ve been hanging with us here on the blog tonight, we’ve been keeping up with every ACC player selected in the 2013 NFL Draft — seven in all — providing some quick thoughts on each pick. All-in-all, there were certainly a few surprises, and needless to say our mock draft (and everyone else’s) was mostly wrong.

We’ll have a full breakdown post-draft next week, but for now, here’s a quick look at all seven ACC players chosen in the first round this evening, with links to our individual stories on each selection. And for those looking for thoughts on the entire NFL Draft, I was conducting a live thread over at Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician tonight, going pick-by-pick in the comments. But back to ACC matters…

#7 Arizona Cardinals: Jonathan Cooper, OG/North Carolina (Mock Draft: 8th overall)

By the time we got to draft day, Cooper was suddenly being considered a once-in-a-generation guard. And given his speed and size combination up front, and the running game he’s facilitated at UNC, why not? Arizona had one of the NFL’s worst rushing attacks in 2012, and this goes a long way toward fixing that.

#16 Buffalo Bills: EJ Manuel, QB/Florida State (Mock Draft: 43rd overall)

Once Buffalo swapped picks with the Rams, I thought we were perfectly set up for a regular old Syracuse family reunion between Doug Marrone, Nathaniel Hackett and QB Ryan Nassib. Instead, the Bills made one of the more surprising moves of the first round, picking Manuel, who’s seen as a proven commodity by many scouts. He’ll have some ramp to adjust to the pros — the team has Kevin Kolb on the roster as well — but there’s suddenly a lot of weight on Manuel’s shoulders.

#19 New York Giants: Justin Pugh, OT/Syracuse (Mock Draft: 48th overall)

If not for some later moves in the first, THIS would’ve arguably been the biggest reach of the entire round. And that’s not to discredit fellow Syracuse alumnus Justin Pugh, either. But with a glut of elite defenders falling to the later selections, most Giants fans (this one included) seemed convinced they’d go with someone on that side of the ball. Still, Pugh addresses a major need on the line for New York, and will have an opportunity to make an immediate impact. He’s the second straight Syracuse player to go in the top 20 after the Patriots picked Chandler Jones last year.

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NFL Draft 2013: North Carolina’s Sylvester Williams Picked 28th Overall by Denver Broncos

Sylvester Williams is the Second Tar Heel Drafted in the First Round Tonight

North Carolina DT Sylvester Williams is the Second Tar Heel Drafted in the First Round

The seventh and final selection out of the ACC was not a surprise at all, as the Denver Broncos picked North Carolina defensive tackle Sylvester Williams. Williams was projected to go anywhere from the middle parts of round one, all the way through to the early parts of round two, so this is a pretty spot-on selection.

Williams possesses the same physical traits of so many other elite D-line prospects in this draft — size, speed and an aggressive first step — which is why there was such a variance on where “experts” thought he would be chosen. As most NFL fans know, Denver’s defense was among the league’s best last season, and adding a talent like Williams only serves to bolster that fact.

it was a big night for North Carolina (two first-rounders), Florida State (three) and the ACC as a whole. We’ll be recapping it in full between tonight and tomorrow morning. For those who’ve been tuning in, thanks for being here! And for some additional thoughts from me on the draft, head over to the comment thread at SB Nation’s Troy Nunes is An Absolute Magician where I go pick-by-pick (ACC and otherwise).

Want to read up on Williams a bit more? Check out our North Carolina draft preview from last week.

Congrats to Sylvester and his family. We’ll be updating the blog with every first round pick as they happen.

#goacc

Previously:

Jonathan Cooper Selected #7 Overall by Arizona Cardinals

EJ Manuel Selected #16 Overall by Buffalo Bills

Justin Pugh Selected #19 Overall by New York Giants

Bjoern Werner Selected #24 Overall by Indianapolis Colts

Xavier Rhodes Selected #25 Overall by Minnesota Vikings

DeAndre Hopkins Selected #27 Overall by Houston Texans

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NFL Draft 2013: Clemson’s DeAndre Hopkins Picked 27th Overall by Houston Texans

DeAndre Hopkins is the First Wide Receiver Off the Board, As He's Picked by Houston

DeAndre Hopkins is the First Wide Receiver Off the Board, As He’s Picked by Houston

ACC players are officially flying off the board as the 2013 NFL Draft continues on. At no. 27 overall, Clemson‘s DeAndre Hopkins has been chosen by the Houston Texans. The junior wide receiver went from virtual unknown last offseason, to a career season in which he rewrote several Tiger records. And now, he’s a member of one of the NFL’s most exciting offenses, lined up across from former Miami Hurricane (and perennial all-pro) Andre Johnson.

Hopkins is the best wide receiver in the draft, and for a team looking to take some pressure off of both Johnson and QB Matt Schaub, he’s the perfect match. His blazing speed, soft hands and solid balance and ball control make him a lethal option on deep throws. As he proved in the Chick-fil-a Bowl this year, he’s a nightmare in the open field and expect him to continue that trend in the pros.

Want to read up on Hopkins a bit more? Check out our Clemson draft preview from last week.

Congrats to DeAndre and his family. We’ll be updating the blog with every first round pick as they happen.

#goacc

Previously:

Jonathan Cooper Selected #7 Overall by Arizona Cardinals

EJ Manuel Selected #16 Overall by Buffalo Bills

Justin Pugh Selected #19 Overall by New York Giants

Bjoern Werner Selected #24 Overall by Indianapolis Colts

Xavier Rhodes Selected #25 Overall by Minnesota Vikings

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

NFL Draft 2013: Florida State’s Xavier Rhodes Picked 25th Overall by Minnesota Vikings

Florida State Corner Xavier Rhodes Is Headed to the Minnesota Vikings at no. 25

Florida State Corner Xavier Rhodes Is Headed to the Minnesota Vikings at no. 25

Yet another ACC player is chosen — the second straight, and fourth overall. With the 25th overall selection in the NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings have picked Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes. This was about where Rhodes was slated to go, helping out a team like Minnesota that could sorely use some more help stopping the pass (especially in a division full of elite quarterbacks).

Rhodes is a great coverage corner, and has more than proven himself over his career as one of the country’s best at his craft. While not always the best tackler, he can seemingly always get in between the receiver and the ball, and has some good physicality that’ll really help him out at the pro level. For some, the transition from Florida to Minnesota could be rough, but since the Vikings currently play in a dome, it’s much less of a concern.

Want to read up on Rhodes a bit more? Check out our Florida State draft preview from last week.

Congrats to Xavier and his family. We’ll be updating the blog with every first round pick as they happen.

#goacc

Previously:

Jonathan Cooper Selected #7 Overall by Arizona Cardinals

EJ Manuel Selected #16 Overall by Buffalo Bills

Justin Pugh Selected #19 Overall by New York Giants

Bjoern Werner Selected #24 Overall by Indianapolis Colts

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

NFL Draft 2013: Florida State’s Bjoern Werner Picked 24th Overall by Indianapolis Colts

Florida State DE Bjoern Werner is Headed to Indianapolis to Lead the Colts' Pass Rush

Florida State DE Bjoern Werner is Headed to Indianapolis to Lead the Colts’ Pass Rush

ACC players are flying off the board quickly now, as many thought would be the case — especially from Florida State. With the 24th overall selection, the Indianapolis Colts picked standout FSU defensive end Bjoern Werner, originally from Germany. One of the biggest pieces of the puzzle for the Colts will be fixing that defense, and Werner certainly goes a long way toward fixing that.

With tons of options on the defensive side of the ball, the Colts could’ve gone in any number of directions. But by choosing Werner, they’ve made a commitment to repairing the pass rush, which is to be commended. Werner has great speed off the line and an aggressive first move. He may look a bit undersized, but makes up for it with agility. The Colts have drafted a plug-and-play defender, which is not something everyone can say in this draft.

Want to read up on Werner a bit more? Check out our Florida State draft preview from last week.

Congrats to Bjoern and his family. We’ll be updating the blog with every first round pick as they happen.

#goacc

Previously:

Jonathan Cooper Selected #7 Overall by Arizona Cardinals

EJ Manuel Selected #16 Overall by Buffalo Bills

Justin Pugh Selected #19 Overall by New York Giants

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