The ACC had another productive evening at the NFL Draft. Last season there were 31 ACC players drafted, including six first rounders. Last night there were five ACC players selected, with six rounds of picks to go.
Sammy Watkins WR/Clemson - #4 Buffalo Bills
Watkins was drafted 4th overall by the Buffalo Bills. The Bills swapped picks with the Cleveland Browns and also gave the Browns their 2015 1st and 4th round draft picks. Watkins will bring an explosive offensive threat to the Bills, who were 28th in passing yards last season. Last season, Watkins had 101 receptions for 1,464 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. In his final collegiate game he had 16 receptions for 227 yards and was named Orange Bowl MVP. He is a burner and will be a tremendous asset to the Bills. I believe they gave up too much to move up 5 spots to select him, but I believe Watkins will be an excellent pro.
The Detroit Lions decided that Calvin Johnson a.k.a. Megatron was not enough help for Matthew Stafford and drafted Eric Ebron out of North Carolina to help supplement last year's 3rd ranked passing attack. Ebron made his own draft pick earlier in the day when he proposed to his now fiance atop the Empire State Building. Ebron led the Tar Heels in receptions last season with 62. For his efforts he was a 2nd-team All-American and 1st-team All-ACC.
The St. Louis Rams now have the most potent pass rush in the entire league. Donald joins fellow linemen Chris Long and Robert Quinn, and together they will cause every quarterback they face to lose sleep the night before they play the Rams. In his last season at Pittsburgh, Aaron Donald had 28.5 tackles for loss, which led the nation by five tackles for loss. He was a unanimous All-American, ACC Defensive Player of the Year and also took home the Outland Trophy, which is awarded annually to the best interior lineman in college football.
Kyle Fuller CB/Virginia Tech - #14 Chicago Bears
Kyle Fuller will provide much needed help to a secondary which has to face Matthew Stafford and Aaron Rodgers a total of four times each season. Fuller was a three-time All-ACC selection and last year helped the Virginia Tech secondary have the 8th best passing defense in the country.
Kelvin Benjamin WR/Florida State - #28 Carolina Panthers
The Panthers badly needed wide receiver help and they used their first round selection to upgrade the position. Kelvin Benjamin, who had the game-winning touchdown catch in this year's BCS Championship Game, will be headed to Charlotte to catch passes from Cam Newton. Last season he had 54 receptions for 1,011 yards and 15 touchdowns. At 6'5" 240 pounds, he is a serious red-zone threat. He lacks polish, but has potential. I think the Panthers got tremendous value in drafting Benjamin.
Some ACC players who should go in the second/third rounds:
-OT Morgan Moses - UVA
-QB Tom Savage - Pittsburgh
-CB/S Lamarcus Joyner - Florida State
-OLB Jeremiah Attaochu - Georgia Tech
-DT Timmy Jernigan - Florida State
-WR Martavis Bryant - Clemson
The second and third rounds will be held tomorrow night beginning at 7 p.m., with the fourth through seventh rounds beginning Saturday at noon.