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ACC Draft Prospect Big Board

By Southern Pigskin Staff
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Ranking the top 2021 NFL Draft prospects from the ACC.

Note: Notre Dame players are including in the rankings as the FIghting Irish were a full ACC football member last season.

1. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson (6'6'', 220)
There couldn't more hype with Lawrence and understandably so. A generational talent, some pundits have compared his draft profile to the likes of Andew Luck and John Elway. Lawrence lost just twice in college, both times in the College Football Playoff, and won a national championship as a true freshman. You don't see the "can't miss" distinction thrown around often with the NFL Draft, but it's common conversation when it comes to Lawrence.

2. Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech (6'5'', 314)
A three-year starter for the Hokies, Darrisaw is big, physical and athletic on the edge and has the agility to contain quick pass rushers off the edge. He is also a great lead for off-tackle runs as Virginia Tech, featuring running back Khalil Herbert, ranked in the top ten nationally with 5.58 team yards per carry. The Hokies led the ACC in rushing and ranked in the top three in sacks allowed and Darrisaw was a big reason why.

3. Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech (6''2'', 207)
Farley opted out of the 2020 season, but had a true showcase season as a sophomore. In 2019, he led the ACC with 16 passes defended, intercepting four passes. At 6'2'' with plenty of muscle on his frame, Farley is the new professional prototype. His athleticism comes with every-situation functionality; Farley could even matchup against receiving tight ends in certain coverage situations. 

4. Gregory Rousseau, DE, Miami (6'7'', 265)
College football simply hasn't seen many freshman seasons like what Rousseau did in 2019. Before opting out this past year, he burst onto the national scene with 15.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for loss for the Hurricanes. Beyond just his stunning production, Rousseau, like former Miami star Calais Campbell, is a significant physical presence at the line of scrimmage standing 6'7''. The upside is off the charts.  

5. Travis Etienne, RB, Clemson (5'10'', 205)
One of the greatest running backs in college football history, Etienne is instant and consistent offense. He finished with an ACC-record 4,952 rushing yards and 70 rushing touchdowns, catching 102 passes as well. What was most remarkable is Etienne's proficiency; he averaged 7.2 yards per rush for the Tigers and 11.3 yards per catch. He fits the new running back role.  Clemson was also 27-0 when Etienne rushed for at least 80 yards during his career.  

6. Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, LB, Notre Dame (6'1'', 215)
Many will remember Owuso-Koramoah's key fumble return for a touchdown in the Fighting Irish's upset win over top-ranked Clemson. He is a playmaker. An active sideline-to-sideline defender who could maybe even play safety circumstantially, Owusu-Koramoah is the defensive counter to all of the speed and quickness modern offenses present. His work earned him the Butkus Award, given to the nation's top linebacker. 

7. Asante Samuel, Jr., CB, Florida State (5'10'', 184)
The son of a former two-time Super Bowl Champion and All-Pro, Samuel is quite the talent himself. A natural playmaker, he had three interceptions in eight games for the Seminoles, emerging as one of the top cover corners in the country. Samuel can be effective in both man coverage and zone coverage and has the rare quickness needed to cover slot receivers in more wide-open offenses.

8. Jaelen Phillips, DE, Miami (6'5'', 266)
Phillips was amongst college football's most disruptive edge playmakers in 2020 as he compiled eight sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss in just ten games. Impressively, Phillips even had an interception on the year. With prototypical size at the position, the former five-star recruit is poised to be an impact player right away as a pass rusher. His measurables are the standard for a first round pass rusher. 

9. Carlos Basham, Jr., DE, Wake Forest (6'5'', 285)
What a career for Basham with 20.5 total sacks and 36.5 tackles for loss. An impressive athlete with the size and strength to potentially slide inside on obvious passing downs if needed, Basham has a proven track record of making plays. His 2019 season was one that shows off his impressive potential: eleven sacks, 18 tackles for loss, 13 quarterback hurries and three forced fumbles. 

10. Liam Eichenberg, OT, Notre Dame (6'6'', 302)
The winner of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy for the ACC, Eichenberg consistently wins as a step-back pass blocker, but is also a proven road-grader in the running game. Notably, the Fighting Irish finished 5th nationally with 33 rushing touchdowns. Not all offensive tackles can do both, pass and run block, well. Eichenberg plays with great mobility and footwork. He is a proven commodity as a three-year starter for the Fighting Irish.

11. Alim McNeill, DT, NC State (6'2'', 320)
There is a lot to like about McNeill who, at well over 300 pounds, recorded 17.5 tackles for loss the past three years for the Wolfpack. He is definitely strong and sturdy, but also athletic and active. McNeill even notably had a pick-six last season. This is an interior defender who checks all of the boxes and has the potential to be a leading player at the line of scrimmage at the next level.

12. Andre Cisco, S, Syracuse (6'0'', 209)
Simply put, Cisco is a playmaker. As a freshman for the Orange, he intercepted seven passes and broke up eleven more, also totaling 60 tackles. Cisco added five more interceptions as a sophomore. A knee injury cut short his 2020 season. This is a fast, instictive defender with a knack for being wherever the football is. As the box score usually reflected, he can be active and all over the field.

13. Jackson Carman, OT, Clemson (6'5'', 335)
A mammoth offensive tackle prospect, Carman was obviously a key contributor for one of the nation's best and most balanced offenses during his career. His size certainly speaks for itself as Carman has the physicality to step into the NFL and hold his own right away. Many were very impressed with his performance in the College Football Playoff against a talented Ohio State defensive line. 

14. Javonte Williams, RB, North Carolina (5'10'', 220)
A powerful runner, Williams was a superstar for the Tar Heels last season. He led the ACC with 19 rushing touchdowns, all while averaging over 7.2 yards per carry. Williams has the ability to be a featured ball-carrier, but his proven track record in the redzone and in short-yardage situations will give him immediate value wherever he goes. An underrated aspect of his game, Williams also averaged over 12 yards per catch a year ago.

15. Marvin Wilson, DT, Florida State (6'5'', 305)
Injuries and inconsistency slowed Wilson some as senior, but he remains a rock-solid front line presence who, when healthy, was one of college football's most dominant interior forces. His size is the NFL standard. Beyond just his play on the defensive line, Wilson, in just six games, tied for the national lead in blocked kicks last season. He was a multi-year vocal leader for the Seminoles.

16. Ifeatu Melifonwu, CB, Syracuse (6'3'', 213)
Melifonwu has the tape and the measurables you look for in a top cover corner. At 6'3'' and over 210 pounds, he has the build of some college linebackers and most professional safeties. That size and strength gives him the ability to go one-on-one physically with even the bigger go-to receivers. He recorded three interceptions and 17 pass break-ups the past two seasons.

17. Quincy Roche, DE, Miami (6'3'', 243)
From Temple to South Beach, Roche made plays every season of his college career. A former AAC Defensive Player of the Year for the Owls before joining the Hurricanes, Roche recorded an astonishing 54 career tackles for loss, 30.5 sacks and eight forced fumbles. He will have the versatility to line up at a couple of different edge positions depending upon the circumstances and scheme he plays in.  

18. Paris Ford, S, Pittsburgh (6'0'', 190)
A true quarterback in the secondary, Ford had six interceptions the last two years for the Panthers, including three in seven games in 2020. He plays much bigger than his size and has sideline-to-sideline range as his 97 total tackles, with 60 solo stops, in 2019 indicate. Ford played a number of different roles for Pittsburgh during his career and brings some versatility to the defensive backfield.

19. Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina (6'1'', 185)
Brown is a rare big play receiver. Last season, he  remarkably averaged just under 20 yards per reception on 55 total catches, also scoring eight times. He led all 1,000-yard receivers with 19.98 yards per grab; for point of reference, the next closest Power Five player was Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith at 15.86. As if those numbers weren't impressive enough, Brown averaged 20.27 yards per catch in 2019, with a dozen touchdowns.

20. Hamsah Nasirildeen, S, Florida State (6'4'', 220)
A rare and impressive athlete at 6'4'', 220 pounds, Nasirildeen is a hybrid safety who can play close to the line of scrimmage. He is a sure and solid tackler, recording a combined 192 total stops for the Seminoles from 2018-2019. The potential, with Nasirildeen, is considerable. Given his combination of size and speed, he will come with schematic options as a defender at the next level.

21. Jalen Twyman, DT, Pittsburgh (6'2'', 291)
A player capable of playing defensive tackle or end, Twyman is a productive, multi-faceted talent who can disrupt games from the line of scrimmage. Versatile with a good mix of speed and strength, he recorded 10.5 sacks in 2019, starring in some of the Panthers' biggest games. Twyman's greatest value might be as an interior pass-rusher on obvious passing downs, sliding inside to bring rare pressure from the middle of the defensive front. 

22. Brevin Jordan, TE, Miami (6'3'', 245)
Jordan brings receiver-type production to the next level: 105 receptions, 1,358 yards and 13 touchdowns in three years with the Hurricanes. A major matchup problem for opposing defenses, Jordan has the speed to beat linebackers and the strength to hold off defensive backs. He is the type of tight end who can line up in the slot or even on the perimeter depending on the circumstances.

23. Patrick Jones II, DE, Pittsburgh (6'5'', 260)
The stats, 21.5 career sacks, 32 tackles for loss, speaks for themselves. Jones is a big, strong and athletic pass rusher with proven production over multiple seasons for the dominant defensive line of the Panthers. He had nine sacks in only ten games this past year. In a junior season that came with 8.5 sacks, Jones also had 18 quarterback hurries; when he doesn't officially get to the quarterback, he is generally still nearby.

24. Chaz Surratt, LB, North Carolina (6'2'', 225)
Active and athletic, Surratt compiled 206 total tackles and 22.5 tackles for loss the past two years for the Tar Heels. He is an every-down, full-field defender who is quick enough to both make plays in the offensive backfield and defend tight ends and running backs in space. As speed and versatility becomes even more important at the linebacker position, Surratt is the modern standard. 

25. Michael Carter, RB, North Carolina (5'8'', 199)
The reigning ACC rushing leader with 1,245 yards, Carter averaged an impressive 7.98 yards per carry, tops for any back in the country with at least 90 attempts. With 82 career receptions, Carter is also a major option as a receiver. He can return kicks as well. In his last college game, Carter rushed for 308 yards and two touchowns in a signature grand finale against Miami.