2021 NFL Draft: Top prospects to watch for each ACC team

2021 NFL Draft prospect Quarterback Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Clemson Tigers (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images)
2021 NFL Draft prospect Quarterback Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Clemson Tigers (Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images) /
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Carlos Basham Jr., 2021 NFL Draft
Carlos Basham Jr., 2021 NFL Draft prospect (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Top 2021 NFL Draft prospects to watch from the ACC.

Having one of the best teams in the country in Clemson, the ACC is guaranteed at least a few draft picks every year from just one school. From there, it becomes more of a matter of who else gets players drafted from year-to-year.

During the 2020 NFL Draft, the ACC saw 32 players selected, the fourth-most among the conferences of Division I football. It was no surprise that Clemson led the way with seven selections, also having the first selection, seeing Isaiah Simmons going to the Arizona Cardinals at the eighth pick. Clemson also had three of the first four players selected from the ACC with Mekhi Becton being the other.

After Clemson, Miami was the only school to have more than two selections, having four players taken over the course of the seven rounds. Five schools saw a pair of selections, being North Carolina, North Carolina State, Syracuse, Virginia and Wake Forest. Six more teams had a single selection, those being Boston College, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Pitt and Virginia Tech. Duke was the only team in the conference to not have a draft pick this year.

So, looking ahead to the 2021 NFL Draft, it becomes obvious that Clemson will again be the team to beat, being led by Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne. Beyond that, much of the conference is a toss up. Boston College and Florida State both lost their starting running backs while Louisville lost a big piece on the offensive line.

What could happen this year from the ACC is a slew of “forgotten teams” having players selected. Teams like Wake Forest and Syracuse are often overlooked when thinking of the Power 5 schools, but maybe this year is the year that changes.

One thing that won’t be mentioned here, however, is the addition of Notre Dame to the ACC for this upcoming season given the conference-only schedule because of COVID. Notre Dame, along with all the independent schools, will be covered in a separate piece, so stay tuned!