After the 2010 NFL Draft, there were numerous talented players headed to NFL teams that prospered on one of the ACCs’ many outstanding football programs. Here is a list of the schools, a couple of players from each of those schools, and what they bring to the team that drafted them.
Matt Tennant, Center, New Orleans Saints
Tennant displays great technique and does a good job of using leverage to win his battles in the trenches. However, he needs to work on his strength and knee bend in order to be a starter in the NFL.
C.J. Spiller, Running Back, Buffalo Bills
One of the most electrifying players in the 2010 NFL Draft, the Bills add a big homerun threat to their arsenal by drafting Spiller despite no need for a running back. Spiller stands a chance at being the biggest rookie of 2010.
Jacoby Ford, Wide Receiver, Oakland Raiders
Explosive player with world-class speed, the Raiders add another burner and fire cracker in order to spark the offense. Ford can also be a weapon in the return game, which could be a big boost for Oakland, who is in desperate need of play-makers.
Although Duke did not have any players drafted in the 2010 NFL Draft, quarterback Thaddeus Lewis signed to the St. Louis Rams and defensive end Ayanga Okpokowuruk signed to the New York Giants as undrafted free agents and are competing for roster spots.
Patrick Robinson, Cornerback, New Orleans Saints
Despite some struggles with larger, more physical receivers, Robinson has plenty of coverage skills to make up for it. Needs to work on tackling, but will be a solid nickel corner for the Saints in his first year and should be productive from the get go.
Myron Rolle, Safety, Tennessee Titans
Although he wasn’t a huge play-maker at FSU, the Titans get a steal in Rolle. He has excellent intelligence and has the potential to be a difference-maker with the proper coaching. Will turn heads if given the chance.
Derrick Morgan, Defensive End, Tennessee Titans
With a non-stop motor and all of the physical tools to be a Pro-Bowl caliber pass-rusher, the Titans are hoping that Morgan can be the answer to their pass rushing woes. Will need to replace the production of both Jevon Kearse and Kyle Vanden Bosch.
Demaryius Thomas, Wide Receiver, Denver Broncos
There are some big questions about Thomas because he wasn’t in a passing offense and didn’t run a very complex route tree, but has the size and the athletic ability to be a dominant receiver in the NFL.
Bruce Campbell, Offensive Tackle, Oakland Raiders
Again, the Raiders go for athleticism with the most athletic offensive lineman in the draft. Although many questions surround Campbell and his rawness as an NFL talent, he has the potential to be an outstanding anchor on the Oakland line.
Nolan Carroll, Cornerback, Miami Dolphins
An outstanding press coverage corner, Carroll has the strength and aggressiveness to fit into the Dolphins defense as a backup cornerback. His toughness and ability to play the run as well as the pass should get him some quality playing time.
Jimmy Graham, Tight End, New Orleans Saints
Very athletic for the tight end position, Graham adds depth to the position for the Saints and provides them with another outstanding weapon for Drew Brees to use at his disposal. Look for him in short distance and goalline packages right away.
Darryl Sharpton, Inside Linebacker, Houston Texans
The Texans add another valuable backup to the linebacker position with Sharpton. Harding-hitting and aggressive in between the tackles, he should have a solid career despite his lack of great size and speed.
E.J. Wilson, Defensive End, Seattle Seahawks
With the struggles that the Seahawks had at getting to the quarterback on defense last season, Wilson should be able to step up right away and provide some pressure. Has good athletic ability and is able to work on the edge well.
Cam Thomas, Nose Tackle, San Diego Chargers
A big body, Thomas will often take up two offensive lineman, allowing the linebackers to roam free. Although he may not start right away, he should be the eventual replacement for Jamal Williams in San Diego.
North Carolina State
Ted Larsen, Center, New England Patriots
History as a defensive lineman provided him with good quickness. That quickness along with instincts and the ability to read the defense will give the Patriots a solid depth player on the interior of the line for years to come.
Willie Young, Defensive End, Detriot Lions
The Lions added another edge-rusher in Young, who can do a fabulous job of putting pressure on the quarterback. However, his inconsistency and one-dimensional style of play makes him a liability.
Chris Cook, Cornerback, Minnesota Vikings
A big, physical corner, Cook should become an immediate aide for Vikings’ corners Antoine Winfield and Cedric Griffin. He plays the run well and does a good job of zone coverage, which should help shore up a questionable Viking secondary.
Jason Worilds, Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, Pittsburgh Steelers
Worilds could be one of the sleepers of the draft. With an excellent combination of strength and speed, he fights to get around the edge every play and has the motor to be a all-star in the near future.
Kam Chancellor, Safety, Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks pick up a big, strong, athletic defensive back with the pick of Chancellor. Uses his size well to play the run, but sometimes struggles to be to effective in coverage. Should be a solid contributor on special teams in his rookie season.
Brandon Ghee, Cornerback, Cincinnati Bengals
With excellent speed, Ghee will work well as a third or fourth corner behind one of the best corner duos in the league. Being able to learn and develop behind Leon Hall and Jonathan Joseph will help him become an even better corner and will allow him time to reach his full potential.
Chris DeGeare, Offensive Tackle, Minnesota Vikings
Despite having all of the physical tools to be a difference-maker in the NFL, DeGeare has struggled with the mental aspect of football throughout his college career. Will need to do a better job of concentrating and being consistent to make it.
So there is your group of some of the key players drafted out of the ACC in the 2010 NFL Draft. With many different players taken, there are sure to be some future Pro-Bowlers as well as future busts throughout the group. Only time will tell if they are up to the challenge of taking on the NFL and everything that it throws their way.