NFL Draft 2018: ACC providing a host of top defensive prospects

CLEMSON, SC - OCTOBER 01: Jaire Alexander
CLEMSON, SC - OCTOBER 01: Jaire Alexander /

Although many of Clemson’s biggest defensive stars elected to stay in school for another year, the ACC figures to have its fair share of defensive prospects selected in the 2018 NFL Draft.

The Atlantic Coastal Conference is home to some of the top college football programs in the country, namely, Clemson, Florida State, Miami and Virginia Tech.

As such, we are used to seeing multiple players from the ACC taken early on in the NFL draft each year. What makes this draft class special is the widespread talent coming from every program in the conference.

Let’s take a dive into the top NFL draft prospects the ACC has to offer in 2018.

Premiere Prospects

The following prospect rankings were taken from

In total, the 21 of the top 100 prospects in the 2018 NFL draft class are from the ACC. Even more impressive is the fact that those 21 prospects are hail from nine different programs within the conference.

As it stands, the top two overall prospects in the draft are NC State’s Bradley Chubb and Florida State’s Derwin James. It would be a shocker to see either Chubb or James fall out of the top ten on draft night.

If it wasn’t for Clemson’s talented trio of defensive lineman’s decision to stay in school, the Tigers four prospects taken within the first two rounds of the draft. Instead, Dorian O’Daniel is the lone Tiger ranked in the top 100 prospects.

Unusual Suspects

Louisville has surprisingly held its own in the ACC since joining the conference in 2014. For a school known more for their basketball program, the Cardinals are doing well on the football side of things.

Louisville’s Lamar Jackson and Jaire Alexander are listed as two of the top prospects in the upcoming NFL draft. Jackson is currently listed as the No. 14 prospect overall and Alexander the No. 31.

Wake Forest (Duke Ejiofor) and Boston College (Harold Landry) also have former players ranked in the top 100 prospects.

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With the quality of the coaching in the ACC, it’s no surprise to see schools like NC State, Wake Forest and Louisville on the rise. Don’t expect this trend to end any time soon, the ACC is just getting started.