The ACC’s best NFL draft prospects

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As the coronavirus sweeps the nation, the NFL has remained steadfast their draft will still be held in April in some form.

NFL higher-ups are pushing for a postponement as pro day and lack of player interaction drastically impacts the evaluation progress. With the draft still taking place, the Atlantic Coast Conference continues to produce the best NFL prospects outside the SEC. These three players are currently the best the ACC has to offer.

LINEBACKER ISAIAH SIMMONS – CLEMSON

The hybrid linebacker was a finalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award. He was also voted first-team Associated Press All-American, first-team all-conference selection and ACC Defensive Player of the Year. Simmons is a skilled athlete who also played safety. His versatility allows him to play zone or man coverage. This allows his defensive coordinators a chance to disguise certain defensive schemes and blitz packages. He can also spy on the new-age style QBs and is great within containment. He finished the season with 102 tackles, 16 for loss, eight sacks, three interceptions, and nine pass breakups.

OFFENSIVE TACKLE MEKHI BECTON – LOUISVILLE

Becton was rated a four-star recruit exiting high school. His huge frame and nimble feet allowed him a chance to start ten games at right tackle for the Cardinals. Becton then started 12 games as a sophomore, ten at left tackle and two on the right side. He finally settled at left tackle his junior year. With the ability to play both tackle positions, he has more promise than any other tackle this year. Becton’s combination of movement and force should allow him to easily fit into all running schemes and pull for stretch blocks on sweep plays.

WIDE RECEIVER TEE HIGGINS – CLEMSON

Riggins may be the best wide receiver in the draft. He led the national runners-up in receiving yards as a junior with 59 catches, 1,167 yards and13 TDs. He earned first-team All-ACC honors. Higgins shares good company, finishing tied-for receiving touchdowns with 27 along with NFL stars DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins. He can high point His size at 6’4. His “above the rim” talent will allow him to be a huge red zone threat. The transition to NFL press corners will be an early challenge. His route running still needs to be polished but he’s a big play waiting to happen. Higgins scored a touchdown on 20 percent of his catches during his career.

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