In recent years the ACC has come under fire for their poor performance in the BCS bowls and their presumed lack of talent when compared to their conference neighbor (SEC). Not only does the ACC have some great teams and talent, but they have a number of players who could be big time performers in 2011 and make some waves in the eyes of scouts.
We’ll start this week in the Coastal Division, but be sure to check back later for the Atlantic! You can also check more ACC Draft Prospects at NEPD.
WR Danny Coale-Virginia Tech
6’0, 196 lbs.
2 Star WR-Rivals
One of the most dangerous and versatile players in this draft class, Coale is being overlooked due to his lack of size and bulk. However what people are missing is his ability to make people miss and his elite quickness. Coale has uncanny awareness for a WR, he does a great job of recognizing zone v. man coverage and excels at finding the soft spots.
This awareness also helps him to avoid big hits which in part allow him to stay healthy. This versatile weapon is sure to draw comparisons to Wes Welker, and Wayne Chrebet heading into next April.
OT Andrew Lanier-Virginia Tech
6’5, 282 lbs.
2 Star TE-Scout
We all know about All-American OT Blake DeChristopher who will start at RT for the Hokies, but almost nobody knows about Andrew Lanier. Lanier took over for Nick Beckum last season due to injury and impressed coach Beamer with his ability. A former TE, Lanier has the athleticism and length that many coaches find to be ideal for the LT position.
He is quick on his feet and looks natural when sliding his body. Where we would like to see him get better is by simple adding some bulk to his body. Right now he is not strong enough to handle most bull rushers and he needs to put on 20-25 pounds of muscle. Can he do it, and he can he hold off a now healthy Nick Becton?
WR Aldarius Johnson-Miami
6’3, 205 lbs.
4 Star WR-Rivals
When Johnson committed to Miami many people (ourselves included) though that ‘Tha U’ was finally back, however things have not quite worked out that way. Johnson who has great size and strength has struggled with consistency issues at Miami. He has seen himself fall on the depth chart and now as a Senior faces a make or break year.
He has solid hands but must show the ability to run crisper routes along with a renewed passion for trying to be the best. A WR who has the potential to be a #1 in the NFL, has thus far failed to tap into his ability.
RB Ryan Houston-UNC
6’2, 245 lbs.
4 star RB-Scout
Houston missed the first five games of last season due to the NCAA investigation into illegal benefits at UNC. Once he was again eligible former coach Butch Davis decided that it was best to redshirt Houston and preserve a full year of eligibility for him. Houston is a massive back to try and take down.
He runs with great power and impressive balance, rarely going down on the first contact and usually he has to be gang tackled to the ground. There are concerns about his ability to keep his weight under control and if he can ever be more than a short yardage back at that weight.
Roddy Jones-Georgia Tech
5’9, 202 lbs.
3 Star RB-Rivals
While Ryan Houston may be the most powerful senior back in the ACC, Roddy Jones may be the most athletic. The speedy RB has been able to flourish in Coach Paul Johnson’s system and is able to use his speed to the outside to make big plays happen, once Jones turns the corner its game over.
He is elusive in the open field with quick feet and loose hips. He’s likely never going to be a feature back in the NFL and he has struggled to stay healthy so his durability is a concern. With a number of small backs getting NFL opportunities, Jones is certain to get a long look this season.
OT Kyle Hill-Duke
6’6, 290 lbs.
3 Star OT-Scout
The veteran starter for the Blue Devils this season, Hill is going to be responsible for protecting Renfree’s blind side and keeping the junior upright. Hill is an excellent pass blocker who does a good job using his long arms to keep pass rushers away. He has ideal height for the position and does a decent job of bending at his knees and not his waist.
We’d like to see Hill get a little more aggressive when it comes to the running game. He needs to get after it a little more, and we think that if he can add some bulk to his frame he’ll be a much fiercer lineman.
DT Charlie Hatcher-Duke
6’3, 300 lbs.
3 Star DE-Rivals
Two Blue Devils…is it time for Duke to stop being a basketball only school? Well maybe not yet, but the tide is certainly turning under Coach Cutcliffe. Hatcher is a very good DT in the ACC who excels at getting penetration into the backfield. He has good size for the DT position and is likely a fit as a 4-3 DT.
Hatcher lacks the ideal athleticism for the position and is successful because of how hard he works and for having a motor that never stops revving. He’s a classic overachiever that isn’t going to pop out on paper, but makes things happen on tape.
Make sure you check back later this week for the ACC Atlantic Division, along with the Big 12!
Have you missed any of the Sleeping Seniors Series? Click Below!