NFL Draft 2012: Dwight Jones, Chase Minnifield and Other ACC Players Go Undrafted

North Carolina’s Dwight Jones Will Now Be Playing for the Texans, With a Chip On His Shoulder

While 31 (33) of their ACC cohorts were selected during this weekend’s NFL Draft, the festivities still left plenty of ACC players without an NFL team to call home yet. Of course, many have since signed as free agents with squads, however, it still doesn’t eliminate the questions about why they weren’t considered among the top 253 players available.

We’ve listed out our top 10 most puzzling undrafted ACC players for 2012 below. Also included are notes on their skill set, and if they’ve landed on an NFL team since.

Most Confusing Undrafted ACC Players for 2012

1. Dwight Jones, WR/North Carolina (signed as free agent with Houston Texans): Considered a top wideout prospect by most, it’s honestly baffling how Jones’s name failed to be called by Friday — nevermind the entire draft. Quick and physical, he’s a big-play guy who should make for the perfect pairing opposite Texans’ star Andre Johnson.

2. Chase Minnifield, CB/Virginia (signed as free agent with Washington Redskins): Some injury concerns scared off teams from drafting Minnifield this weekend — a shame, considering he was projected to be a fourth- or fifth-round pick. Given the pass-happy competition the ‘Skins face in the NFC East, the cornerback’s ballhawking skills will surely come in handy. Continue reading

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ACC 2012 Spring Practice Expectations: Virginia Tech Hokies

Virginia Tech's Logan Thomas Will Be Called Upon to Carry An Experienced Offense in 2012

As spring practices get under way, we’ll be previewing what needs to happen for the teams and players of the ACC, culminating with notes on all 14 spring games.

Today’s featured team: Virginia Tech Hokies

The Hokies enter their 2012 spring practice session on a two-game losing streak and a frightening reality without their star running back. David Wilson was as important as any ACC player was to his offense, tallying over 1,700 rushing yards for a unit that would finish 28th nationally in yards on the ground. His running prowess, coupled with quarterback Logan Thomas‘s own mobility, allowed the young quarterback time to throw and the piece of mind that he wouldn’t have to shoulder the entire team’s fortunes. It worked to near-perfection, but now Thomas must figure out how to lead this group on his own. Exacerbating matters are the amount of starters returning for an offense that left much to be desired in 2011. Just three starters (including Thomas) are back, leaving holes across the line — especially the most gaping one, where OT Blake DeChristopher used to be. Will junior center Andrew Miller be capable of anchoring such an inexperienced unit? They’ve already got not depth along the line, plus there’s little help coming in the class of 2012. For as strong as the Hokies have been for the past decade-plus now, the amount of replacement they’ll need to do on the fly this season could be enough to derail them. Continue reading

ACC’s Top 25 Players of 2011: No. 10, Blake DeChristopher

Virginia Tech's Blake DeChristopher is Number 10 On Our Countdown of the ACC's Top 25 Players

To recap the 2011 season of ACC football, we’ll be ranking the top 25 players in the conference this year, starting at 25, and heading all the way to the number-one slot. While these rankings can surely be debated, it’s still entertaining to assemble them. And on we go…

No. 10: Blake DeChristopher, OT/Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech’s offensive line allowed just 17 sacks in 2011, tied for third in the conference. Even more impressive, though, is the fact that the Hokies played in more games (14) than all the other teams at the top of that list. Most of all, this was guided by standout senior tackle Blake DeChristopher. Winner of the Jacobs Blocking Trophy — which goes to the conference’s best offensive lineman — and the ACC’s most epic beard, the four-year starter will be a sorely missed stalwart for Virginia Tech next year. After a standout senior season, he is on the rise in a draft chock-full of quality tackles. Given his size (320 lbs.) and impressive resume protecting the quarterback, it’s tough to imagine his name going uncalled in April. Continue reading

Atlantic Coast Convos All-ACC Team (Offfense)

Tajh Boyd is All-ACC First-Team, Despite Recent Struggles

The Atlantic Coast Convos All-ACC Team honors the best players at each offensive position. We’ve provided a list of both first- and second-team selections based on what we’ve observed throughout the season. Feel free to disagree, however, since we did on several of the official ACSMA list.

First Team

Quarterback: Tajh Boyd, Clemson

Running Back: David Wilson, Virginia Tech

Running Back: Giovani Bernard, North Carolina

Wide Receiver: Sammy Watkins, Clemson

Wide Receiver: Dwight Jones, North Carolina

Tight End: Dwayne Allen, Clemson

Offensive Tackle: Blake DeChristopher, Virginia Tech

Offensive Tackle: Oday Aboushi, Virginia

Offensive Guard: Omoreggi Uzzi, Georgia Tech

Offensive Guard: Austin Pasztor, Virginia

Center: Dalton Freeman, Clemson

Kicker: Dustin Hopkins, Florida State

Special Teamer: T.J. Graham, NC State

Second Team

Quarterback: Mike Glennon, NC State

Running Back: Lamar Miller, Miami (FL)

Running Back: Andre Ellington, Clemson

Wide Receiver: Chris Givens, Wake Forest

Wide Receiver: Conner Vernon, Duke

Tight End: George Bryan, NC State

Offensive Tackle: Zebrie Sanders, Florida State

Offensive Tackle: James Hurst, North Carolina

Offensive Guard: Jaymes Brooks, Virginia Tech

Offensive Guard: Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina

Center:Tyler Horn, Miami (FL)

Kicker: Chandler Catanzaro, Clemson

Special Teamer: Sammy Watkins, Clemson

Breakdown by Team: Clemson (7), UNC (4), Virginia Tech (3), NC State (3), Florida State (2), Miami (2), Virginia (2), Duke (1), Georgia Tech (1), Wake Forest (1)

Check out the All-ACC Defensive Team, too.