Leading up to this month’s NFL Draft, we’ll be taking a look at each ACC‘s school’s prospects and where they’re slated to be chosen. While 43 ACC players were invited to the NFL Draft Combine, those not in attendance also have ample opportunity to hear their name called between April 26 and 28.
Wake Forest benefits from having a young team to build off of from 2011, however, that doesn’t mean they still won’t lose some key pieces. On both sides of the ball, the Deacons’ most productive player departs, something not to be taken lightly. While the projected draft positions for these players may very wildly, don’t mistake their value — both to their former team, nor the future NFL squad they’ll call home.
Chris Givens, WR, Junior
There was some initial confusion as to why Givens, only a junior, declared early for the draft. However, it appears he’s cleared all of that up in the lead-up to the big day(s). Clocking in at 4.41 in his 40-yard dash, showing off some impressive leaping ability and even some surprising upper-body strength for his 5’11″, sub 200-pound frame, he’s vaulted himself into the first two rounds. In that regard, it’s debatable whether another year of college ball would’ve really helped him any more. After catching over 80 passes for nine scores and over 1300 yards, his stats at that level have likely peaked, though his route-running and football IQ may still have some developing to do. Beyond his size though, the big concern will be his big-play ability. His longest scoring play in college was just 22 yards — low for the speed he’s displayed in workouts. While that type of ability may work in the slot, the potential for that type of play needs to be there at the NFL level. Still, he’s a second-round pick that can jump in and immediately be productive. Continue reading