ACC: Robert Quinn

North Carolina reaction roundup

March, 13, 2012
Lunch links will be here at their normally scheduled time, but I figured I'd compile reaction from Monday's biggest story in one spot here. To read all of our coverage of North Carolina's penalties, click here.
  • Ivan Maisel, "Davis started out doing just what North Carolina hired him to do. He recruited some of the top players in the nation. No school had more players selected in the NFL draft last April than the nine Tar Heels, including five in the first two rounds. But three of those five -- defensive end Robert Quinn, defensive tackle Marvin Austin, and wide receiver Greg Little -- were suspended in this investigation and never played a down in 2010. That team, a preseason top-20 pick, went 8-5, which matched the Tar Heels' victory total in the previous two seasons. Davis went 28-23 in his four seasons. North Carolina went on probation Monday."
  • Dennis Dodd, "This case breaks a streak of six in a row by schools that have played in BCS bowls. At least, Ohio State, Cincinnati, Boise State, LSU, Georgia Tech and West Virginia could argue it was 'worth' it. All six of those programs have been decided since July."
  • Andy Staples, "The North Carolina case actually provided more of a road map. Remember, for those who don't consider it an ethical decision -- this includes most of the people who can get rich off the deal -- the decision to break the NCAA's rules is a pure risk/reward calculation. The penalties handed down Monday proved once again that the reward is still far greater than the risk as long as coaches and athletic directors understand a few things from the outset. A program can spit all over the NCAA rule book in an effort to reach or remain at the highest echelon of college football, and as long as that program cooperates with the NCAA during the investigation of its alleged 'crimes,' the Committee on Infractions will respond with a suite of penalties that contain far more bark than bite."
  • Tom Sorensen, Charlotte Observer: "Most of the North Carolina graduates I know are ashamed of the program. They want to believe their school stands for something. They did believe that. They were wrong. The Tar Heels were Ohio State South, Miami North and Southern California East. Walk out of Kenan Stadium at the end of the Davis years – he was fired seven months ago – and you wanted to take a hot shower, but only after scraping the bottom of your shoes."
  • Luke DeCock, Raleigh News & Observer: "The decision to play in a meaningless bowl game under a lame-duck interim coach last year, instead of self-sanctioning in anticipation of an NCAA ban, will keep the Tar Heels out of a bowl this year, when all those extra practices might have meant something to [new coach Larry] Fedora. Not to mention the Tar Heels weren’t going to play in the ACC championship game last year, and now have no chance this year."
  • Caulton Tudor, Raleigh News & Observer: "But by waiting until after the Feb. 1 scholarship signing date to issue the bowl ruling, the NCAA’s bowl ban didn’t hurt Carolina’s recruiting this year. Had the ban been announced in January or earlier, it’s possible some of the signees might have gone elsewhere."

NFL draft rewind: ACC basics

May, 2, 2011
ACC Players Taken in the NFL Draft

1 12 Christian Ponder, Florida State, QB Vikings
1 14 Robert Quinn, North Carolina, DE Rams
1 22 Anthony Castonzo, Boston College, T Colts
2 33 Ras-I Dowling, Virginia, CB Patriots
2 38 Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech, RB Cardinals
2 40 Bruce Carter, North Carolina, LB Cowboys
2 41 Jarvis Jenkins, Clemson, DT Redskins
2 46 Orlando Franklin, Miami, OL Broncos
2 50 Marcus Gilchrist, Clemson, CB Chargers
2 51 Da’ Quan Bowers, Clemson, DE Buccaneers
2 52 Marvin Austin, North Carolina, DT Giants
2 55 Rodney Hudson, Florida State, C-G Chiefs
2 58 Torrey Smith, Maryland, WR Ravens
2 59 Greg Little, North Carolina, WR Browns
2 60 Brandon Harris, Miami, CB Texans
3 67 Nate Irving, NC State, LB Broncos
3 79 Leonard Hankerson, Miami, WR Redskins
3 81 DeMarcus Van Dyke, Miami, CB Raiders
3 86 Allen Bailey, Miami, DE Chiefs
4 100 Da’Norris Searcy, North Carolina, S Bills
4 109 Colin McCarthy, Miami, ILB Titans
4 122 Chris Hairston, Clemson, T Bills
4 127 Rashad Carmichael, Virginia Tech, CB Texans
4 130 Jamie Harper, Clemson, RB Titans
5 133 Johnny White, North Carolina, RB Bills
5 152 T.J. Yates, North Carolina, QB Texans
6 171 Quan Sturdivant, North Carolina, LB Cardinals
6 173 Byron Maxwell, Clemson, DB Seahawks
6 180 Tyrod Taylor, Virginia Tech, QB Ravens
6 181 Richard Gordon, Miami, TE Raiders
6 192 Matt Bosher, Miami, P-PK Falcons
7 218 Ryan Taylor, North Carolina, TE Cowboys
7 221 Da’Rel Scott, Maryland, RB Giants
7 224 Markus White, Florida State, DE Redskins
7 225 Anthony Allen, Georgia Tech, RB Ravens

ACC Selections by Rounds

First 3
Second 12
Third 4
Fourth 5
Fifth 2
Sixth 5
Seventh 4

ACC Selections by Teams

North Carolina 9
Miami 8
Clemson 6
Florida State 3
Virginia Tech 3
Maryland 2
Boston College 1
Georgia Tech 1
NC State 1
Virginia 1

ACC's lunchtime links

April, 29, 2011
Never woulda guessed it ...

Ponder ACC's highest draft pick in '11

April, 29, 2011
It what might have been the biggest surprise of the entire first round of Thursday night's NFL draft, former Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder was the first player drafted from the ACC when he was chosen 12th by the Minnesota Vikings.

Ponder, whose durability has been a question but his talent hasn't, was picked ahead of former ACC defensive ends Da'Quan Bowers and Robert Quinn, and Boston College offensive lineman Anthony Castonzo -- all of whom were projected by many to be the ACC's top draft picks this year. Instead, the ACC's string of five straight seasons with a top-10 pick was broken, and a quarterback who wasn't even a second-team all-conference selection was the first of three ACC players chosen in the first round.

That's not a knock on Ponder -- when healthy, he is undoubtedly one of the best quarterbacks in the ACC, if not the best. He was my 2009 first-team all-conference quarterback. It's puzzling why Bowers' previous injury is more of a concern. In spite of it, he was still one of the best players in the country last year. Ponder would have been had he stayed healthy.

Ponder became the highest quarterback in FSU history taken in the NFL draft as well as the first FSU player taken in the first 12 picks since linebacker Ernie Sims in 2006 by the Detroit Lions. Ponder also became the highest offensive Florida State player drafted since offensive lineman Alex Barron in 2005. Before Ponder, Gary Huff was the highest drafted FSU quarterback as the 33rd overall pick in the second round of the 1973 draft.

Mel Kiper's take on this surprise pick:
First of all, this is no shot at Ponder, who some personnel folks believe might be the most ready-to-play quarterback in this draft. But the Vikings looked like a team that panicked with this pick, given the context. They had no shot to trade down? Andy Dalton is still available going into the second day, and in taking Ponder, you also passed on Fairley and Quinn, a couple of guys who can help this team. Again, it's not called "Pick your favorite player." It's a draft. Order and the value of each pick are components that factor in. Should note: This doesn't mean the Vikings are done looking for solutions at quarterback. They could target one in a trade or via free agency.

Much of the pre-draft attention went to Bowers and Quinn. Bowers, whose previous knee injury has obviously scared away some teams, is still available.

Quinn was selected with the No. 14 overall pick by the St. Louis Rams. Quinn becomes Carolina's 19th overall first-round selection and the highest pick since defensive tackle Ryan Sims (No. 6) in 2002. He became the first UNC defensive end taken in the first round since Julius Peppers was chosen No. 2 by the Carolina Panthers in 2002.

Castonzo was the No. 22 pick, taken by the Colts.

Round 2 could be a big day for the ACC. Along with Bowers, former players in the latest mock draft include:

ACC's lunchtime links

April, 28, 2011
Let the draft dreams begin ...

Mel Kiper's final mock draft

April, 28, 2011
Despite the NFL's labor issues, the draft will go on, and Mel Kiper took his final shot at predicting how it might unfold. If he's right -- and former UNC defensive end Robert Quinn is chosen as the No. 10 pick overall or higher -- the ACC will continue its claim of being the only conference in the country to have a top-10 pick in each of the past six years.

The only other projected first-round picks from the ACC are former Boston College offensive lineman Anthony Castonzo, who is No. 19 on Kiper's list, and former Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers, who has dropped to No. 24 because of the questions surrounding his previous knee injury. Bowers is No. 6 on Kiper's final Big Board -- one spot ahead of Quinn.

ACC's lunchtime links

April, 27, 2011
Draft, draft or draft? ...

2 former ACC players to attend NFL draft festivities

April, 26, 2011
U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson has ordered an end to the NFL lockout.

The NFL announced on Monday that a record 25 players will attend the first round of the NFL draft festivities on Thursday night at Radio Music City Hall in New York City. Two of those players -- former BC linebacker Mark Herzlich and former Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams -- will represent the ACC.

Here's the entire list:

Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara
UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers
Iowa defensive end Adrian Clayborn
Kentucky receiver Randall Cobb
Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus
Auburn DT Nick Fairley
Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert
Georgia receiver A.J. Green
Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich
Alabama running back Mark Ingram
California defensive end Cameron Jordan
Alabama WR Julio Jones
Purdue DE Ryan Kerrigan
Illinois DT Corey Liuget
Texas A&M LB Von Miller
UCLA safety Rahim Moore
Auburn QB Cam Newton
LSU CB Patrick Peterson
Florida offensive lineman Mike Pouncey
Missouri DE Aldon Smith
USC offensive tackle Tyron Smith
Baylor DT Phil Taylor
Baylor guard Danny Watkins
Wisconsin DE J.J. Watt
Virginia Tech RB Ryan Williams

The ACC has better representation in Todd McShay's latest mock draft:

No. 11 Robert Quinn, North Carolina
No. 17 Anthony Castonzo, Boston College
No. 20 Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson
No. 31 Brandon Harris, Miami

ACC moves in latest Big Board

March, 3, 2011
Former Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers is no longer No. 2.

Bowers dropped to No. 3 in Mel Kiper's latest Big Board behind LSU's Patrick Peterson and Auburn's Nick Fairley, respectively. Kiper writes that Bowers is still the draft's most gifted pass-rusher, but he didn't work out at the NFL combine. Injury concerns are still minor, but the other two players have been impressive enough in recent workouts to jump ahead of him.

UNC defensive end Robert Quinn dropped from No. 5 to No. 7. BC offensive lineman Anthony Castonzo held steady at No. 23.

ACC's lunchtime links

February, 28, 2011
Some good reads today ...

NFL combine notes

February, 28, 2011
Today is going to be a fun day for former Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich, who is ready to show NFL scouts that the cancer is behind him, and a pro career in front of him.

Former FSU quarterback Christian Ponder decided to throw at the combine, and it's a good thing he did -- he wowed 'em.

Several former ACC players were among the top-five performers at their respective positions in drills this past weekend at the NFL combine, including former UNC receiver Greg Little, who was the top receiver in the bench press (27). Former Miami offensive lineman Orlando Franklin was No. 5 in top 10-yard splits (1.72) and was timed at 5.20 (official) in the 40. ESPN's Scouts Inc. said Franklin was "clearly playing out of position at left tackle" at Miami:
At 6-5 and 316 pounds, he showed just average quickness during drills but did display good short-area lateral agility. He also looked balanced throughout and did a nice job staying low out of his stance during pulling drills. Franklin was clearly playing out of position at left tackle during the college season, but he has the strength and short-area capabilities to be a reliable starter on the inside at the next level.

Former UNC tight end Zack Pianalto finished third in the 3-cone drills (6.85), and former Virginia Tech running back Darren Evans was No.5 in the bench press (26). Former Maryland running back Da'Rel Scott ran the fastest 40 time of any of the running backs.

A few more notes:
  • Virginia Tech's Tyrod Taylor was the shortest quarterback at the combine (6-0 3/4), and Florida State's Christian Ponder was tied for third at 6-foot-2. Former Maryland quarterback Josh Portis, who transferred to California (Pa.), was the lightest quarterback at 211 pounds. Georgia Tech running back Anthony Allen was the second-tallest at his position (6-0 3/4).
  • Former Clemson offensive lineman Chris Hairston was tied for second with the most bench press reps by an offensive lineman (33).
  • ESPN's John Clayton wasn't impressed with the running backs' speed in this class, including Ryan Williams, who was clocked at 4.55 and 4.59 (unofficial) in the 40-yard dash.
  • While his former teammates had good days, UNC defensive end Robert Quinn "did not quite live up to expectations from a body-type standpoint," according to ESPN's Scouts Inc. His lower body was described as "a bit lean and knock-kneed." Ouch.
  • Boston College OT Anthony Castonzo had an "adequate 10-yard split (1.79 unofficial) while showing good flexibility and quick feet with his lateral slides."

NFL combine notes

February, 24, 2011
A few ACC-related notes for you on the NFL combine from ESPN reports:
  • Former Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers will only participate in the bench press, and FSU quarterback Christian Ponder is expected to forgo running and throwing, according to ESPN's Todd McShay.
  • McShay writes that Bowers will be under the "medical microscope" at the combine, and will undergo one of the three most scrutinized medical exams: "Bowers missed two games in 2009 due to an MCL/PCL strain, and after recent surgery to repair a torn meniscus he will participate only in the bench-press test at the combine. Other players are dealing with more significant injuries, but Bowers is atop my most recent mock draft and the stakes are high for him. After two knee injuries in two years, teams want to know if there is a degenerative problem or if the injuries are minor, unrelated occurrences."
  • The medical histories of Virginia's Ras-I Dowling and Ryan Williams will also be considered.
  • Former UNC defensive end Robert Quinn is considered an "X factor," and with a good combine could wind up in Denver.
  • Quinn, along with Marvin Austin, Greg Little and DeAndre McDaniel will be on the interview hot seat at the combine.
  • Quinn is one of several players Mel Kiper says has the most to gain from the combine. Torrey Smith is also on the list, and Greg Little cracked the "make the leap" category.
  • McShay names former Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor, former Miami cornerback Brandon Harris and former Maryland receiver Torrey Smith as players to watch.
  • The ACC has had the fastest players at the combine in each of the past two years -- Jacoby Ford in 2009, and Darrius Heyward-Bey in 2008. Can it do it again? McShay says Torrey Smith and Rashad Carmichael are among the top five with the best chance to be the top burner.

Todd McShay: Da'Quan Bowers No. 1

February, 10, 2011
Former Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers is No. 1 in Todd McShay's most recent first-round NFL mock draft.

McShay predicts that Bowers, who won the Bronko Nagurski Award as the nation's top defensive player, will be chosen No. 1 overall in this year's draft by the Carolina Panthers now that Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is no longer an option. Bowers is one of three former ACC players featured in McShay's mock draft, along with North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn and Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo.

McShay predicts Quinn to be taken at No. 12 by the Minnesota Vikings, and for Castonzo to be chosen at No. 22 by the Colts.

Former Terp Torrey Smith on this week's Big Board

February, 9, 2011
The ACC has strong representation on Mel Kiper's latest Big Board, and former Maryland receiver Torrey Smith is the league's newest addition. Smith is the fourthplayer from the ACC on the list:

No. 2 Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson
No. 7 Robert Quinn, North Carolina
No. 22 Anthony Castonzo, Boston College
No. 24 Torrey Smith, Maryland

It's good to see Smith getting some national attention. He had an outstanding record-setting career at Maryland that was overshadowed by the program's struggles. He was Danny O'Brien's favorite target last year and the offense will miss his big-play capabilities and consistency. This past Friday, Smith participated in the 2011 All-Star Football Challenge, which showcased 12 college football standouts competing in various skills. Smith placed second in the State Farm Wide Receiver Hands competition.

ACC and the NFL combine

February, 4, 2011
The official list for the NFL combine has been released. A total of 48 players from the ACC have been invited to audition for the NFL from February 23 – March 1. When categorized by school, it's somewhat of a reality check to see how many of the best players in the conference are moving on, and which programs will take the biggest hit. It's impossible not to wonder how good North Carolina could have been had all of the following players remained eligible. The Tar Heels will send the most players to the combine with 11.

Here are the players who will represent the ACC:

  • Anthony Castonzo
  • Rich Lapham
  • Mark Herzlich
  • Da'Quan Bowers
  • Marcus Gilchrist
  • Chris Hairston
  • Jamie Harper
  • Jarvis Jenkins
  • Byron Maxwell
  • DeAndre McDaniel
  • Danny Aiken
  • Ras-I Dowling