Miami football part of ACC 2022 NFL Draft downtrend

Oct 30, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 30, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami football program was part of a downtrend in the 2022 NFL Draft from ACC programs. Defensive tackle Jon Ford was the only player from Miami and one of 21 from ACC programs who were selected in the 2022 NFL Draft. The 2022 NFL was the first time Miami had as few as one player drafted since 1980.

The ACC had four players selected in the first round and one selected in each round in 2022. Fourteen of the 21 ACC Players were selected from the fourth through seventh rounds. North Carolina State offensive tackle Ikem Ekwonu was the first ACC player off the board at sixth overall by his hometown Carolina Panthers.

Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett, the 2021 ACC Player of the Year, was selected 20th overall by the Steelers. Pickett was part of a frequent theme of the 2022 NFL Draft with teams selecting players from their hometowns or in or near where they went to college. North Carolina led the ACC with four draftees.

The first Tar Heel selected was offensive lineman Joshua Ezeudu who was the 67th selection overall by the New York Giants in the third round. North Carolina QB Sam Howell was the 144th pick overall, in the fifth round by the Washington Commanders. The 2022 NFL Draft was an extremely down year for the ACC.

The ACC finished fifth among conferences with the other Power Five leagues ranking ahead of them. The SEC tied its record set in 2021 with 65 draftees. Georgia set a record with 15 players drafted. Alabama tied the record set by the Miami football program set from 1995 to 2008 with consecutive years with first-round picks.

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The Miami football program is one of four in the ACC Coastal with new head coaches entering the 2022 season. Miami had four players drafted in 2021. Even Clemson only had two players selected in 2021. The ACC had 42 players drafted in 2021. Mario Cristobal should help the ACC shift the balance of power back.