The ACC Has Produced Some of the NFL's Best Players

Manny GeraldoCorrespondent ISeptember 17, 2009

HOUSTON - DECEMBER 01:  Defensive tackle Mario Williams #90 of the Houston Texans reacts after making a quarterback sack against David Garrard #9 of the Jacksonville Jaguars at Reliant Stadium on December 1, 2008 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Yo Im gettin ready to put yall up on somethin man - Black Rob "Whoa"

Growing up in the beautiful state of Maryland, I am a life long fan/supporter/lover of ACC sports. It's in my blood, literally.

My mother's a UMD grad and has a Terrapin tattoo across her lower back. Okay, that's not true. I tend to embellish sometimes. Sorry mom, I love you.

I often find myself having to defend my partisanship (just like Joe Wilson) of ACC football, which leaves me with more jeers than cheers (just like Kanye West) from unruly fans of the ever-so-popular SEC and BIG 12.

And since I currently reside in Los Angeles, I'm doused with the obligatory PAC-10 balderdash by USC fans. My response is simply a courteous smile (just like Tom Cruise). No need to waste precious fantasy football time with fallacious arguments. 

While the  Big 12 and SEC conferences might be awash with parity and BCS denizens, the real studs of college football reside in the ACC.

The best players in the NFL are former ACC stars.

I've compiled a starting line up of former ACC players currently playing in the NFL. Since Miami and VA Tech did not join the ACC until 2004 and Boston College until 2005, players on teams prior to said seasons were not included. 

As always, I am a sucker for a good argument. My father's a lawyer. I've been punished ad infinitum for an actus reus. If you're unfamiliar with Latin, trust me, it's not good.

So please, fans of other football conferences, feel free to argue, curse, admonish or challenge me on this. I'd love to see starting lineups from other conferences stack up against the ACC. 

The letter P next to player's name denotes a trip to the PRO BOWL.



QB: Philip Rivers (Chargers), NC State P

RB: Thomas Jones (Jets), UVA P

RB: Willie Parker (Steelers), UNC P

WR: Anquan Boldin (Cardinals), Florida St. P

WR: Calvin Johnson (Lions), Georgia Tech

OL: Walter Jones (Seahawks), Florida St. P

OL:  Jason Brown (Rams), UNC *plays G and C

OL: Jeff Saturday (Colts), UNC P

OL: Brad Butler (Bills), UVA

OL: Eric Winston (Texans), Miami

TE: Heath Miller (Steelers), UVA / Vernon Davis (49ers), Maryland



DE: Julius Peppers (Panthers), UNC P

DT: Kris Jenkins (Jets), Maryland P

DT: Darnell Dockett (Cardinals), Florida State P

DE: Mario Williams (Texans), NC State P

LB: James Farrior (Steelers), UVA P

LB: Shawne Merriman (Chargers), Maryland P

LB: Jon Beason (Panthers), Miami P

CB: Rhonde Barber (Bucs), UVA P

CB: Antonio Cromartie (Chargers), Florida St P

S:  Adrian Wilson (Cardinals), NC State P

S: Chris Hope (Titans), Florida St P/ Brian Dawkins (Broncos), Clemson P


ACC football is like, whoa.