The ACC is loaded with talent again in 2022.

Last season, the ACC produced future first-round picks like NC State’s Ikem Ekwonu, Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett and Florida State’s Jermaine Johnson II.

That appears to be the case again this season, as the ACC has several top prospects at key positions.

Here’s a breakdown of the ACC’s top 25 NFL Draft prospects entering the 2022 college season:

25. Tyrique Stevenson, CB, Miami

Stevenson is a former Georgia cornerback who found success with the Canes last season. He proved himself to be an excellent playmaker in 2022, recording 2.5 tackles for loss, 1 interception and 5 pass deflections. 

24. Habukkuk Baldanado, DE, Pittsburgh

Baldanado was simply massive last season — literally and figuratively — for Pittsburgh’s pass rush. He’s 6-foot-5, 260 pounds and extremely quick. His 9 sacks led Pitt in 2021. 

23. Tony Grimes, CB, North Carolina

Grimes is a very intriguing cornerback prospect. He had 9 pass deflections a year ago and should be the leader of UNC’s secondary this season. Grimes should be an All-ACC candidate in 2022 if he takes another step forward. 

22. Will Mallory, TE, Miami

Mallory has frequently been one of the ACC’s best tight ends in recent years, but his numbers haven’t always shown it due to lack of volume. He’s never had more than 30 catches in a season, but that could change in 2022. Unless a wide receiver emerges, Mallory has a good chance of being Tyler Van Dyke’s No. 1 target in the passing game this season. At 6-foot-5, he has good size for the position — something that will matter a lot on draft day. 

21. Payton Wilson, LB, NC State

Wilson missed almost all of the 2021 season due to injury, but prior to that he was one of the most consistent defenders in the ACC. He’s feeling good going into this season as he hopes to lead NC State to an ACC title. If he does, look out. 

20. Akeem Dent, DB, Florida State

Dent was one of Florida State’s major revelations defensively as the Seminoles started to play better in the second half of 2021. Now entrenched as a starting safety alongside Jammie Robinson, Dent has a chance to build a very impressive NFL Draft résumé this season. 

19. Tyler Davis, DT, Clemson

Davis stormed onto the scene with 10.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks as a freshman in 2019. He’s been quieter since, and has missed time in each of the last two seasons due to injuries. He was still named first-team All-ACC last year and is impactful in the middle of Clemson’s defense. 

18. Calijah Kancey, DT, Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh’s defense got overshadowed by its high-powered offense last season, but its pass rush was a big reason why the Panthers ultimately won the ACC. Pittsburgh led the conference in sacks in 2021 and Kancey was a big reason why. He had 7 of them, plus 13 tackles for loss in the middle of Pitt’s defensive line. He’s a disruptive force in the trenches. 

17. Robert Scott Jr., OL, Florida State

Scott has an enormous frame at 6-foot-5, 334 pounds and now he’s starting to gain the experience that will be attractive to NFL teams. He made 11 starts in 2021 and is penciled in as Florida State’s starting left tackle this season. 

16. Xavier Thomas, DL, Clemson

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney didn’t expect Xavier Thomas to return for 2022, but here he is. Thomas will be a key part of Clemson’s vaunted front 7 this season. He has 27 tackles for loss and 13 sacks in his career. 

15. Christian Mahogany, OL, Boston College

Mahogany is slated to miss the 2022 season due to a torn ACL. He could choose to return to Boston College, but he’s likely to be picked in the first 3 rounds of the draft despite the injury. Mahogany is so highly-regarded that he was still voted to the ACC’s preseason all-conference team despite his injury status. 

14. Matthew Bergeron, OL, Syracuse

Bergeron is entering his 4th season as a starter at tackle for the Orange. He began his career on the right side, but moved to left tackle for 2021 and started all 12 games at left tackle. He’s one of the more underrated players in the ACC, but he’s a tremendous NFL prospect. He’s listed at 6-foot-5, 322 pounds. Syracuse’s potential move to a more balanced offense in 2022 should help Bergeron prove his pass-blocking chops, too. 

13. Storm Duck, CB, North Carolina

One of the best defensive backs in the ACC, Duck is a candidate to go in the first 2 days of the 2023 NFL Draft. However, he needs to stay healthy in 2022. Duck had a tremendous freshman campaign in 2019 where he compiled 2 interceptions and 5 pass deflections. But since then, Duck has only started 6 games due to injuries. 

12. AT Perry, WR, Wake Forest

Perry was perhaps Wake Forest’s secret weapon last season and was a big reason why the Demon Deacons managed to get to 11 wins. But defensive coordinators sure know about him now. He had 1,293 yards and 15 touchdowns last season while averaging north of 18 yards per catch. Perry is also listed at 6-foot-5, which should be a huge plus for him during the pre-draft process. 

11. Caleb Chandler, OL, Louisville

Chandler is an elite offensive lineman. He earned All-American consideration after his 2021 campaign and that should be the case again this season. Interior offensive lineman sometimes have to wait awhile to hear their names called on draft day, but Chandler is one of the better guards in the country. 

10. Sean Tucker, RB, Syracuse

Tucker was one of the best surprises in the country last season. He easily led the ACC in rushing yardage with 1,496 yards. The most impressive part? Defenses knew Syracuse was going to run the ball on almost every play, and Tucker still averaged 6 yards per attempt. He even managed to catch 20 passes on Syracuse’s ground-bound offense. The Orange now have former Virginia offensive coordinator Rober Anae calling plays, so it will be interesting to see how Tucker’s usage is handled. 

9. Devin Leary, QB, NC State

Leary proved to be one of the most efficient passers in the country last season as he produced a 35-to-5 TD-to-INT ratio. If he can improve his mark of 8 yards per attempt while maintaining that TD-to-INT ratio, Leary should start rising up draft boards. 

8. Trenton Simpson, LB, Clemson

Simpson is a good candidate to be ACC Defensive Player of the Year for 2022. He’s Clemson’s top returning tackler on a defense that’s expected to be the nation’s best this season. He also has a knack for creating havoc — he had 12.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks last season. 

7. Jermayne Lole, DL, Louisville

Lole arrived at Louisville this offseason after tormenting Pac-12 defenses at Arizona State in previous years. He didn’t play in 2021, but he’s an experienced pass rusher who has 20 tackles for loss and 11 sacks in his career. A big year at Louisville should push him higher up draft boards. 

6. Garrett Williams, CB, Syracuse

Williams is perhaps the best cover corner in the ACC — at least he’s the most proven. He only has 2 career interceptions to his name, but he has 9 pass deflections in each of his first 2 seasons at Syracuse. He’s an excellent cornerback prospect.  

5. Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina

Downs was overshadowed by Jordan Addison at Pittsburgh last season, but he has developed into one of the top receivers in the entire country. Even as UNC’s offense faltered in 2021, he still caught 101 passes for 1,335 yards and 8 touchdowns. If he maintains that production in 2022, look out. 

4. Zion Nelson, OL, Miami

Nelson is a 3-year starter at tackle for the Hurricanes who will now get to play for Mario Cristobal and Alex Mirabal in Coral Gables. He’s potentially going to be the top offensive tackle off the board next spring. One thing to note: Nelson is expected to miss most of fall camp after undergoing minor offseason knee surgery. 

3. Tyler Van Dyke, QB, Miami

Van Dyke has been a fast-riser in this process. He didn’t begin last season as Miami’s starting quarterback, but his success in 2021 has experts questioning if Miami could make a Michigan-esque jump in 2022. He led Miami to wins in 5 of its final 6 games last season, including a pair of ranked victories over NC State and Pittsburgh. 

2. Myles Murphy, EDGE, Clemson

Murphy has been incredibly impressive through 2 years on campus. He’s produced double-digit tackles for loss in each of his first 2 seasons. Listed at 6-foot-5, 275 pounds, he’s a physical monster who is sure to impress NFL scouts during the pre-draft process

1. Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson

Bresee is a former No. 1 overall recruit who has flashed serious potential in his short time with the Tigers. He missed most of the 2021 season due to a torn ACL, but still has managed to rack up 9.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks in his career. If he stays healthy, he should be well on his way to a double-digit sack season and a potential top-10 pick in the NFL Draft.

Team breakdown

  • Clemson: 5
  • Miami: 4
  • North Carolina: 3
  • Syracuse: 3
  • Florida State: 2
  • Louisville: 2
  • NC State: 2
  • Pitt: 2
  • Wake Forest: 1
  • Boston College: 1