Preseason All ACC: PFF’s Breakdown

Preseason All-ACC
Jim Quist @ACCTheQ –

Pro Football Focus, better known simply as, PFF spends a great deal of time collecting, analyzing and connecting football stats. With the aid of those statistics PFF delivers the Preseason All ACC Team. It’s an interesting breakdown of the offense, defense and special teams segments of conference football. We’ll also provide links to their look at the highest graded ACC players and you can find out which ACC players made their All American team.

PFF breaks it down into first and second teams plus honorable mention (see link below). We’ll start with a look at the offensive weapons that coaches will bring to the field this season, then defense and wrap up with special teams.

Preseason All ACC

  • First-Team Offense
  • QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson
  • RB Travis Etienne, Clemson
  • RB A J Dillon, Boston College
  • WR1 Justyn Ross, Clemson
  • WR2 Tee Higgins, Clemson
  • WR3 Damon Hazelton, Virginia Tech
  • TE Brevin Jordan, Miami
  • OT Charlie Heck, North Carolina
  • G Joe Sculthorpe, NC State
  • C Sean Pollard, Clemson
  • G Gage Cervenka, Clemson
  • OT Tremayne Anchrum, Clemson

  • Second-Team Offense
  • QB Bryce Perkins, Virginia
  • RB Cade Carney, Wake Forest
  • RB Deejay Dallas, Miami
  • WR1 Jeff Thomas, Miami
  • WR2 Thayer Thomas, NC State
  • WR3 Maurice Ffrench, Pitt
  • TE Dalton Keene, Virginia Tech
  • OT Mekhi Becton, Louisville
  • G John Phillips, Boston College
  • C Jimmy Morrissey, Pitt
  • G Navaughn Donaldson, Miami
  • OT Christian Darrisaw, Virginia Tech

Have You Listened To The ‘Voices Of’ Football Previews?


The amount of depth available on ACC teams this season is further illustrated in PFF’s Honorable Mention list. Read the entire Preseason 2019 All-ACC Team article here.


Noteworthy – Offense

  • Lawrence – “He’s the highest-graded true freshman quarterback we’ve ever seen at PFF.”
  • Etienne – “…averages over 8.0 yards per carry.”
  • Dillon – “he’s now forced 117 missed tackles over the pat two seasons.”
  • Ross – “Ross is arguably the best receiver in football…”
  • Higgins – “…has averaged the nation’s second-highest yards per route run since 2017.”
  • Hazelton – “…36 of his 51 receptions moved the chains or scored a touchdown in the Tech offense.”
  • Jordan – “Jordan forced seven missed tackles after the catch, third-most among active tight ends in the Power-5…”
  • Sculthorpe – “The fifth highest-graded guard in the Power-5, Sculthorpe also holds the third-highest run-blocking grade…”
  • Cervenka – “…he owns the Power-5’s second-highest run-blocking grade at the position.”

Your Friends Are Waiting For You At ACC Nation Radio


  • First-Team Defense
  • Edge Xavier Thomas, Clemson
  • Edge Alton Robinson, Syracuse
  • DI Marvin Wilson, Florida State
  • DI Larrell Murchison, Syracuse
  • LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
  • LB Michael Pinckney, Miami
  • CB Bryce Hall, Virginia
  • CB Trajan Bandy, Miami
  • S Joey Blount, Virginia
  • S Andre Cisco, Syracuse
  • Flex Essang Bassey, Wake Forest

  • Second-Team Defense
  • Edge Charles Snowden, Virginia
  • Edge Carlos Basham, Wake Forest
  • DI Nyles Pinckney, Clemson
  • DI Trevon McSwain, Duke
  • LB Shaq Quarterman, Miami
  • CB Michael Carter, Duke
  • CB Dane Jackson, Pitt
  • S Denzel Johnson, Clemson
  • S Romeo Finley, Miami
  • Flex Brandon Sebastian, Boston College

Who Made The PFF 2019 Preseason All-American Team?


Noteworthy – Defense

  • Thomas – “…his 17.3% pressure rate is the third-highest among returning Power-5 edge defenders.”
  • Robinson – “…ranks third among Power-5 edge defenders with 56 total pressures last year.”
  • Murchison – “…holds a top-15 pass-rush grade among active Power-5 interior linemen…”
  • Pinckney – “…strong suit is in coverage where he earned the highest coverage grade among Power-5 linebackers.
  • Hall – “The top defensive player returning to college football.”
  • Blount – “The Power-5’s fifth highest-graded safety, Blount does it all. He has plus grades in run defense, pass-rush and in coverage…”
  • Cisco – “…led active safeties with seven interceptions last year. His 88.8 coverage grad is the seventh highest among that same group.”
  • Bassey – “…coverage grade of 84.9 is the seventh-highest among all Power-5 cornerbacks…”

Read the entire Preseason 2019 All-ACC Team article here. Who are the highest graded players in the ACC? Find out here.


  • First-Team Specialists
  • K Andre Szmyt, Syracuse
  • P Sterling Hofrichter, Syracuse

Preseason All ACC

Noteworthy – Specialists

  • Szmyt – “…a perfect 61-for-61 on extra points a year ago and went 3-for-3 from 50+ yards.”
  • Hofrichter – “…punted 67 times last season for a net average of 39.2 yards while pinning the opponent’s inside the 20-yardline on 34 occasions, second most in the Power-5.”

Jim Quist is Managing Editor of ACC Nation and Co-Host of ACC Nation Podcast. He’s a member of NSMA (National Sports Media Association), FWAA (Football Writers Association of America) and USBWA (U.S. Basketball Writers Association). He is enrolled in the Beer Brewer Professional Certificate program at the University of Richmond. Follow him on Twitter @ACCTheQ.


Follow ACCNation.Net On Twitter, Instagram And Facebook