Bruce Carter, left, and Marvin Austin in action in 2009. ROBERT WILLETT - firstname.lastname@example.org
North Carolina linebacker Bruce Carter, defensive tackle Marvin Austin and receiver Greg Little were part of an ACC-heavy second round of the NFL draft on Friday night.
Carter was the second UNC player off the board (DE Robert Quinn went in the first round to St. Louis) at the 40th overall pick to the Dallas Cowboys. Austin went 12 picks later to another NFC East team, the New York Giants. Little was the 59th overall selection to the Cleveland Browns.
Both Carter and Austin saw their stock take a hit, Carter because of injury and Austin because of his central role in the NCAA investigation. Carter tore the ACL in his left knee at the end of the 2010 season and missed the Tar Heels' bowl win and pre-draft workouts.
Austin was projected as a first-round pick, despite not playing a snap this season, but fell to the Giants in the second round. He was suspended before the season started and then dismissed from the program by the school without an NCAA ruling in October. UNC officials estimate that Austin took between $10,000 and $12,000 in improper benefits and lied to NCAA investigators.
Little, who was ruled permanently ineligible by the NCAA for taking improper benefits and lying about his role in the investigation, actually worked his way up the draft board with impressive workouts at the combine and at UNC's pro day.
The UNC players were three of 12 ACC players taken in the second round, after only three went in the first.
UNC coach Butch Davis worked for both Dallas and Cleveland before returning to the college game in 2006. The Giants took receiver Hakeem Nicks from UNC in the first round in 2009.