Acho became the fourth Texas linebacker to go in the last three years, and the second in this year's draft, two rounds after linebacking mate Keenan Robinson.
"At a time where we were coming off a tough season, we needed strong leadership and Emmanuel Acho was at the front of that group," said Texas coach Mack Brown. "He’s a great leader and we expect him to have a great pro career. We can say the Acho family has been very important to Texas football. Sam’s playing great for the Arizona Cardinals because of his work ethic, his intelligence, his instincts to find the ball. We expect the same of Emmanuel.”
Emmanuel started 26 games at Texas, making 278 tackles (159 solo), 41 tackles for loss, eight sacks, seven forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and two interceptions.
Acho led the Longhorns in 2011 with 131 tackles and 19 tackles for loss. He also had three sacks and one caused fumble. He was a first-team All-Big 12 player per the league's coaches, and the Associated Press.