|"RALEIGH, N.C. -- While there is certainly reason to believe that there's an easier route to the NFL as a four- or five-star prospect at nearly every program across the country, NC State is proving doubters wrong. Over the last five years, the Wolfpack has sent the second-most players that were ranked as a three-star prospect on at least one recruiting site to the league as a draft pick, per SportSource Analytics.|
During that span, the Pack's 16 three-star prospects rank behind only Utah (17) since the 2016 NFL Draft. Overall, State has sent 19 players to the NFL via the draft since that point, ranking third in the ACC overall behind Clemson and Miami.
Among the other college programs with 16 former three-star prospects picked in the NFL Draft were Washington and Wisconsin. The next closest team in the ACC is Boston College with 12 over that span.
What sets NC State, Washington and Wisconsin apart from Utah in this equation? All three have sent multiple three-star players to the NFL in the first round of the draft, with NC State sending both Bradley Chubb and Garrett Bradbury in back-to-back drafts in 2018 and 2019.
In fact, Bradbury was actually a two-star tight end prospect by 247Sports and the No. 1,749th overall player in his class. Let's just say the switch to center worked out well for everyone, including the Minnesota Vikings.
So what does this say about the Pack as a program overall? Well, it further proves that Dave Doeren and his staff have built a program that consistently sends players to the NFL, of course. But it also shows the level at which the Wolfpack is developing young men from underrated prospects to NFL-ready caliber players.
That starts with the identification of talent in recruiting and positional analysis by Doeren and his staff and the molding of players in the weight room, nutrition and conditioning with Dantonio Burnette. Then the trusted assistants have developed players on the field during spring and fall camp before putting it out on the field during the season.
The 2017 and 2018 seasons resulted in back-to-back nine-win seasons, marking only the third time in program history that has taken place. Those classes sent 11 players to the NFL alone -- nine of which were three-star players -- with the 2018 NFL Draft setting a program record with seven players chosen in the first five rounds.
Of those 19 draft picks in the last five years, the only three that were ranked as four-star prospects were Jacoby Brissett, Kentavius Street and Nyheim Hines. Brissett was a transfer into the program, much like Ryan Finley and Larrell Murchison, but the other 16 players were recruited as high schoolers by the Pack's staff.
Will this trend continue for the Wolfpack in the next five years? Not likely, but it has nothing to do with the development of the players -- it has to do with the stars.
Over the last three recruiting classes, NC State has brought in 14 four-star players into the program thanks to the success of the teams over that span. That matches the 14 players that were four-star recruits or higher that came to Raleigh over the previous 10 recruiting classes.
This past season, the vast majority of those players were either sophomores, redshirt freshmen or true freshmen, leading to one of the youngest Wolfpack teams in recent memory. Given time, those NFL Draft numbers could go up drastically in the next several years thanks to the raw talent on the roster currently being groomed by Doeren and his staff."
4/28/2020 12:26:52 PM