ESPN revealed their ranking of the Top 100 NFL players heading into the 2017 season, and two former NC State players made the list: Quarterbacks Russell Wilson and Philip Rivers.
47) Russell Wilson – (2016 Ranking: 21) Wilson’s 99.6 passer rating ranks second all-time behind only Aaron Rodgers. Wilson is just 28 years old and has never missed a game. The key for him going forward will be to regain the form we saw during the second half of 2015, when Wilson threw 25 touchdowns and two interceptions during Weeks 10-17. If the offensive line can protect him, Wilson has the chance to deliver an MVP-type season. — Sheil Kapadia
76) Philip Rivers – (2016 Ranking: 77) The NC State product finished with 4,386 passing yards and 33 touchdown passes last season, earning his sixth trip to the Pro Bowl as an injury replacement. However, Rivers is working to rebound from a career-high — and league-worst — 21 interceptions in 2016. Curbing turnovers has been a point of emphasis for Rivers under coach Anthony Lynn’s new regime. — Eric D. Williams