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20 Former NC State Players are on NFL Rosters Heading into Week 1

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The 2019 NFL Season starts tonight, and 20 former NC State Football players are on 53-man rosters at the start of the season.

Rookie Garrett Bradbury will jump right in as Minnesota’s starting Center, after the Vikings took him with the 18th overall pick this summer. Bradbury was a Consensus 1st Team All-American at NC State (8th ever) and the winner of the Rimington Trophy.

Jacoby Brissett is the starting quarterback in Indianapolis after the retirement of Andrew Luck. Brissett signed a $30 million extension this week. He is entering his 4th season in the NFL, after being drafted in the 3rd Round (91st overall) by the New England Patriots in 2016.

Bradley Chubb had a fantastic rookie season last year, and enters 2019 as a starting Outside Linebacker Denver again. In 2018, Chubb had the 7th most sacks by a rookie in NFL history (12 sacks/60 tackles), and earned All-Rookie team honors. He also enters Year 2 ranked as the #82 player in the league according to NFL.com’s Top-100.

AJ Cole wasn’t drafted this summer, but was invited to Rookie Camp by the Raiders, and eventually booted out a punter that was drafted last year, earning the starting job in Oakland.

Rookie Ryan Finley has earned the backup quarterback position behind Andy Dalton in Cincinnati, after being drafted in the 4th round (104th) by the Bengals this Summer. Finley was a 1st Team All-ACC selection in 2018, and solidified himself as one of the best quarterbacks in NC State history.

Quarterback Mike Glennon is entering his 7th season in the NFL, earning the backup role in Oakland behind Derek Carr. Glennon was drafted by Bucs in the 3rd round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Besides Philip Rivers, Glennon is the only other Quarterback in NC State history to pass for over 4,000 yards in a single season, and is the only one to throw for over 30 touchdowns in 2 seasons.

Rookie Kelvin Harmon is a 2nd string Wide Receiver for Washington heading into Week 1. The Redskins drafted Harmon in the 6th round (206th) this summer. Harmon earned 1st Team All-ACC honors last year, crossing the 1,000-yard barrier two years in a row, ultimately finishing his career as one of the best to play the position in Raleigh.

Place Kicker Stephen Hauschka is entering his 12th year in the NFL, and his 3rd as the starter in Buffalo. The Bills recently signed him to a 2-year extension. Hauschka is the 7th most accurate kicker in NFL history.

Nyheim Hines enters his second year in the NFL as the backup running back in Indianapolis behind Marlon Mack. Hines played in all 16 games last season (starting 4), rushing for 314 yards and 2 touchdowns, as well as catching 63 passes for 425 yards and 2 touchdowns. His 63 receptions were the 3rd most by a rookie in Colts history, and the 10th most in NFL history by a Running Back. The Colts drafted Hines in the 4th round (104th) last summer after earning 1st Team All-ACC honors, and is one of only 10 players in NC State history to rush for over 1,000 yards.

BJ Hill enters Year 2 as a starting Defensive End with the Giants once again. In Year 1, Hill had 39 tackles and 5.5 sacks, setting a record in New York for sacks by a rookie. The Giants drafted Hill in the 3rd round (69th) last summer.

Justin Jones served as a backup last season, but enters Year 2 as the starting Defensive Tackle for the Chargers. Jones had 17 tackles in 15 games last season. Los Angeles drafted Jones in the 3rd Round (84th) last Summer.

Ted Larsen started 13 games in Miami last year, but enters 2019 as the backup at both Center and Right Guard in Chicago. Larsen is entering his 10th NFL season, and has started 86 games. This is his second stint in Chicago (2016). Larsen was drafted by the Patriots in 2010 the 6th Round (205th).

Rookie Wide Receiver Jakobi Meyers went undrafted earlier this year, but was signed as an undrafted free agent by the New England Patriots, ultimately making the 53-man roster. Meyers led the NFL in receiving yards and receptions this preseason. He is listed as a 3rd string receiver behind Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon. In 2018, Meyers became only the 5th reciver in NC State history to cross 1,000 yards receiving. He also broke Torry Holt’s single season record for receptions.

Rookie Linebacker Germaine Pratt has made quite an impression this preseason, entering Week 2 as the backup at all three linebacker positions for the Bengals. Cincinnati drafted Pratt in the 3rd Round (72nd) this year. Pratt was a 1st Team All-ACC selection in 2018.

Will Richardson didn’t play a single game as a Rookie last year, but he enters Week 1 as the Co-Starter at Right Guard with A.J. Cann for the Jaguars. For perspective, Cann has started 60 games in his career.  Jacksonville drafted Richardson in the 4th Round of the 2018 NFL Draft (129th). Richardson was a 2nd Team All-ACC selection in 2017 at NC State.

Quarterback Philip Rivers is entering his 16th season in the NFL (all with the Chargers), where he has started every single game since 2006 for the Chargers. Last season Rivers’ QB Rating was 105.5 and threw the ball at a 68.5% clip, both tied for the second best of his career. He is an 8 time Pro-Bowler, and a former ACC Player of the Year at NC State.

Jaylen Samuels is entering his 2nd season, after rushing for 256 yards (4.6 yards per carry), along with 26 receptions for 199 yards and 3 touchdowns for the Steelers in Year 1. Jay Sam is James Conner’s backup, but is expected to have a more significant and versatile role this season, with former NC State Tight Ends/Special Teams Coach Eddie Faulkner serving as Pittsburgh’s new Running Back’s coach. In 2017, Samuels earned 1st Team All-ACC at NC State, and was selected by the Steelers in the 5th round (165th) of the 2018 Draft.

J.R. Sweezy is entering his 8th season, this year as the starting Right Guard for the Arizona Cardinals. Sweezy has practically started every single game he’s played over the past 5 seasons he has played, starting 78 of the 88 games he’s played in his career. Pretty impressive, when you think about the fact he was drafted in the 7th round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks (225th overall), and that he didn’t play Offensive Line a single game at NC State.

Left Guard Joe Thuney has started every single game for the Patriots since being drafted in the 3rd round of the 2016 NFL Draft. He was an All-American Left Tackle at NC State his Senior season.

Quarterback Russell Wilson arguably had the best year of his career in 2018, posting a QB Rating of 110.9 (Career Best, throwing 35 touchdowns (Career Best), while only throwing 7 interceptions (Career Low). Wilson is entering his 8th season in Seattle, and has started every single game since being drafted by the Seahawks in the 3rd round of the 2012 Draft (75th). He is a 6-time Pro Bowler, and just signed a 4-year $140 million contract extension this offseason. He earned 2nd Team All-ACC honors at NC State in 2017.

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Defensive End Kentavius Street (49ers) and Running Back Matt Dayes (Saints) are on the Injured Reserve, and Offensive Lineman Tyler Jones is on the Broncos Practice Squad.

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Future with Chargers ‘unclear’ for Philip Rivers after move

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NC State legend, Philip Rivers has been a lifelong Charger. He was drafted in 2004 and has spent his entire 15-year career with the same NFL team (which in today’s game is insane). However, it is no secret that his career is winding down and now with the news that Adam Schefter just broke, could it be curtains for this future Hall of Famer?


According to multiple sources, Philip Rivers and his family have permanently moved from San Diego to Florida, but he tells ESPN that he isn’t planning retirement at this point.

“I plan to play football, so yes,” Rivers said on Dec. 29. “Where that is going to be will get sorted out over the next few months. I’ve never been in this position. … I’m very thankful for the 16 years, and if there is another, I’ll be thankful for that.” (ESPN)

Rivers is a free agent and there were questions on what the Chargers were planning to do. He is now 38 years old, coming off a sub-par season and now letting it be known that he and his family have moved. So was the writing on the wall, did Rivers make the Chargers decision for them, or could he come back to the Chargers on a one year deal?

Here are some of the initial reactions…

There had been rumors floating around throughout the season that Rivers may end up with the Dolphins and this move just adds fuel to that fire. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.

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Torry Holt is a Finalist for the NFL Hall of Fame

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Former NC State Wide Receiver Torry Holt has been named a Modern Era Finalist for the 2020 NFL Hall of Fame Class for the first time. Holt has been a Semi-Finalist the first 5 years he’s been eligible, but this is the first time he made it to the Final 15.

Five of the Fifteen players will make the final cut, who receive at least 80% of the votes.

Holt played 11 seasons, and was a Pro Bowler in 7 of them (2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 & 2007). He also earned 1st Team All-Pro honors in 2003, and 2nd Team All-Pro honors in 2006.

He led the NFL in receiving yards twice (2000 & 2003) and receptions once (2003)

In 11 seasons, Holt ranked in the Top-10 in receiving yards 8 times (2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 & 2007), receptions 5 times (2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 & 2006), and touchdown receptions 4 times (2003, 2004, 2005 & 2006).

He was also a part of “The Greatest Show on Turf” with Kurt Warner throwing the ball to him and Isaac Bruce. They went to 2 Super Bowls, and took home the trophy in 2001.

The only reason Holt hasn’t made it into the Hall of Fame already is because his body didn’t hold on for a couple more seasons. What he did in a shortened career is remarkable, and shouldn’t be denied simply because his career numbers aren’t as high as others.

He was the youngest player to accumulate 10,000 receiving yards, as well as 11,000. Holt’s the only player in NFL history to have over 1,300 receiving yards in 6 straight seasons.

He averaged 77.4 receiving yards per game for his career, which ranks 7th all-time in NFL history.

You could make an argument that for a decade, there was no better receiver in the NFL than Torry Holt. If you are in the conversation for being the best at your position throughout the length of your career, you should be in the Hall of Fame.

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Philip Rivers’ Status for Next Season is Up in the Air

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Former NC State Quarterback Philip Rivers just wrapped up his 16th season in the NFL, which have all been played for the Chargers.

Rivers just wrapped up the final year of a 4-year $83.25 million contract, and it wasn’t the shining moment of his career to say the least. His QB Rating of 88.5 for the year marked his second lowest single season rating of his career. His 23 passing touchdowns were the third lowest of his career, with the other two seasons being his first two. Rivers threw 20 interceptions for the 3rd time in his career.

It wasn’t all bad for the former ACC Player of the Year, throwing for 4,615 yards, which ranked 4th in the NFL at a 66.0% clip, which ranked 10th.

Rivers has no plan to retire, but he doesn’t know for sure that he will be back with the Bolts in 2020.

“Yeah, I plan to play football, so yeah,” Rivers said. “Again, where that’s going to be, I think that’s going get sorted out over the next three months, I guess. I’ve never been in this position. I usually don’t even know when the league year starts and when all those things are. We’ll just kind of see. Again, I’m very thankful for 16 years, and if there’s another, I’ll be thankful for that one. But I think just with the uncertainty just comes that unknown.” (NBC)

Chargers GM Tom Telesco hasn’t ruled out the return of Rivers in 2020.

“In a perfect world, No. 17 is your quarterback forever,” Telesco says. “I hope that I’m not offending Dan Fouts when I say that. [Rivers] has meant everything to this organization. You work with different players differently. He has been here for a long time. When I talk with him, he’s a joy to work with. Nobody has a better perspective on what goes on — not only just with him, but with the football team — than he does.”

“I think Philip would say the same thing, there are some plays that he probably definitely wants back, but there are also some throws that he makes still that a lot of quarterbacks in this league can’t make,” Telesco says. “It doesn’t matter how old you are. I think he can still compete at a top-starter level.”

“We need to get removed from the season a little bit,” Telesco says. “Even, right now it’s just way too early. I’ve been out at a couple of games. We just finished the season. We need to take a step back for a little bit of time. We have time. The first day of the league year is March 18. Our players come in April 20. Camp starts in July. We’ll know before July, obviously, but you need some time to kind of let things decompress a little bit.” (SI)

Some NFL Executives speculate that Rivers could end up in Indianapolis, taking the job of another former Wolfpack Quarterback Jacoby Brissett.

NFL executives, via ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, believe that the Colts would explore the option of bringing in Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers if he and the Chargers part ways this offseason. The reasoning is based on Rivers’ past history with Colts head coach Frank Reich, who was the Chargers’ quarterbacks coach during the 2013 season. (CBS)

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Wilson and Thuney make PFF’s 2019 All-Pro Teams

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ProFootballFocus has released their 2019 All-Pro Teams, and 2 former NC State football players were honored.

Despite the fact that Lamar Jackson’s destined to win the 2019 NFL MVP Award, PFF put QB Russell Wilson on their 1st Team instead of Jackson.

Lamar Jackson is the presumptive league MVP, and his development this year has been phenomenal, but what Russell Wilson has been able to do while dragging a sub-par offense has been remarkable. Wilson’s grade and PFF WAR has been incredible all season long, and even when the offense cooled down the stretch, he was still making big plays only to be let down by his supporting cast. Wilson finished the year with six more big-time throws than any other quarterback, and he had just 11 turnover-worthy plays to balance those high-end plays. (PFF)

New England Patriots’ Offensive Guard Joe Thuney made the 2nd Team, after being snubbed of the Pro Bowl.

Joe Thuney has played his role in making sure that doesn’t happen. His pressure rate allowed of 2.5% trails only Marshal Yanda and Richie Incognito among all guards with 250 or more pass-blocking snaps this season. (PFF)

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