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.
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.
Russell Wilson 5th Fastest to 200 Touchdown Passes
Former NC State Quarterback Russell Wilson threw his 200th career touchdown pass today, becoming the 5th fastest player to do so, bumping Tom Brady out of the Top-5.
Wilson, who is 5’11”, is only the 2nd player in NFL history under 6’0″ to throw for 200 touchdowns.
Russell Wilson is 2 TD passes shy of 200 for his NFL career.
In reaching that mark, Wilson will become the 2nd player listed under 6'0" in NFL history to throw 200 TD passes, following Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen who is listed at 5'11" and threw 255 passing TD in his career. pic.twitter.com/qM7RVm0adA
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 15, 2019
Wilson finished today 29/35 for 300 yards with 3 touchdowns (QB Rating – 131.0).
Raiders Sign Former NC State DB Juston Burris
Former NC State cornerback Juston Burris has been signed by the Oakland Raiders after Safety Johnathan Abram was moved to the IR.
We have signed DB Juston Burris.
— Oakland Raiders (@Raiders) September 13, 2019
Burris was drafted by the Jets in the 4th Round of the 2016 NFL Draft, and played his first two seasons in New York. After the first 4 games of the 2018 season, the Jets cut Burris (he played in all 4 games), and was picked up by the Browns. Burris only played 4 games at Defensive Back for Cleveland after being picked up.
He saw a lot of action in New York his first two seasons, and was even the projected started heading into his second season.
Burris joins to other former NC State players in Oakland, with punter AJ Cole and quarterback Mike Glennon already wearing the Silver and Black.
While at NC State, Burris had 121 tackles, 3 interceptions and 18 pass deflections.
NC State now has 23 former players on active NFL rosters.
Chargers Sign CB Dontae Johnson
Former NC State Cornerback Dontae Johnson was signed by the Los Angeles Chargers yesterday.
Johnson reunited with the 49ers this offseason, the team that drafted him in the 4th round back in 2014. Johnson played his first 4 seasons in San Francisco, even starting all 16 games in 2017. He signed a free agent deal with the Seahawks before last season and was expected to start, but was put on the IR right away, and released briefly after. After that, Johnson signed with the Bills and Cardinals during the season, but never saw the field. This offseason, he signed with the Chiefs and was released, and eventually signed with the Niners in May, but was released, even though he had 3 interceptions during the preseason.
With the addition of Johnson, there are three former Wolfpack football players on the Chargers, joining Quarterback Philip Rivers and Defensive Tackle Justin Jones.
Johnson was scooped up because LA had to put CB Trevor Williams on the IR with a quad injury.
NC State now has 22 former players on active NFL rosters.
T.Y. McGill Signed by the Redskins
Former NC State Defensive Tackle T.Y. McGill was signed by the Redskins yesterday after being cut by the Chargers prior to the start of the season.
McGill wasn’t drafted in 2015, but was signed by the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent. He was cut by Seattle before the season began, and scooped up by Indianapolis, where he played 15 games over two seasons.
In 2017, McGill played 3 games for the Browns, and last year played 2 games for the Eagles, and 4 games for the Chargers.
McGill had 120 tackles and 10 sacks while at NC State.
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