Get read folks. It’s January, meaning we have month after month of mock draft glory. But this time, we have something new.
Could Ickey go #1?
The Athletic released their latest mock draft and, for the first time across the media landscape, State’s Ekwonu was the first pick to the Jaguars. We’ve seen him float from second to 21st, but now that the draft order has solidified, the places he could actually go should shrink.
And it’s been known, Jacksonville is interested in the LT.
While The Athletic’s top draft expert, Dane Brugler , says there is no clear cut top O-Line prospect, he had these words for Ekwonu;
“A three-year starter at NC State, Ekwonu has impressive movements for his size and generates extraordinary explosion at contact,” Brugler said. “He lacks refinement and is guilty of over-setting, but he is nimble, powerful and should get better and better as his technique and awareness mature. Ekwonu’s tape shows a tackle who can also play guard, not the other way around.”
The last part is where Ekwonu doubles up his draft worth. This isn’t a guy that plays only center. Or was a great guard in college and *maybe* could move to tackle down the road. He can be either the best blindside blocker in the draft or be pushed inside for more support.
Regardless, WPN should hear a familiar face early on Day One.
7 NC State Players Make 2022 AP All-ACC Football Teams
The AP has released their 2022 All-ACC Teams, and 7 NC State Football players were honored, with 4 on the 1st Team, and 3 on the 2nd Team.
NC State Players on 1st Team
Senior Center Grant Gibson
Senior Place Kicker Chris Dunn
Junior Linebacker Drake Thomas
Sophomore Cornerback Aydan White
NC State Players on 2nd Team
Senior Offensive Guard Chandler Zavala
Senior Linebacker Isaiah Moore
Senior Safety Tanner Ingle
QB — Drake Maye, North Carolina, 6-4, 220, r-fr., Huntersville, North Carolina
RB — Israel Abanikanda, Pittsburgh, 5-11, 215, jr., New York, New York
RB — Will Shipley, Clemson, 5-11, 205, soph., Weddington, N.C.
WR — Josh Downs, North Carolina, 5-10, 175, jr., Suwanee, Georgia
WR — Zay Flowers, Boston College, 5-10, 172, sr., Fort Lauderdale, Florida
TE — Oronde Gadsden II, Syracuse, 6-5, 216, soph., Fort Lauderdale, Florida
OT — Jordan McFadden, Clemson, 6-2, 305, sr., Spartanburg, S.C.
OT — Graham Barton, Duke, 6-5, 311, jr., Brentwood, Texas
OG — Dillan Gibbons, Florida State, 6-5, 327, sr., Saint Petersburg, Florida
OG — Marcus Minor, Pittsburgh, 6-4, 325, sr., Lanham, Maryland
C — Grant Gibson, North Carolina State, 6-1, 310, grad., Charlotte, North Carolina
K — Chris Dunn, North Carolina State, 5-8, 170, grad., Lexington, North Carolina
All-purpose player — Will Shipley, Clemson
DE — Jared Verse, Florida State, 6-4, 251, soph., Berwick, Pennsylvania
DE — K.J. Henry, Clemson, 6-4, 255, grad., Winston-Salem, North Carolina
DT — Calijah Kancey, Pittsburgh, 6-0, 280, jr., Miami
DT — Tyler Davis, Clemson, 6-2, 300, sr., Apopka, Florida
LB — Yasir Abdullah, Louisville, 6-1, 242, sr., Miramar, Fla.
LB — Drake Thomas, North Carolina State, 6-0, 230, jr., Wake Forest, North Carolina
LB — Cedric Gray, North Carolina, 6-2, 230, jr., Charlotte, North Carolina
CB — Aydan White, North Carolina State, 6-0, 185, soph., Asheville, North Carolina
CB — Anthony Johnson, Virginia, 6-2, 205, grad., Coconut Creek, Florida
S — Kam Kinchens, Miami, 5-11, 202, soph., Miami
S — Jammie Robinson, Florida State, 5-11, 203, jr., Cordele, Georgia
P — Lou Hedley, Miami, 6-4, 220, sr., Mandurah, Australia
QB — Jordan Travis, Florida State, 6-1, 212, jr., West Palm Beach, Florida
RB — Sean Tucker, Syracuse, 5-10, 210, soph., Owings Mills, Maryland
RB — Trey Benson, Florida State, 6-1, 215, soph., Greenville, Mississippi
WR — A.T. Perry, Wake Forest, 6-5, 205, jr., Lake Worth, Florida
WR — Tyler Hudson, Louisville, 6-2, 195, sr., Spring, Texas
TE — Will Mallory, Miami, 6-5, 245, sr., Jacksonville, Florida
OT — Matthew Bergeron, Syracuse, 6-5, 322, jr., Victoriaville, Quebec, Canada
OT — Robert Scott Jr., Florida State, 6-5, 334, soph., Conway, Arkansas
OG — Chandler Zavala, North Carolina State, 6-5, 325, grad., Boynton Beach, Florida
OG — Sean Maginn, Wake Forest, 6-3, 304, sr., Suwanee, Georgia
C — Bryan Hudson, Louisville, 6-4, 301, r-jr., Georgetown, Kentucky
K — B.T. Potter, Clemson, 5-10, 200, grad., Rock Hill, South Carolina
All-purpose player — Jalon Calhoun, Duke, 5-11, 189, sr., Greenville, South Carollina
DE — Myles Murphy, Clemson, 6-5, 275, jr., Marietta, Georgia
DE — Donovan Ezeiruaku, Boston College, 6-2, 236, so., Williamstown, New Jersey
DT — DeWayne Carter, Duke, 6-3, 298, r-jr., Pickerington, Ohio
DT — Kobie Turner, Wake Forest, 6-3, 290, sr., Clifton, Virginia
LB — SirVocea Dennis, Pittsburgh, 6-1, 230, sr., Syracuse, New York
LB — Mikel Jones, Syracuse, 6-1, 224, jr., Miami, Florida
LB — Nick Jackson, Virginia, 6-1, 234, sr., Atlanta
LB — Ayinde Eley, Georgia Tech, 6-3, 233, sr., Olney, Maryland
LB — Isaiah Moore, North Carolina State, 6-2, 232, grad., Chester, Virginia
LB — Charlie Thomas, Georgia Tech, 6-2, 207, sr., Thomasville, Georgia
CB — Fentrell Cypress II, Virginia, 6-0, 184, jr., Rock Hill, South Carolina
CB — Storm Duck, North Carolina, 6-0, 200, jr., Boiling Springs, South Carolina
S — Erick Hallett II, 5-11, 190, sr., Cypress, Texas
S — Tanner Ingle, North Carolina State, 5-10, 186, sr., Orlando, Florida
P — Daniel Sparks, Virginia, 6-6, 203, jr., Gadsden, Alabama
Coach of the Year — Mike Elko, Duke
Offensive Player of the Year — Drake Maye, North Carolina
Defensive Player of the Year — Calijah Kancey, Pittsburgh
Newcomer of the Year — Jared Verse, Florida State (AP)
Devin Leary’s Legacy at NC State
Earlier today news broke that Wolfpack Redshirt Junior Quarterback Devin Leary was entering his name into Transfer Portal. As a result, I wanted to take some time to highlight the legacy that Leary leaves at NC State.
Even though Leary played 4 seasons on the field at NC State, he only played in 30 career games for the Wolfpack, with that number being lowered due to injuries in 2020 and 2022, and competition in 2019, starting only the final 5 games. Taking that into consideration, the numbers that Leary put up at NC State are even more impressive.
Leary leaves NC State ranked 6th in career passing yards, 4th in touchdown passes, and 4th in completion percentage.
Leary also ranks 3rd in school history in career passing efficiency rating (139.0), trailing only Philip Rivers (144.2) and Ryan Finley (140.0).
He also ranks 2nd in school history in interception avoidance (1.69), trailing only Jacoby Brissett (1.44).
In 2021, Leary threw 35 touchdowns, setting the new school record for touchdowns thrown in a single season, passing Philip Rivers record of 34.
Plain and simple, Leary was one of the best to ever play the position at NC State, and that’s saying a lot!
NC State Wide Receiver Jasiah Provillon Enters Transfer Portal
Redshirt Junior NC State Wide Receiver Jasiah Provillon has entered the Transfer Portal.
— Siahhh Cheese (@jasiahpro84) December 5, 2022
Provillon was member of the Wolfpack’s 2018 recruiting class, a 3-star prospect out of Irvington, New Jersey. While he has seen action in all 12 games this season, Provillon has only played 84 snaps. In 18 career games over 5 seasons of play, Provillon has 2 receptions for 58 yards (in 2019).
We wish Jasiah the best in his final year of eligibility and appreciate his commitment to the Pack the past 5 years!
NC State Quarterback Devin Leary Enters Transfer Portal
According to Pete Thamel of ESPN, NC State Quarterback Devin Leary is entering the Transfer Portal.
Source: N.C. State quarterback Devin Leary intends to enter the NCAA transfer portal. Leary will have one year of eligibility remaining. He's thrown for 6,807 yards and 62 touchdowns, making him one of the most productive portal quarterbacks available. https://t.co/N36c52JU47
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) December 5, 2022
Leary has 1 year of eligibility remaining, and he will likely be the top Quarterback name in the Portal.
Big programs with a need at Quarterback will be picking up the phone quickly, and many of these schools likely have the ability to offer significant NIL money.
Heading into this season, Leary was not expected to be back for the Pack in 2023. After the numbers he put up in 2021, he was expected to forgo his final year of eligiblity, and enter the 2023 NFL Draft. With that being said, after not having the start to the season that was expected, and tearing his pec in the 6th game of the season against FSU, the future for Leary became blurry.
When True Freshman Quarterback MJ Morris entered the scene for the Wolfpack, playing at a high level, things got even more blurry.
Would he still go pro, even though he didn’t have a season that saw his stock rise? Would he return to NC State, where there might be a position battle in 2023? Would he transfer to another school of higher prestige giving him more of a spotlight for the 2024 NFL Draft?
This isn’t a shocking decision by Leary. It probably is what makes the most sense to Leary, and also what makes the most sense to NC State. It is clear that MJ Morris seems to be the future at Quarterback at NC State. I love NC State, but I’m not dumb. Leary can also see his draft stock rise by transferring to a bigger program.
Leary has been incredible at NC State, throwing for 6,807 yards and 62 touchdowns in 4 seasons. In total he has been at NC State 5 years, and he has been nothing short of an exemplary representative of the university. When he went down, he was an incredible teammate and leader, despite not being on the field.
We wish you the best Devin! You have a bright future ahead of you, and you will always be a part of the Wolfpack family.