Scouting Reports: Wolfpack Trio Ready for Draft

The 2004 NFL Draft is this weekend and NC State's trio of Philip Rivers, Sean Locklear, and Jerricho Cotchery all project as potential first-day selections. We begin draft week with exclusive NFLDraftPreview Scouting Reports on the former Wolfpack standouts.

Name: Philip Rivers
School: North Carolina State
Year: 4Sr
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 229 40: 5.04 Pos: QB

Bio: ACC Player of the Year as a senior after passing numbers of 72%/4,491/34/7, leading the nation in completion percentage as well as passing efficiency (170.49). Set ACC single season records for total offense (4,600), total touchdowns (37), passing yards and completion percentage. Threw 124 straight passes without an interception. Junior totals were 62.7%/3,353/20/10 after 62.5%/2,586/16/7. Broke into the starting lineup as a true freshman and named ACC Rookie of the Year after numbers of 53.7%/3,054/25/10. Second leading passer in NCAA history with 13,484 career passing yards and set a record with 51 career starts at quarterback. Awarded All Academic honors several times in college.

Pos: Play-making quarterback with a great feel for the position and game. Sets in the pocket with solid footwork, does a terrific job selling the ball fakes then scans the field, buying as much time as possible. Patient, in total control of the offense and makes smart decisions. Natural looking off the safety, stands strong against the rush and works hard to make positive plays. Sharp and accurate in the short game; leads receivers on crossing patters, puts zip on intermediate throws and has a great sense of timing. Knows were the receivers are on the field and puts passes where only his wide outs can make the reception. Instinctive, possesses great football intelligence and a leader in every sense of the word. Turned in a tremendous performance at the Senior Bowl after an illustrious collegiate career

Neg: Has a terrible throwing motion best described as awkward. Pushes the ball or whips it from the side and falls out of his throws. Looks like he's throwing a heavy ball and constantly changes his point of release. Cannot drive the deep pass and not accurate down the field.

Analysis: Rivers is the type of prospect that will draw much debate and discussion leading up to and after draft day. While many criticize his mechanics and throwing fundamentals, you can not overlook his accuracy or ability to lead a team. May not be a quarterback for everyone and can only fit certain schemes but a solid first round selection that could quickly break into a starting lineup at the next level.

Combine Session Report: Did not participate in workouts at the Combine.

Likely Destination(s): Philip has probably seen his stock rise more than any prospect over the past few months, as he's went from being a potential first round selection a possible top-10 pick. Rumors suggest that the San Diego Chargers are interested in dealing their #1 pick to move down in the top 10 and select Rivers, while we also hear that the Pittsburgh Steelers covet the talented quarterback as well. Either way, look for Philip to not get past the Buffalo Bills at No. 13. The Bills could be looking to find the future replacement for Drew Bledsoe.

Name: Sean Locklear
School North Carolina State
Year 5Sr
Ht: 6-4 Wt: 306 40: 5.16 Pos: OG

Bio: Former defensive lineman who moved to the offensive side of the ball as a junior and proceeded to start the next two seasons. All-ACC choice as a senior after starting the first eight games at right tackle, the next two at guard and even playing one contest at left tackle.

Pos: Big, thick athletic lineman that's shown tremendous progress the past two seasons. Seals opponents from the play with good body positioning, strong and works hard. Adequate foot quickness in pass protection, blocks with nice lean and jolts opponents at the point. Removes linebackers from the play on the second level. Quietly had an outstanding week at the Senior Bowl, completely destroying some of the top defensive lineman the game had to offer.

Neg: Not quick or explosive off the snap into blocks. Stiff and not a natural knee bender or leverage blocker.

Analysis: Considering he's only played the position for two seasons, Locklear has done an outstanding job not only showing dominance but versatility as well. Must learn to bend his knees but has solid size/ strength numbers and a good upside for the next level. Combine Session Report: Really had a good session and improved his draft stock. Displayed excellent footwork, lateral movement and good hips. A nice athlete, he was patient and used excellent angles. Did not show great jolt but overall a good job.

Likely Destination(s): Sean is considered by most to be one of the top five offensive guard prospects in the draft, with some placing him as high as No. 3. He's considered a solid 2nd or 3rd round selection and teams who have expressed heavy interest include the Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns, and New York Giants. However, we think he could end up being a San Francisco 49er, who reportedly hosted Locklear this past weekend for a private workout.

Name: Jerricho Cotchery
School North Carolina State
Year 4Sr
Ht: 6-0.5 Wt: 212 40: 4.58 Pos: WR

Bio: First team All-ACC performer the past two seasons posting receiving numbers of 86/1,369/10 as a senior after junior totals of 67/1,192/7. Sophomore numbers included 41/483/4.

Pos: Reliable receiver with a penchant for the big play. Fluid in all aspects of thegame, plays with good focus and always on the same page as his quarterback. Comes back to the ball, works to make himself an available target and extends to grab the pass out of the air. Makes the difficult catch in traffic, keeps the play in bounds and works to pick up yardage running afterwards. Nice frame and out muscles opponents for the pass. Good football vision, reads the defense and sneaks it downfield into the open area.

Neg: Lacks the get up and go speed, deep separation and not a true burner. Marginal route running skills.

Analysis:Athletically there is no single aspect of Cotchery's game that stands out yet he's been nothing but consistent and a good football player in college. His sense of the game and feel for the position should help him capture the third receiver spot for an NFL team.

Combine Session Report: Starting off slowly and dropping a lot of passes, Cocthery really picked up the pace and looked good by sessions end. It's strange as while he showed good footwork his route running left a lot to be desired. He did have strong hands and was able to pull the passes of Roethlisberger and Lorenzen out of the air.

Likely Destination(s): Most years Cotchery would be a solid second round selection, but with the amazing depth at wide receiver in this year's draft he's being viewed as a fourth or fifth round pick. It's hard to project destinations that late in the draft, but some teams expressing interest include the Green Bay Packers, Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, and Oakland Raiders.

NFLDraftPreview contributed to this report

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