Position: Right Tackle
College: North Carolina State
Official 40-Yard Dash Time At Combine:Non-invitee
John McCargo and Stephen Tulloch were not the only NC State players to declare early for the NFL, as junior right tackle Derek Morris also entered his name in the draft.
Morris, who has been labeled an underachiever by most after arriving at NC State as arguably the top offensive lineman in his prep class, wasn't invited to the NFL Scouting Combine and likely projects as an undrafted free agent.
"I think Morris is a 7th round pick or a free agent," one NFL scout told Pack Pride. "He is a big guy with the size and strength to be effective, but there are concerns with him character-wise and his maturity.
"Who knows, he may go higher than I said, because sometimes it's tough to tell where juniors who aren't invited to the combine will go."
Morris also is limited by his inability to play other positions along the offensive line and that could negatively impact his draft status.
"Morris is a right tackle only, and he needs to work on his foot quickness. It doesn't hurt him a whole lot that he can only play right tackle, but later in the draft a lot of teams are looking for versatility."
Did Morris make a bad decision by leaving early and entering the draft? "I think Morris could have benefited from another year developing in college because that is likely what his 1st year or two in the NFL will be given his current draft projection."
Despite the questions surrounding Morris, he still has some upside and a chance to be a "solid player" down the road.
"I kind of liked him on the film we watched, but a lot of others in the draft room did not. I think he has a chance to develop into a pretty solid player if he wants to work hard. That is the question with him."
Position: Middle Linebacker
College: North Carolina State
Official 40-Yard Dash Time At Combine: 5.01 seconds
Official Vertical Jump At Combine: 32 inches
Oliver Hoyte was one of the most productive linebackers in the Atlantic Coast Conference, but he has a steep hill to climb when it comes to making it in the National Football League.
"Like Morris, Hoyte is going to be a 7th rounder or undrafted free agent. He is kind of a throwback type of player, like an old school middle linebacker type and that limits him. He's not versatile and his lack of speed is his big downfall."
Because of a lack of speed and the range to play in coverage, Hoyte would likely have to land with a team that runs a particular scheme to succeed in the NFL.
"He just doesn't fit most schemes in this day and age. His best fit is probably inside in a 3-4 defense, because he could just play tackle-to-tackle and stay in the box. In that scheme he wouldn't have to man cover a lot."
Hoyte participated at the NFL Scouting Combine and will be looking to post better numbers at NC State's Pro Day, scheduled for March 22. Checking in at 6-foot-2 and 245-pounds, Hoyte ran a disappointing 5.01 40-yard dash.
His shuttle time (4.33) and bench reps (19 reps of 225 pounds) were respectable, but he will need to improve all of those numbers when the scouts can watch him again on the Wolfpack's campus.