Scouting the ACC: North Carolina St

The Wolfpack knocked on the door last year….can they knock it down in 2003? This is a program with a lot of talent on its' roster and several players that project nicely to the next level.

Like Ken Dorsey earlier this year, expect a lot of debate the next ten months over how high Philip Rivers will be drafted next April. A tall passer with a great quarterbacking sense, Rivers is definitely a thinking man's signal caller that finds a way to get the job done and leads his team to victory. His playing style is reminiscent of Cade McNown's as Rivers does anything and everything to get the ball out of his hand and into the hands of Wolfpack receivers. Rivers slings it from the side, pushes it from his shoulder and constantly alters the point of release. For the most part he does not have the big arm and while the intermediate passes have speed, the long throws flutter down the field. In the end we think Rivers will fare a little better than Dorsey in next year's draft, meaning he'll be an early second day choice.

One of River's top targets is Jerricho Cotchery, a decent sized wide out that makes the difficult catch over the middle or caches the ball out on the flanks with defenders draped on him. Cotchery lacks the deep speed, which will push him into the middle rounds. Chris Colmer is a heady tackle that uses tremendous body positioning and blocking angles to protect the blind side. Colmer lacks the great footwork and top athleticism to be a starter in the NFL or an early pick in next years draft.

Defensively we feel outside linebacker Pat Thomas is a terrific prospect for the future and an underclassman to really keep an eye on. Thomas offers a solid combination of athleticism and instinct, displaying range in pass coverage or pursuit skills against the run. He could be a high pick in the future. Marcus Hudson is one of several young defensive backs in the Wolfpack secondary scouts are watching.

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