North Carolina State Wolfpack
2020 NFL Draft Prospects
Stephen Griffin, S
Career Snapshot: Transferred to NC State from Tennessee. Played in eight games in 2015 for the Volunteers and had five tackles. Played 11 games as a sophomore and totaled 13 tackles. Sat out the 2017 season after transferring to NC State. Played in ten games and had 41 tackles. Recorded 32 tackles as a senior in 12 games.
Positives: Nice-sized safety at his best playing downhill. Remains disciplined with assignments, flashes athleticism and quickly closes to the action. Fires up the field to defend running plays and screen passes and plays through the whistle. Drives his shoulders into ball carriers and wraps up tackling. Flexible, strong and plays big-boy football.
Negatives: Late to the sidelines in coverage. Often plays catch-up with opponents when the ball is in the air.
Analysis: Griffin is a hard-working safety with solid size and speed, but he shows limitations in coverage. He’s a zone or strong safety prospect who must play well on special teams to make it out of camp this summer.
Deonte Holden, DE
Career Snapshot: Redshirted as a freshman in 2015 before playing in just three games between 2016 and 2017. Finished 2018 with 9.5 tackles for a loss, which tied for second on the team. Also added 2.5 sacks. Recorded 12 tackles and 1.5 sacks in 2019.
Positives: Somewhat athletic prospect who plays with proper pad level and leverage, fights with his hands throughout the action, and quickly changes direction. Tenacious, goes hard and shows the ability to slice inside blockers to penetrate the line of scrimmage. Easily changes direction and immediately alters his angle of attack.
Negatives: Marginally productive and comes off a disappointing senior season. Taken from the action by a single blocker and easily turned from the play. Never lived up to expectations.
Analysis: Holden possesses the size and speed to play at the next level at first glance, but he did not make many plays on the field. He comes with upside, but he must quickly pull the pieces together to make it past first cuts this summer.
Jarius Morehead, S
Career Snapshot: Extremely versatile player in high school, including playing QB, RB, WR and OLB. Eventually became a safety for the Wolfpack. Redshirted in 2015 after two games before coming back to play in all 13 games in 2016, where he finished with 13 tackles.
Started 12 games at strong safety in 2017 and finished second on team with 80 tackles. Also finished second in 2018 in tackles with 81 and led the team with three interceptions. Finished with 49 tackles (tied for fourth) and one sack in 2019.
Positives: Straight-line safety who fires up the field, takes proper angles to the play and hits hard. Terrific run defender who quickly locates the ball carrier. Works hard. Constantly around the action.
Negatives: Slow in transition to run with opponents in coverage. Displays limited skill in pursuit. Shows almost no lateral quickness or ability to immediately get to the flanks. Limited speed.
Analysis: Morehead offers solid size, but he has speed and quickness limitations for the safety position. The inability to immediately get out to the flanks in pursuit is also a red flag.
Larrell Murchison, DT
Career Snapshot: Transferred from JUCO Louisburg in 2017, where he had 18 tackles and six tackles for a loss in 2015 and 41 tackles, 17.5 tackles for a loss and 5.5 sacks in 2016. Named an NJCAA JUCO honorable mention All-American in 2015. Redshirted his first year at NC State in 2017 before starting every game in 2018 and recording 32 tackles, eight tackles for a loss and four sacks, the latter two both being third on the team. Recorded 48 tackles in 2019 and led the team in tackles for a loss (12) and sacks (7).
Positives: One-time highly rated defensive tackle prospect who plays with proper pad level, fires off the snap, and flashes athleticism. Keeps his feet moving, works his hands and nicely adjusts and redirects to the action. Attracts a lot of attention in the middle of the line and holds his ground.
Negatives: Often lackadaisical when he tries to get off blocks. Consistently controlled by lesser opponents. Very streaky. Disappointing 2019 campaign.
Analysis: Murchison possesses next-level size, speed, and athleticism and flashes big-play ability. He must consistently play to his potential to have a career in the NFL, but he comes with upside.
James Smith-Williams, DE
Career Snapshot: Played in four games as a freshman before suffering a season-ending injury and taking a redshirt year. Had three tackles. Another injury in 2016 limited him to eight games where he recorded 13 tackles. Had ten tackles in 2017 and also blocked a punt. Became a starter in 2018 and had 36 tackles for tied for second on the team with 9.5 tackles for a loss.
Positives: Athletic college pass rusher with big upside. Plays with consistent leverage and displays good change-of-direction ability. Rarely off his feet. Agile, very quick and gets a good amount of momentum going up the field. Easily changes direction, can bend off the edge and fluidly moves about the field. Quickly gets out in space to pursue the action.
Negatives: Easily controlled by blocks and taken from the action by the initial hit. Inconsistent and does not display a killer instinct.
Analysis: Smith-Williams was graded as a potential late-round pick entering the season, but injury interrupted his senior campaign and hurt his development. He’s a terrific athlete who can be used out of a three-point stance or standing over tackle, and while he needs to work on his game, Smith-Williams comes with tremendous upside.
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