NFLDraftScout.com senior analyst Dane Brugler said former Liberty County High School and current North Carolina State football player Shadrach Thornton is among the team’s three top senior NFL Draft-eligible prospects to watch in the upcoming season.
“Looking ahead to the 2016 Draft class, N.C. State has several seniors worth tracking this fall, led by quarterback Jacoby Brissett and running back Shadrach Thornton in the Wolfpack’s offensive backfield,” Brugler posted in his report on cbssports.com.
The analyst said Thornton was one of three Wolfpack players who earned all-Atlantic Coast Conference honors last season. Of the three, Thornton, a senior, is the only returner.
The former Panther ranks 10th in Wolfpack history in career rushing yards with 2,369 and is tied for 12th with 16 rushing touchdowns, according to stats posted on the school’s Web site.
“Thornton is a good-sized, tough runner with quick eyes to find running room and barrel forward into the teeth of a defense,” Brugler noted in his article. “He needs to improve his pad level and forward lean to better use his natural power, rarely picking up positive yards after initial contact.
Despite the quick feet to work around bodies, Thornton needs to play with more control and better delegate his steps to string moves together and set up defenders. He gives good effort in pass protection and tallied 15 catches in 2014 and with a few tweaks to his run style, Thornton could finish among the ACC’s best rushers in 2015.”
The other N.C. State players listed to watch is defensive end Mike Rose and quarterback Jacoby Brissett.
The Wolfpack open the 2015 season by hosting Troy at 6 p.m. Sept. 5. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.