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NC State shut out of NFL Draft for first time since 1996

Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

It's been obvious for a while that NC State wasn't going to have a big 2015 NFL Draft--the school had only two players invited to the Combine, and one of those was a punter. Turns out it was a really quiet weekend, as no NC State players were selected. It's the first time since 1996 that's happened, per the N&O's Luke DeCock.

Offensive tackle Rob Crisp was probably State's best shot at a draftee, but no one opted to take a late flier on him. Which is not so bad--often it's better to go undrafted and hit the free agent pool rather than get snagged in the last round. Crisp should have plenty of opportunities, and Wil Baumann will get his shot somewhere as well.

There may be other free agent signings beyond those two, like Nik Sade perhaps. Maybe Thomas Teal, T.Y. McGill, or Tyson Chandler can get a look.

It's weird to go through the entire draft without seeing a single NCSU player selected, but it's also a handy illustration of what poor recruiting toward the end of Tom O'Brien's tenure did to the program. NC State teams of late have lacked depth and difference-makers among the veteran groups that should've been their core.

This will change. Improved recruiting = more ballers = more future pros. Just happens that most of those ballers are young guys, because it's still relatively early in the process of re-making the Wolfpack's roster. Once Dave Doeren finishes construction on the pipeline to Ballertown, State will return to being an annual presence in the NFL Draft.