ACC football media days are coming up next week, with the start of fall camp to follow shortly after, so we don't have a lot of time left to be worried about the NC State football team. We've got to air our concerns ahead of August, when the switch flips completely to WE ARE GOING TO WIN EVERY GAME WOOOOOOO.
Since we are not quite there, we might as well spare one or two more rational moments pondering this: which position on the team concerns you the most? I'm going to attempt to establish some loose tiers (as opposed to loose tears, which should show up on schedule in October) and then see what y'all think.
THE NO PROBLEM TIER
Quarterback -- Jacoby Brissett wasn't super accurate down the field and could be a bit fumbly on occasion, but I think we're okay here.
Running back -- How this spot shakes out should be interesting, though that's not because depth is lacking. Shad Thornton and Matt Dayes return, plus State has the additions of Reggie Gallaspy and Johnny Frasier, plus potential x-factors elsewhere in Jaylen Samuels and Nyheim Hines, and maybe even Dakwa Nichols.
Tight end -- David Grinnage already has proven himself a reliable pass catcher, and if this ends up being a full-time spot for Samuels, the position could be really good for the Wolfpack's offense. Sure, there's some blocking stuff they have to do, but that's boring.
Secondary -- Everybody's back, including rising star Josh Jones and nickelback Dravious Wright, who overcame a rough start and got better quickly. Jack Tocho and Juston Burris give State both good size and experience at the corner spots.
THE THIS IS PROBABLY OKAY TIER
Linebacker -- While the depth is still concerning, NC State has a promising future behind Jerod Fernandez and Airius Moore. If M.J. Salahuddin is back and 100%, that's a big boost for this group. If you count Dravious Wright as a linebacker, all the better.
Punter -- Some guy will have to punt the ball and it won't matter a whole lot because he's only punting. Unless he fumbles the snap every time, or averages eight yards per punt. These things not being mutually exclusive.
Defensive line -- On the bright side, there is some serious headlining talent here, with some experience to boot: B.J. Hill and Kentavius Street got the trial-by-fire treatment in 2014, while Pharoah McKever remains a very tall, athletic man who can add wrinkles. State is adding highly-touted freshman Darian Roseboro to the rotation, and Mike Rose's veteran presence is a bonus. That all sounds good for the future of this group, but the bottom line is they lost a lot of experience at defensive tackle. How they replace Thomas Teal and T.Y. McGill at DT while finding additional contributors at DE will go a long way in determining how the season turns out.
THE PLEASE LET IT ALL BE OKAY TIER
Offensive line -- Unlike the DL, State's OL will be fine inside; the big question comes down to who fills the tackle spots and how they perform. Dave Doeren's staff has done a great job of adding depth all over the roster, but is it still too early for some of the young guys they've recruited to have a significant positive impact at tackle?
Place kicker -- A freshman will be doing the field goal kicking. He will be replacing one of the most prolific place kickers in NC State history. Nik Sade's replacement might end up having a great year, but any time there's unproven youth in a pressure spot like this, it's fret-worthy.
Wide receiver -- I don't think losing Bo Hines is a huge setback for State, but there's no doubting the kid gave the Pack some sure hands that were missing elsewhere. Combine the transfers of Hines and Marquez Valdes-Scantling and you have a significant chunk of the 2014 receiving corps' production headed out the door, but neither loss is irreplaceable from a talent standpoint. This does not change the fact that State will enter 2015 having no idea upon whom it can rely to catch the hotdanged football. This is somewhat important. Nyheim Hines could well make us all forget about Bo Hines. But is there enough depth at this position?