NC State’s Ryan Finley is ready for the NFL draft
Day 3 of the 2019 NFL draft was much more Triangle area friendly than Day 2.
N.C. State linebacker Germaine Pratt, who was drafted 72nd overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in the third round of the NFL draft, was the only player with Triangle ties to hear his name called in the second or third rounds.
But on Day 3, in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds, N.C. State quarterback Ryan Finley, former Wake Forest High School star Bryce Love, Raleigh native Phil Haynes, UNC linebacker Cole Holcomb and N.C. State wide receiver Kelvin Harmon were all drafted.
The Cincinnati Bengals took Finely with the 104th pick in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft on Saturday. The Bengals traded up to get Finley on Day 3 of the draft.
Finley, 24, finished his college career second in N.C. State history with 10,501 passing yards, behind Phillip Rivers.
Finley is 6-4, 213 pounds. He threw for 3,928 passing yards in 2018, had 25 touchdowns, 11 interceptions and a 67.4 completion percentage.
ESPN analyst Todd McShay called Finley the “most pro-ready quarterback” in the draft. ESPN analyst Mel Kiper called him a “Kirk Cousins-type quarterback.”
Love, the former Wake Forest High School star, was taken with the 112th pick in the fourth round of the NFL draft by the Washington Redskins.
Love was a Heisman trophy finalist after rushing for 2,118 yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior at Stanford.
He was projected to be a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL draft, but returned for his senior season to pursue dreams of becoming a doctor.
He was unable to replicate his those numbers during his senior season in 2018. He ran for 739 yards, six touchdowns and averaged 4.5 yards per carry. He suffered a torn ACL in the final game of the regular season and missed his team’s bowl game.
Haynes, the Raleigh native and Wake Forest offensive lineman, was drafted 124th overall in the fourth round by the Seattle Seahawks.
Haynes, at 6-4, 322 pounds, was a four-year starter and team captain at Wake Forest. He played one year at right tackle and three at guard. He was voted second team All-ACC as a redshirt senior.
He grew up in south Raleigh with his disabled mother. A Raleigh man inspired by the movie “The Blind Side” helped pay his private-school tuition at North Raleigh Christian Academy, where he picked up football during his sophomore year.
He graduated from Enloe High School.
The Washington Redskins drafted Holcomb 173rd overall in the fifth round.
Holcomb, a 6-1, 235-pound linebacker, recorded 105 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, a sack and forced four fumbles in 2018. His best game came against Georgia Tech on Nov. 3, when he had 22 tackles and three forced fumbles.
Holcomb entered UNC as a walk-on but eventually earned a scholarship and led the team in tackles his last three seasons.
He wasn’t invited to the NFL combine but caught eyes when he ran a 4.48 in UNC’s pro day.
The Redskins then took Harmon in the sixth round with the 206th pick. Harmon was projected to go as high as the fourth round.
Harmon was born in Liberia, before coming to the United States as a child. He was a first team All-ACC selection in 2018 after catching 81 passes for 1,186 yards and 7 touchdowns. He caught 69 passes for 1,017 yards in 2017.
In three seasons, Harmon finished with 2,665 career yards, third in school history, behind Tory Holt and Jerricho Cotchery, who both played four seasons at N.C. State. He also had 177 career receptions, which is fourth in school history.