Quarterback Jacoby Brissett and offensive lineman Joe Thuney spent the past two years together at N.C. State. Now they’ll have the chance to team up again in New England thanks to the Patriots using third-round selections on both players Friday night during the NFL Draft.
Thuney was projected to be selected in the third round, but Brissett was a day-two surprise. Thuney was the 78th overall selection in the draft and first ACC offensive lineman to come off the board. Brissett was chosenshortly thereafter, at No. 91 overall. ESPN analyst Todd McShay praised Brissett’s “phenomenal intangibles” while his colleague, Mel Kiper Jr., was more muted with his compliments.
“He’s a guy that’s hit or miss for me,” ESPN analyst Kiper said of Brissett. “He’s got the size, he’s got the arm, but in some of those games that I watched, there’s something missing that bothered me a bit.”
Brissett transferred to N.C. State from Florida and played his final two seasons with the Wolfpack. He completed 60 percent of his passes last year (237-for-395) for 2662 yards, 20 touchdowns and six interceptions. Brissett also rushed for 370 yards and six touchdowns on 139 carries (2.7 yards per carry).
With Patriots starting quarterback Tom Brady suspended for the first four games, Brissett joins Jimmy Garoppolo as the only quarterbacks on the roster eligible to play in the season opener.
“It could be a good situation for (Brissett),” ESPN’s Louis Riddick said. “But you’re going to see his game have to really develop and develop quickly.”
Brissett was the fourth quarterback taken in the draft behind first-rounders Jared Goff (California), Carson Wentz (North Dakota State) and Paxton Lynch (Memphis) and second-round pick Christian Hackenberg (Penn State).
The Patriots value versatility, and Thuney certainly brings that to the offensive line. The three-year starter played center, right tackle, left tackle and left guard for the Wolfpack. He will likely play guard for New England.
Thuney is the first Wolfpack offensive lineman to go in the first three rounds since Chris Colmer in 2005. Brissett is the first N.C. State quarterback to be drafted since Mike Glennon in the 2013 third round to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Joe Giglio contributed reporting