Friday, October 28, 2016

32 NFL teams represented at pro day: what does this mean?

thompson pro day-1

NFL scouts watch Jordan Thompson perform in the WVU pro day workout (photo courtesy Kelsie Vanderwijst, BGS)

Every year before the draft NFL teams do their due diligence scouring the country to find that next draft pick, that next impact player. While it is not uncommon for every NFL team to be represented at a pro day event it is still impressive. Yesterday, all 32 NFL teams were represented at the WVU pro day workout in Morgantown. What does this mean for the state of the program? Well that depends on how you look at it.

The Mountaineers have produced 16 NFL draft picks in the last five years, including four last year; WR Kevin White (1st round, 7th overall, Chicago Bears); OG Mark Glowinski (4th round, 134th overall, Seattle Seahawks); DE/OLB Shaquille Riddick (5th round, 158th overall, Arizona Cardinals); WR Mario Alford (7th round, 238th overall, Cincinnati Bengals).

With WVU looking at potentially another four to five players drafted this year that would make at least eight NFL draft picks in the last two seasons.That would be the most over a two year span since 1989-1990 when WVU had a total of 15 players drafted.

If you are comparing draft picks to program success you must take into account that most of those players drafted during that two year span (89-90) were part of the 1988 Mountaineers team that went to the national championship. Using that logic the Mountaineers should be better than the seven and eight win seasons they have endured over the last two years right? After all this may be the most successful span for Mountaineers to the NFL since then.

So why does the comparison between NFL caliber players and program success not result in success? There in lies the million dollar question. One position missing from this two year span compared to 1989-1990 was a quarterback. Major Harris was drafted in 1990 although many felt he made a mistake by leaving early (ultimately that proved to be somewhat true). Yes, the argument could be made that Clint Trickett could have potentially had a shot at an NFL career if he had not gotten hurt and retired from the game.

So does success revolve around a quarterback? The argument has been made both ways. But let’s leave that argument for another time.

Don Nehlen was always commended for taking middle-of-the-pack players and making them NFL prospects. So is Holgorsen doing the same? It would seem that way looking at the success WVU has had in the recent NFL drafts. Nehlen produced three first round draft picks in his 21 seasons at WVU. Holgorsen has produced three in just five seasons. *NOTE: I did not include Tavon Austin in this count as technically he was recruited by Coach Bill Stewart. But if you’d like to give Austin to Holgorsen that makes four.

So now the question is turned to you the Mountaineer fan, with 32 NFL teams being interested enough to travel to Morgantown to see Mountaineers perform what does that say about coach Dana Holgorsen? Has his tenure been a success of failure? Should NFL draft picks result in success?

Discuss in the BGS forum HERE



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