With the 2016 NFL Draft this weekend, we look back on some of the biggest moments during the draft for WVU football.
#5 Joe Stydahar: First 1st round pick for the Mountaineers
When it comes to Mountaineer history, Joe Stydahar has to come to mind for any Mountaineer fan. Stydahar went 6th overall in the 1936 NFL Draft to the Chicago Bears. During his professional career, Stydahar racked up many accolades such as 4 time NFL Pro-Bowl selection, 5 time All-NFL, 3 time NFL Champion, and a NFL Hall of Fame addition in 1967.
#4 Sam Huff being one of gems in the draft
For this we throw it back to 1956 and look at one of the only Mountaineers to have their number retired for WVU. Huff played with the Mountaineers in the early 1950’s and was undoubtedly one of the best in Mountaineer history. While wearing the gold and blue, Huff was a four-year Letterman and also was a first team All-American. He was drafted by the Giants in the 1956 NFL Draft as the 30th pick of the third round. While playing in the NFL, Huff made a name for himself and was elected to the Pro-Bowl 5 times, a champion, and is also in the Washington Redskins Ring of Fame. Huff was elected into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1982.
#3 Reunion in St. Louis
The 2013 NFL Draft featured many Mountaineer greats but it featured none other than the dynamic duo of Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey. Austin went in the first round 8th overall. The Rams later in the third round selected Bailey with the 92nd overall pick. Since then the Rams have found ways to utilize both players and it does not appear to let up anytime soon.
#2 Bruce Irvin being a surprise pick to Seattle
One of the most feared pass rushers in college football, Bruce Irvin was a surprise pick by the Seattle Seahawks in the 2012 NFL Draft. One reason teams were staying away from Irvin was due to his past off-field issues while living in Atlanta. The Seattle Seahawks and Pete Carroll saw what Irvin could offer their franchise and picked up Irvin with the 15th pick of the 2012 NFL Draft. The Seahawks moved Irvin to a LOLB position where he saw much playing time and racked up 87 tackles, 22.0 sack, 4 forced fumbles, 3 interceptions, and 2 touchdowns. Irvin also was able to play in two Superbowls and got one ring before Seattle chose to not pick up his 5th year option, allowing him to sign with the Oakland Raiders.
#1 Adam “Pacman” Jones being selected in the top 10
Adam “Pacman” Jones was a huge pick for the Mountaineers. He played for the Mountaineers from 2002-2004 and made a name for himself as a dangerous defensive back in the game. In his three seasons playing with the Mountaineers, Jones had 8 interceptions, and 1 touchdown. On special teams, Jones was unmatched and is arguably one of the best special teams players WVU has ever had with his speed and elusiveness racking up 1,475 yards and on 59 kickoff returns. He also had 404 yards and 1 touchdown on 37 attempts with punt returns. Jones was selected 6th overall in the 2005 NFL Draft to the Tennessee Titans. This selection was the first 1st round pick since 2000 when Anthony Becht was selected. Since joining the NFL, Jones has played for the Titans, Cowboys, and the Bengals. When it comes to his stats since joining the league, he has shown how dangerous he can be to opposing teams especially on special teams with 3,068 yards on 117 attempts on kickoff and 1,740 yards and 5 touchdowns on 166 punt return attempts. Jones has also established himself as one of the top corners in the league with 338 tackles, 14 interceptions, 6 forced fumbles, 3 touchdowns all on the defensive side of the ball.