Sunday, October 23, 2016

West Virginia Mountaineers at the 2016 NFL Combine recap

Every year, WVU sends football players to the NFL Combine. In year’s past, some have used that platform to launch themselves up draft boards. Which Mountaineers made their mark at this year’s event? Let’s recap.

This year, the NFL invited six players from the most recent Mountaineer squad to attend the annual event held in Indianapolis. Four of those players were among the leaders of Tony Gibson’s defense: Karl Joseph, K.J. Dillon, Darryl Worley and Nick Kwiatkoski as well as RB Wendell Smallwood and P Nick O’Toole.

Joseph is the top prospect among this class, and was recently rated as the top overall safety by draft analyst Mike Mayock. He did not take part of the on-field drills as he continues his recovery from a torn ACL. He did take part in the measurements and team interviews. He measured out at 5’10” 210lbs. with 32 1/8″ arms and 9 3/4″ hands.

“It kind of hurt not being able to compete out here,” a plain-clothed Joseph told Deion Sanders in an interview during drills. Sanders then asked Joseph who he thought was the best safety at the combine. The WVU star turned and looked Sanders in the eyes, and said with conviction, “I’m the best safety out here . . . I want to be one of the greatest.”

WVU’s other safety present at the combine was K.J. Dillon. He improved his draft stock, being a top performer and finished 4th in the 40-yard dash at his position, running a 4.53. He put up 11 reps in the bench press and posted a 121.0″ broad jump.

CB Daryl Worley measured in at 6’1″ 204lbs. He ran the 40 in 4.64 seconds, 14 bench press reps, 35.5″ vertical, 123″ broad jump, 6.98 seconds in the 3-cone drill, 4.15 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle, and did the 60-yard shuttle in 10.87 seconds.

ILB Nick Kwiatkoski came in at 6’2″ 243lbs. He was a top performer in the 20-yard shuttle with a time of 4.22. He ran the 40 in 4.73 seconds, had 19 reps in the bench press, had a 32″ vertical leap, did a broad jump of 120″, and did the 3-cone drill in 7.16 seconds.

RB Wendell Smallwood had a great performance, showing off his speed and shiftiness. He had one of the fastest 40 times abound backs with a 4.47, posted the best 3-cone drill time at 6.83 seconds as well as the best time in the 60-yard shuttle with 11.14 seconds. You can read our full recap of Smallwood’s combine along with videos here. We conducted a post-combine interview with him that we will post on Wednesday.

Nick O’Toole measured in at 6’3″ 219lbs.

“I think one of my positives is my leg strength,” O’Toole said during the combine. “I think I can bang it. This past year at West Virginia, all we did was directional punting. Either way, either to the sideline or the middle of the field, I think I have a good feel for it.”

Keep checking and follow us on Twitter @WVUPros or “Like” us on Facebook to stay up-to-date on the Mountaineers as the NFL Draft draws closer.



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