With the NFL Draft less than a month away WVU will feature 6 players that are eligible to be drafted and it’s time to see where they could land.
DB Karl Joseph would be in consideration with Jalen Ramsey in the Top 10 if not for a season ending knee injury but it still appears that he will be the Mountaineers first player selected. With Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin present for WVU Pro Day, they stand out as a team very interested in Joseph who would be a good fit for the Steelers. The question is will he last that long? Washington and Cincinnati pick before Pittsburgh and could select Joseph before Tomlin gets his chance. If Pittsburgh elects to go in another direction then Arizona, Carolina, Cleveland, Chicago, and Oakland could be landing spots.
Prediction: Look for Pittsburgh to go CB in Round 1 but Joseph still goes in the 1st round as Carolina adds to it’s secondary by selecting Joseph at pick #30.
DB KJ Dillon is the bestest wildcard of any Mountaineer that is available due to his ability to play multiple positions. NFL teams could see him as a SS or a FS but he has the ability to play CB if needed. Dillon took on more of a leadership role after Joseph went down for the season and NFL teams will like that out of a rookie. Dillon has the resume to be a very useful player in the NFL making him an asset in this draft.
Prediction: It has been mentioned before that the Steelers need DB help and they will land it in the 3rd round as they select DB KJ Dillon with the 89th selection.
LB Nick Kwiatkoski has seen his draft stock rise since the end of his senior season and NFL teams are taking note after his Pro Day. Kwiatkoski has the potential to be a impact player at the LB position in the NFL and has the looks of a 3rd round selection. Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin spent time with Kwiatkoski while visiting WVU during their Pro Day and Kwiatkoski has the mold that the Steelers like in their LB’s but are loaded at the position.
Prediction: With Jerrod Mayo retiring, the Patriots have a need at the position and look for them to address it with the 91st selection where they will select LB Nick Kwiatkoski.
RB Wendell Smallwood, the Big 12 leading rusher last season, is another very interesting selection for teams. Smallwood has the looks of a very useful 3rd down back in the NFL but can be a cowbell back for a team. There are many teams that could use a back capable of what Smallwood can bring.
Prediction: The Cleveland Browns are revamping their offense and need a boost in the running game. Smallwood would be given a chance to compete with Duke Johnson for a big role in the Browns offense after they select him with the 99th selection.
After Smallwood is selected by the Browns at the top of the 4th round, it will be a little while before another Mountaineers is drafted. CB Daryl Worley could have benefited from another year in school but will be drafted in this draft. Worley has the skill set to be a nickel corner in the NFL while he has the chance to develop. Many teams are looking for a corner given how the way the league is now and some team will draft Worley.
Prediction: The Detroit Lions are always in need of DB help and could address the need late in the draft with the 151st pick when they select Worley.
Those are the 5 players that I feel will get drafted in this year’s draft but I do see 2 more Mountaineers getting contracts as undrafted free agents in LB Jared Barber and P Nick O’Toole.