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West Virginia Football Looks To Continue Upward Trend In NFL Draft

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Mountaineer players are being selected by NFL teams with increasing frequency.

Scott Sewell-USA TODAY Sports

With the NFL draft approaching many Mountaineer fans are anxious to see where the recent crop of Mountaineer football players to turn pro will end up, and just how many of them will get drafted. Before looking forward though a look back at the past three and a half decades (from the 1980s to present) shows that the Mountaineers have been trending upwards in having players drafted.

For the purposes of this article draft picks are only counted for players drafted in the first seven rounds since later rounds are no longer in existence (for example Major Harris being a 12th round selection in the 1990 draft is not counted). In the 1980s the Mountaineers had a total of ten players drafted in the first seven rounds, and only one first round pick (Brian Jozwiak). The 1990s was the best showing in terms of total players drafted with 24 Mountaineers being selected in the first seven rounds, but still WVU managed only one first round pick (Renaldo Turnbull). Although Turnbull was the lone first round pick the Mountaineers saw fourteen players selected in the first three rounds. The 2000s saw seventeen Mountaineers being selected in the NFL Draft with two first rounders (Anthony Becht and Adam Jones) and seven players selected in the first three rounds.

The 2010s have seen WVU players exceed the prior three decades with three first round picks (Bruce Irvin, Tavon Austin, and Kevin White), and have matched the 2000s with seven players selected in the first three rounds (Geno Smith, Stedman Bailey, Will Clarke, and Charles Sims). The Mountaineers have had 16 players selected in the NFL draft in the 2010s, an average of 2.83 players per draft. Should the Mountaineers continue on this path for the remainder of the decade they would project to have 27 players drafted this decade making this decade's NFL draft the most successful in recent Mountaineer history.

If you want to spend some time parsing through WVU's draft history with the NFL a wealth of information on WVU and the NFL draft can be found here.