WVU has had 8 players selected in the first round of the NFL draft. The most recent was Bruce Irvin, taken 15th overall by the Seattle Seahawks this past April. Before that, Adam “Pacman” Jones was selected 6th overall by the Tennessee Titans in 2005.
Geno Smith is poised to become the 9th Mountaineer selected in the first round.
No WVU QB has ever been taken in the first round, but a trio have been selected in the second round: Pat White (2009, Miami Dolphins), Oliver Luck (1982, Houston Oilers), and Thomas Keane (1948, LA Rams) . Geno Smith is set to eclipse those legends in the 2013 NFL draft, and several mock drafts have moved him into their top 15.
CBSSports.com’s mock drafters both have Geno going 12th in the first round to the Arizona Cardinals, behind QBs Matt Barkley (USC), Tyler Wilson (Arkansas), and Logan Thomas (VT.. seriously?). Analyst Rob Rang says “Smith has been deadly accurate in West Virginia’s spread offense and is flying up the board” and Dan Burgler notes “Geno Smith isn’t really being talked about right now as a first rounder, let alone a top-15 pick, but if he continues to perform at a high level, it will be tough to find reasons why he doesn’t belong this high.”
Similarly, Walterfootball.com’s current mock draft has Geno rising all the way up to 7th on the draft board, behind Barkley and Wilson but ahead of Thomas. They note “The Cardinals missed out on Matt Barkley and Tyler Wilson, but they’ll have to settle for Geno Smith, who had an outstanding 2012 debut against Marshall. It’s not like Arizona has a choice regarding this pick. Unless one of the members of Skelekolb really impresses this season, Arizona will be in the market for a new franchise quarterback. ”
It’s no surprise that Geno’s draft stock is rising under Holgorsen. Holgorsen’s offense is the perfect showcase for talented quarterbacks, and Geno is taking advantage of the opportunity. So far this year, he has thrown as many touchdowns as incompletions (9) and is has completed 88% of his passes. WVU won’t be facing any exceptionally tough defenses this year, so you would expect Geno’s numbers to be outstanding all year. Geno could easily pass Tyler Wilson and be the 2nd quarterback taken in the NFL draft.
Not only is this great news for Geno, but it’s great news for the Mountaineers. The top quarterback recruits in the nation will now be lining up to come to WVU and continue the tradition of WVU putting some of the top quarterbacks in college football on the field.