With Tavon Austin going in the first round to the St. Louis Rams, Geno Smith in the second round to the New York Jets, Stedman Bailey in the third round to the St. Louis Rams, and players like Joe Madsen, J.D. Woods, and Josh Francis all potential draft choices, the 2013 WVU draft class is shaping up to be one of the better draft classes ever fielded.
Still, as good as this draft class is, it does not rank in the top 5 all-time.
The top 5 draft classes in Mountaineers history all feature multiple picks in the first two rounds of the draft and/or a slew of picks. These class rankings aren’t completely focused on production either. If so, the 1936 draft class of Joe Stydahar alone would be in the running for the top class as he was a first rounder who went on to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
2. Charles Fisher, CB, 33rd overall to Cincinnati Bengals
2. John Thornton, DT, 52nd overall to Tennessee Titans
2. Solomon Page, G, 55th overall to Dallas Cowboys
3. Gary Stills, LB, 75th overall to Kansas City Chiefs
3. Amos Zereoue, RB, 95th overall to Pittsburgh Steelers
4. Kevin Landolt, OT, 121st overall to Jacksonville Jaguars
The 1999 draft class might surprise some Mountaineers fans as our pick for the #5 draft class of all-time. This class did not feature a single first round selection. However, this class did include five picks in rounds 2-4 of the draft. This class was headlined by the great WVU defensive tackle John Thornton and one time rushing yardage leader Amos Zereoue.
The only player in this draft class to earn a Pro Bowl nod was linebacker Gary Stills who was picked to the honor in 2003 as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs. Zereoue and Thornton were steady professional players but never really had the breakout careers at the pro level as they had at WVU.
Charles Fisher, the first Mountaineer off the board, only lasted three seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals before transitioning into coaching with the Green Bay Packers.
Solomon Page would have a solid four years with the Dallas Cowboys, starting at guard and tackle before declining with the San Diego Chargers. Kevin Landolt would not amount to anything as a pro, only appearing in one game for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
As a bonus feature of this piece, you can opt to be serenaded by the #1 song of the draft year. For some odd reason, America still believe in Cher. Sad commentary on our taste in music during the Napster Age.