This page was last updated April 24, 2013. Follow me @walterfootball for updates.
Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Height: 5-9. Weight: 174. Arm: 30.08. Hand: 9.18.
40 Time: 4.35.
Projected Round (2013): Top-20 Pick.
4/24/13: Austin’s stock has been steadily rising to the point where he could go in the middle of the first round – he could even go in the top 10. The consensus opinion believes that Austin will be the first receiver off the board.
It wasn’t surprising that Austin had a great Combine performance. He was ultra fast in the 40 and did well in the field drills. Austin illustrated that he is a football player who also can run track, not a track sprinter trying to play football.
Austin totaled 114 receptions for 1,289 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2012. He also had 72 carries for 643 yards and three touchdowns. Austin was an electric play-maker who was able to consistently produce long scoring plays. He would be a definite first-rounder if he weren’t so undersized. There are few receivers who stick in the NFL who are that small, but Austin looks capable of breaking the mold.
8/17/12: Austin is diminutive speed receiver who was extremely productive with quarterback Geno Smith in 2011. Austin caught 101 passes for 1,186 yards and eight touchdowns as a junior. He scored eight touchdowns in his 58 receptions for 787 yards in 2010.
Austin may not be able to add much weight to his smaller frame and that limits him to probably being a mid-round pick. Still, he is extremely fast and athletic. Austin should produce another big year with Smith at quarterback.
Geno Smith, QB, West Virginia
Height: 6-3. Weight: 214. Hand: 9.28.
40 Time: 4.59.
Projected Round (2013): 1.
4/24/13: Smith’s draft projection is all over the place. He could go as high as the second pick, elsewhere in the top 10 or fall to the end of the first round with a team trading up to get him. Unlike most drafts, there is no predictable landing spot for the consensus top-ranked quarterback.
Smith did extremely well at the Combine and at his pro day. He had the fastest 40 of any quarterback and looked good throwing the ball. The senior was even better at his pro day. There are enough teams that need quarterbacks that it looks unlikely that Smith will escape the top-10 picks.
Many were disappointed, but not surprised, that Smith skipped the Senior Bowl. He didn’t want to risk his status as the top quarterback prospect. The Combine interviews may have been as important as his workouts.
Smith started out 2012 on fire. He was a dominant force before getting shut down against Texas Tech and Kansas State. Smith played better in November even though West Virginia was still in a losing streak.
The senior completed 71 percent of his passes this season for 4,205 yards, 42 touchdowns and six interceptions. He had one of the most prolific games in college football history by completing 45-of-51 for 656 yards, eight touchdowns and zero interceptions against Baylor.
Smith has an excellent skill set. He has showed off his intelligence and field vision by working through his progressions and looking off safeties. Smith possesses some natural accuracy with good arm strength to make all the throws. He can fire some fastballs into tight windows with phenomenal ball placement to hit receivers in stride.
Smith’s plus mobility allows him to pick up first downs with his feet and bail out his offensive line. He needs to work on sustaining drives as he struggled when Texas Tech and Kansas State took away the deep part of the field. Smith will need to improve his footwork for the NFL. He needs to become more uniform with good feet to get in rhythm.
8/16/12: Smith completed 65 percent of his passes for 2,763 yards with 24 touchdowns and seven interceptions in his first year as a starter in 2010. He made big improvements in year two and produced an excellent junior season for the Mountaineers. He completed 66 percent of his passes for 4,385 yards with 31 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Smith also ran for 180 yards and two scores. The junior played his heart out against LSU’s talented defense with 463 yards passing.
Smith shows the arm to be quality passer with some natural accuracy. He has earned a reputation as a very hard worker and true student of the game who puts in a ton of time in the film room. Smith is a good athlete who could fit well in a West Coast offense. He could earn first-round consideration.
Stedman Bailey*, WR, West Virginia
Height: 5-10. Weight: 193. Arm: 32.68. Hand: 9.78.
40 Time: 4.52.
Projected Round (2013): 2-3.
4/24/13: At the Combine, Bailey had a solid 40 time and did well in the field drills. Some feel that his stock is rising.
Bailey was a dominant force in this season. He was one of the most productive receivers in the nation and torched defenses with his speed. Bailey made 114 receptions for 1,622 yards and 25 touchdowns in 2012. He had 13 catches for 303 yards and five touchdowns against Baylor.
8/17/12: Bailey was a big-play receiver for the Mountaineers and their potent passing attack last season. He caught 72 passes for 1,279 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Bailey is very fast and has enough size to be a speedy slot receiver in the NFL. He hauled in 24 passes for 317 yards and four touchdowns as a freshman in 2010.
Former teammate Keith Tandy told Walterfootball.com that Bailey is an excellent route runner who has great hands. If everybody stays healthy, the junior should have a huge year. He has one of the best quarterbacks in college football to work with in Geno Smith.
Jeff Braun, OT, West Virginia
Height: 6-5. Weight: 321.
Projected 40 Time: 5.29.
Projected Round (2013): FA.
4/24/13: West Virginia featured one of the best offenses in college football this year, and Braun was generally a reliable pass-protector for Geno Smith. The one game Braun struggled was against Texas and its future NFL defensive ends. He also didn’t play well against Kansas State or Syracuse. Braun did not participate in the Combine.
8/23/12: Braun started 13 games at right tackle in 2010 and stayed in the lineup as a junior. He needs to improve in order to get drafted. Braun had an ugly game in 2011 against LSU battling some future NFL offensive linemen. He could be a better fit at guard.
Joe Madsen, C, West Virginia
Height: 6-4. Weight: 310. Arm: 29 1/8. Hand: 9 1/2.
Projected 40 Time: 5.15.
Projected Round (2013): FA.
4/24/13: Madsen and West Virginia put up an insane amount of points and yards early this season. He had some struggles against Texas and Kansas State, but did a good job of blocking for Geno Smith in the majority of games.
8/22/12: Madsen enters his fourth season as a starter for West Virginia. He has been an All-Big East selection and is a quality pass-blocker for quarterback Geno Smith. Madsen needs a strong season to make sure he gets drafted.
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