Four West Virginia players received invites to the NFL Combine scheduled for Feb. 23-26 — Geno Smith, Tavon Austin, Stedman Bailey and Joe Madsen. Mock drafts by NFLDraftScout.com and CBSSports.com have Smith going No. 1 overall to Kansas City.
Senior NFL draft analyst Rob Rang was a guest on Monday’s MetroNews “Statewide Sportsline” and said he likes Smith’s chance of being the top pick.
“He’s a player that obviously has the physical skill-set that you’re looking for,” Rang said. “He has the size, he has the arm strength, he flashes the accuracy, he has the mobility and he’s been highly productive.
“Because of the physical potential that he possesses, the fact that NFL teams are increasingly willing to gamble on quarterbacks who have the physical traits, and because it’s the Kansas City Chiefs who now have a head coach in Andy Reid who is known for developing young quarterbacks, I think (Geno Smith is) ultimately going to be their choice.”
Rang mentioned Smith also as a possibility at No. 2 to Jacksonville, No. 4 to Philadelphia and No. 7 to Arizona.
“When you break it down, there are several teams in the top 10 or 11 picks of this year’s draft that absolutely need help at quarterback,” Rang said. “And while Geno Smith has been inconsistent, especially in the second stage of his senior season, he has those physical traits that teams are willing to work with.”
Rang has Austin projected at No. 27 overall right now, going to Houston, and sees Bailey with potential to be taken as high as the second round. Rang said Madsen had the most to gain of any Mountaineer at the combine.
You can watch the complete interview with Rang above.