Four West Virginia players were selected yesterday in the NFL Draft. Not coincidentally, all played on WVU’s highly ranked defense a season ago. But what are others saying about the picks? Here are some excerpts from local newspapers.
Cornerback Brandon Hogan, selected in the fourth round by the Carolina Panthers
“The Carolina Panthers started the third day of the draft the same way they started the first day: By taking a high-risk, high-reward player…
“Panthers coach Ron Rivera and general manger Marty Hurney both said they were comfortable that Hogan won’t be a problem as a pro.
“‘With the research we did on him, some flags do come up,’ said Rivera. ‘But I had a very nice conversation with him. I laid it out. There’s no three strikes you’re out. You’re here to do it our way, the right way, the Panthers way. If not, there will be some consequences. He seemed to understand that.’”
Safety Robert Sands, selected in the fifth round by the Cincinnati Bengals
“The Bengals finally addressed their need for a safety in the fifth round, taking West Virginia’s Robert Sands with the 134th overall pick. Sands has the strength to step up in the box in run support and the quickness, along with fluid hips to stay stride-for-stride with receivers on deep patterns. He can play either free or strong safety.”
Linebacker J.T. Thomas, selected in the sixth round by the Chicago Bears
"Whether or not Thomas can fill a role this season remains to be seen, but the Bears are in need of rebuilding a position they have said was a strength with five or more starter-caliber players the last two seasons. Pro Bowl performers Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs are the only veteran linebackers under contract for this coming season."
Nose tackle Chris Neild, selected in the seventh round by the Washington Redskins
“The 6-foot-2, 319-pound Neild will compete with Ma’ake Kemoeatu and Anthony Bryant for playing time as the anchor of Washington’s 3-4 defense.”
— Washington Post