With the 2013 NFL Draft only 24 hours away, the Mountaineer and Thundering Herd fan nations are getting ready to learn the future of their guys. Tavon Austin, Aaron Dobson, Geno Smith and more will have new homes within the next 72 hours. For now, their future is held in the hands of NFL team owners.
While we wait for their names to be called, the debate will likely arise, who will have the most successful career in the NFL. While that remains to be seen, here are some facts about the success of previous West Virginians in the National Football League from the last 20 years (1993-2012).
Highest Draft Pick:
MU: 7th overall, Byron Leftwich, 2003
WV: 6th overall, Pacman Jones, 2005
Year with most players drafted:
MU: 2000, 4 players (Pennington, Beckett, Chapman, Williams)
WV: 1999, 6 players (Fisher, Thorton, Page, Stills, Zereoue, Landolt)
Most popular team to draft to
MU: Jaguars, Broncos, Patriots (2)
WV: Bengals (4)
Most popular position
MU: Wide Reciever (4)
WV: Defensive Back (10)
Ryan Mundy was the third and final Mountaineer drafted in 2008, but he is the only one from that draft class that has played for a Super Bowl winning team. (Pittsburgh Steelers, 2008)
Chad Pennington was the first Marshall player in history to hear his name called in the top 20 of the NFL Draft. However, his first name isn’t Chad. His birth name is James Chadwick Pennington.
Former Herd receiver Randy Moss currently holds the NFL records for:
single-season touchdown receptions: 23
single-season Rookie TD receptions: 17
2nd all-time regular season TD receptions: 156
WVU has never had a QB or WR drafted in the first round. Smith (QB) and Austin (WR) are both projected by some to go in the first round this year.
Marshall's Troy Brown was drafted in the 8th round of the NFL Draft in 1993 with 197 players picked above him. During his time in the league he would be selected to the Pro Bowl, the All-Pro team, the New England Patriots All-2000s team, the New England Patriots 50th Anniversary Team, and win Super Bowls 36, 38, and 39.
Mountaineer Todd Sauerbrun played thirteen seasons in the NFL with seven different teams. He also won the Golden Toe Award in 2001.