Morgantown, West Virginia – During the 2022 NFL Draft, the West Virginia Mountaineers football program had zero players drafted. Leddie Brown signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Los Angeles Chargers and Sean Mahone did the same with the Jacksonville Jaguars, but otherwise, West Virginia was once again under-represented at the draft.
Since Neal Brown has taken over as the head coach of the Mountaineers, only three players – Kenny Robinson, Colton McKivitz and Tony Fields – have been selected and all three were picked in the 5th round of their respective drafts.
This, of course, is a problem for the West Virginia football program. High school players entering college ultimately want to play professionally and West Virginia – at least recently – does not have a very good track record of developing and producing NFL-ready players.
To compare, Pitt and Virginia Tech have each produced nine drafted players since 2020. That’s three times what West Virginia has done during the same time period.
Not only has West Virginia struggled on the field, finishing 17-18 since Brown has been the head coach, but they also have failed at getting players ready to play at the next level.
Those blaming former West Virginia head coach Dana Holgorsen for the lack of NFL-ready players may want to consider that he produced 27 drafted players during his 8 seasons in Morgantown. In addition, Holgorsen has had seven players drafted at Houston in the three seasons since he took over as the Cougars’ head coach.
To be fair, Neal Brown has been working with Holgorsen’s former players at West Virginia and this year will be his first season with his own players, but looking at the current roster of the Mountaineers, there doesn’t appear to be many players that will be drafted in the 2023 NFL Draft either.
Dante Stills, Charles Woods, Zach Frazier, Wyatt Milum, Kaden Prather, JT Daniels and Nicco Marchiol all have potential to be drafted, but certainly nothing is guarateed with any of them.
West Virginia must make preparing players to be ready to succeed at the next level a real priority, or future potential Mountaineers will go elsewhere with a better track record of getting players drafted in the NFL Draft.