The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

April 24, 2013

WVU, Marshall stars waiting for the call

Futures will be decided for top players when NFL Draft begins tonight at 8 p.m. in NYC

By Cam Huffman
Sports Editor

— Tavon Austin

West Virginia

Position: WR

Height: 5’8”

Weight: 174

Stats: The Paul Hornung Award winner as the nation’s most versatile player, Austin caught 112 passes for 1,289 yard and 12 touchdowns.

40-time: 4.28

Vertical jump: 32”

Projections: Some of the high projections have Austin sneaking inside the top 5 at No. 4 to the Eagles. The Jets at No. 9 are another common projection, but almost all believe he won’t get past the Rams at 16.

What they’re saying: “He’s a phenomenal player. I think Tavon is going to have a heck of a career. He is a touchdown maker, he is a scoreboard-changer.” — ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr.

Stedman Bailey

West Virginia

Position: WR

Height: 5’10”

Weight: 193

Stats: Bailey finished the 2012 season with 106 catches and led the country with 23 touchdown grabs. He was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award and a second-team AP All-American.

40-time: 4.46

Vertical jump: 34.5”

Projections: Bailey will likely have to wait until Friday to learn of his destination. Most draft experts believe that the earliest he’ll be picked is the third round.

What they’re saying: “I think he can help a football team. He has a great ability after the catch.”  — ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr.

Aaron Dobson

Marshall

Position: WR

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 210

Stats: Despite missing two games in 2012, Dobson caught 57 passes for 679 yards and three touchdowns. He’s fourth on the school’s all-time receptions list.

40-time: 4.42

Vertical jump: NA

Projections: Ranked by CBS Sports as the 14th-best wide receiver in the draft, Dobson is likely to be a second-day guy. Most experts have the South Charleston grad going in the third or fourth round.

What they’re saying: “You like the size and his physical ability. At 6-3 and 210, he can certainly be a vertical threat down the field.” — ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr.

Joe Madsen

West Virginia

Position: OL

Height: 6’4”

Weight: 310

Stats: Madsen started 12 games as a senior before being ruled academically ineligible for the bowl game. He was an All-Big 12 second-team pick.

40-time: 5.26

Vertical jump: 25”

Projections: Ranked by CBS Sports at the No. 10 center in the draft, Madsen is just hoping to get the call. The earliest most experts feel he could go is the seventh round, but he could end up being a free agent.

What they’re saying: “I thought Joe Madsen had a decent week and probably helped himself.” — Mobile Press-Register reporter on Senior Bowl performance.

Geno Smith

West Virginia

Position: QB

Height: 6’3”

Weight: 218

Stats: Smith threw for 4,205 yards as a senior, tossing 42 touchdowns compared to just six interceptions.

40-time: 4.56

Vertical jump: 33.5”

Projections: All the experts agree he’s a first rounder, but he’s been slotted as high as the fourth pick and as low as in the 30s.

What they’re saying: “If Smith lands on a team that's set on having him start right away, he could be in trouble. But if he lands in a place where the organization has patience and the coach is content to mold Smith's talents, he could be a good one.” — ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr.