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Monday November 28 2022
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Locals hope to hear names on draft day

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West Virginia will lead the parade of local college players on draft day this season, with potential first-rounders in quarterback Geno Smith and receiver Tavon Austin. PSR takes a look at the Mountaineers, as well as prospects from Pitt, Penn State and elsewhere.

Tavon Austin, WVU
WR, 5-8, 174
The most explosive player in the country in 2012, Austin caught 114 passes for nearly 1,300 yards. The Mountaineers moved Austin to tailback in mid-November and he responded by rushing for 344 yards on 21 carries against Oklahoma. He's destined for the slot in the NFL, where his burst, acceleration and vision make him nearly unstoppable with the ball in his hands. His size will be questioned as it could make him vulnerable to injury, but he was durable at WVU. Austin can help teams right away with the ball in his hands.

Geno Smith, WVU
QB, 6-2, 218
A hard-worker who improved every season, Smith has a quick delivery, makes quick decisions and works rapidly through his reads. He has a strong arm, throws a great deep ball and shows excellent touch all over the field. His major weakness is his lack of experience under center, as he ran WVU's spread offense almost exclusively from the shotgun. He also showed a tendency to get frenetic when things got hectic in the backfield.
1st-rounderPSR NFL Draft

Stedman Bailey, WVU
WR, 5-10, 193
Bailey uses his physicality and excellent body control to create separation. He has soft hands and excels at finding the space in defenses. He doesn't have elite speed or explosiveness to be an outside receiver, but his reliable hands, physicality and superb body control should make him a fit in most offenses.
2nd or 3rd round

Jordan Hill, PENN STATE
DL, 6-1, 303
Great leverage, violent off the line, quick and athletic enough to work up and down the line of scrimmage. Size isn't ideal and he may not be an every-down player, but he already possesses enough to jump into a rotation on a deep line.
4th rounder

Gerald Hodges, PENN STATE
LB, 6-1, 243
PSR NFL DraftA former safety, Hodges is quick enough to handle coverage when matched with running backs and tight ends. A big hitter who can work through traffic and find the ballcarrier. Hodges may struggle when taking on NFL linemen and even tight ends, and will have to improve in the open field and as a blitzer if he is to blossom into a starter. Coverage skills are his strength.
4th rounder

Joe Madsen, WVU
C, 6-3, 310
Consistent in the shotgun, Madsen has a solid build and has shown the ability to get to the second level. He needs to improve his strength and his footwork in pass protection.
6th or 7th round

Mike Mauti, PENN STATE
LB, 6-2, 243
Great instincts against the run and the pass, and strong enough to hold his ground when linemen get hands on him. Sheds blockers and is a secure tackler. Lacks the explosiveness and injury history is extensive. Coming off an ACL injury.
6th or 7th rounder

Ray Graham, PITT
RB, 5-9, 199
PSR NFL DraftUndersized but does not waste a stride and has the ability to run through tight spaces and deal with contact. His vision, feel and quick lateral movement to sidestep defenders allows him to bust off 5-6 yard runs despite a small hole. Speed and explosiveness appear to have taken a hit after an ACL injury in 2011.
7th rounder

Rontez Miles, CAL-PA
FS, 6-0, 203
Productive at Division II Cal, blossoming as a junior with 71 tackles, eight pass breakups and five interceptions. Teams tried to stay away from him last season but he still tallied 75 tackles, two pass breakups and four interceptions. Athleticism is NFL-level, but lack of experience against the top competition puts him behind.
7th rounder

Matt Stankiewitch, PENN STATE
C, 6-3, 303
Able to maintain and stick with contact and keeps rushers off the quarterback even when he's driven back. His troubles with stunts and slants may hurt him at the next level.
7th rounder

WVU: LB Terence Garvin, K Tyler Bitancurt, FB Shawne Alston
PENN STATE: FB Michael Zordich, QB Matt McGloin, DE Pete Massaro, OL Mike Farrell
PITT: G Chris Jacobson, FS Jarred Holley, TE Mike Shanahan, QB Tino Sunseri, OL Ryan Turnley, TE Hubie Graham

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