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Mario Alford goes in the seventh round to the Cincinnati Bengals

Written by Craig Meyer on .

Former West Virginia wide receiver Mario Alford was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the seventh round (the 238th overall pick) of the 2015 NFL draft in Chicago.

Playing alongside Kevin White, the seventh overall pick in the draft, Alford was a productive cog in a high-scoring Mountaineers offense, hauling in 65 passes for 945 yards and a team-high 11 touchdowns.

Though he was primarily a wide receiver in college, Alford's speed -- he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.25 seconds at West Virginia's pro day in March -- makes him a prime candidate to be used as a punt or kick returner in the NFL. As a kick returner last season, the 5-foot-8, 180-pound Alford averaged 28.6 yards per return with two touchdowns.

 

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Shaq Riddick drafted by Arizona Cardinals in fifth round

Written by Craig Meyer on .

After Mark Glowinski was selected by the Seattle Seahawks in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL draft, West Virginia didn't have to wait much longer to see another one of its players get selected -- one who may get the chance to go directly against Glowinski twice a year.

Defensive end Shaquille Riddick was picked by the Arizona Cardinals in the fifth round with the 158th overall pick Saturday.

An edge rusher, Riddick led all Mountaineers players last season with seven sacks and was second on the team in tackles for loss with 11 (for 55 yards). Riddick spent just one season at West Virginia after transferring from Gardner-Webb, where he was an FCS all-American.

Though the Cardinals had one of the NFL's stingiest defenses last season -- giving up 18.7 points per game, the fifth-fewest in the league -- they didn't put steady pressure on opposing quarterbacks, as they finished with just the 24th-most sacks among 32 teams.

Even with his notable upside and natural athleticism, people who analyze draft prospects, including ESPN's Mel Kiper, have said that Riddick wasn't as consistently productive as his physical frame and skills would seem to indicate.

 

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Mark Glowinski picked in fourth round by Seattle Seahawks

Written by Craig Meyer on .

A sizable gap existed between West Virginia draftees after Kevin White was selected seventh overall under the bright and all-consuming lights of the first night of the 2015 NFL draft. But on the draft's third day, that drought ended.

Former Mountaineers offensive lineman Mark Glowinski was selected in the fourth round, with the 134th overall pick, by the Seattle Seahawks Saturday afternoon at the league's draft in Chicago.

Glowinski -- who, like White, came to Morgantown by way of Lackawanna College -- was a mainstay of the West Virginia offensive line the past two seasons, helping pave the way for a team that was tied for 34th in Division I last year in scoring offense (at 33.5 points per game).

At 6-foot-4 and 307 pounds, scouts have raved about the power he generates from his upper body, as well as his competitive spirit. He has, however, been criticized for a lack of quickness in his hands and the relative stiffness of his lower body.

Despite making their second consecutive Super Bowl last season, and having one of the more elusive quarterbacks in the NFL in Russell Wilson, the Seahawks could use some degree of help on the offensive line, as they gave up the 12th-most sacks in the league last season.

 

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Chicago Bears select Kevin White with seventh overall pick

Written by Craig Meyer on .

Barely two years after arriving on the West Virginia campus as an immensely talented, but little known wide receiver out of Lackawanna College, Kevin White is a top-10 NFL draft pick.

The former Mountaineers standout was selected by the Chicago Bears with the seventh overall pick Thursday night at the league’s draft at Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, just over one mile away from the team’s home stadium, Solider Field, where he’ll be catching passes next season.

“I’ve been through so much and I’ve been wanting this all my life,” White told ESPN in an interview shortly after being picked. “I’m finally here and I’m ready to turn this city around.”

After a solid, if unspectacular, junior season, White broke through as a senior, hauling in 109 catches for 1,447 yards and 10 touchdowns, the first two of which were team highs. He was a first-team all-Big 12 conference selection and a second-team Associated Press all-American.

Along with Alabama’s Amari Cooper, who went fourth overall to the Oakland Raiders, White was widely rated as one of the top two receivers in the draft class.

At 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, White represents a long and athletic downfield target that can use his blazing speed – he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.35 seconds at the NFL combine in February – to separate himself from defensive backs. He becomes the second West Virginia wide receiver drafted in the first round in the past three years, joining Tavon Austin, who was taken with the eighth pick in the 2013 draft.

With the Bears, he’ll line up on the opposite side of Alshon Jeffery, a tall and talented wideout with two 1,000-yard seasons in his three-year career, while also attempting to fill the void left by Brandon Marshall, who was traded to the New York Jets in early March.

 

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Kevin White mock draft roundup

Written by Craig Meyer on .

http://www.post-gazette.com/image/2014/10/18/ca6,0,2210,1449/20141018mfwvusports04-3.jpg

(Matt Freed, Post-Gazette)

I had resisted doing this for a few months, since these mock drafts are as solid and stable as a drunk person trying to ride a surfboard on a 50-foot wave. By their very nature, the order of these things is pliable because developments emerge and perceptions change, so trying to constantly chronicle and update these things is likely to drive someone mad.

But with draft day finally here, the focus of West Virginia fans falls squarely on their prized product, wide receiver Kevin White.

Barely even two years removed from Lackawanna College in Scranton, White was widely viewed as one of the draft's top receivers at the end of the season, but following his freakish showing at the NFL combine in February, he's almost universally regarded as a top-10 pick. Some mocks even have him going as high as No. 3 overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

A handful of other Mountaineers will hear their names called over the next three days. There's no mistaking, however, that an overwhelming bulk of the interest centers around White and since most websites don't have mock drafts that go beyond the third round, it's a lot more effective focusing on the top prospect of the group.

Mel Kiper, ESPN (Insider): No. 6 New York Jets

ESPN NFL Nation: No. 6 New York Jets

Sports Illustrated: No. 7 Chicago Bears (Don Banks), No. 3 Jacksonville Jaguars (Chris Burke), No. 10 St. Louis Rams (Doug Farrar)

NFL.comNo. 7 Chicago Bears (Daniel Jeremiah), No. 6 New York Jets (Mike Mayock), No. 11 Minnesota Vikings (Charles Davis), No. 12 Cleveland Browns (Charley Casserly), No. 7 Chicago Bears (Lance Zierlein), No. 7 Chicago Bears (Bucky Brooks), No. 4 Oakland Raiders (Brian Baldinger)

CBS Sports: No. 6 New York Jets (Rob Rang), No. 7 Chicago Bears (Dane Brugler), No. 10 St. Louis Rams (Pete Prisco), No. 9 New York Giants (Will Brinson)

Pro Football Talk: No. 6 New York Jets

Fox Sports: No. 13 New Orleans Saints

SB Nation: No. 7 Chicago Bears

Bleacher Report: No. 10 St. Louis Rams

Yahoo! Sports: No. 10 St. Louis Rams

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: No. 6 New York Jets

USA Today: No. 12 Cleveland Browns

Washington Post: No. 7 Chicago Bears

U-T San Diego: No. 9 New York Giants

Walter Football: No. 7 Chicago Bears

 

Of those mocks listed, here are the final tallies:

No. 7, Chicago Bears: 8

No. 6, New York Jets: 6

No. 10, St. Louis Rams: 4

No. 9 New York Giants: 2

No. 12, Cleveland Browns: 2

No. 3, Jacksonville Jaguars: 1

No. 4, Oakland Raiders: 1

No. 11, Minnesota Vikings: 1

No. 13, New Orleans Saints: 1

 

Craig Meyer: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and Twitter @CraigMeyerPG

 

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