The college football season is over, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t WVU Mountaineers still playing football. Several WVU alums play in the NFL and show off their talents weekly.
While all of the quarterbacks and position players receive media recognition, it’s tough for casual fans to know all of the guys on every team. Each NFL roster contains a total of 53 players.
So while none of the Mountaineers in the league are vying for MVP honors, there are several who are consistent contributors on their teams.
With the NFL season coming to a finish as well, the 2022 NFL draft is just around the corner. It’s likely that multiple WVU football players will be selected, even with several veterans set to return to Morgantown for a final year.
WVU football in the NFL
WVU’s recent bowl game didn’t go as planned; however, there are lots of players still representing the school well in the pros.
In Week 18, plenty of guys saw action, including a couple of regular starters around the league.
Among the group, Green Bay’s Rasul Douglas is possibly the most impressive. He’s having a tremendous season for the Packers and has helped fill in with Jaire Alexander sidelined.
Douglas finished the regular season with five interceptions in just 12 games. He returned two of those picks for touchdowns and was a strong part of a Packers team that earned the NFC’s No. 1 seed.
There are a couple of other starters remaining in the NFL playoffs, too.
The Tennessee Titans’ David Long Jr. is in his third year in the NFL and is one of their better linebackers. Despite playing in only 10 games, he ranked second on the team in total tackles with 75.
Long Jr. proved he’s also solid in coverage, recording six pass deflections and two interceptions.
Like Green Bay, the Titans wrapped up the top spot in the AFC and begin their postseason next weekend.
WVU’s Colton McKivitz started in Week 18 for the San Francisco 49ers. He got the nod ahead of injured Trent Williams in the Niners’ must-win finale.
Williams is now back, and San Francisco is on to Green Bay after beating the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
There are quite a few other Mountaineers in key roles for their professional teams.
Guard Mark Glowinski is in his seventh season overall and his fourth with the Indianapolis Colts. He started 14 tilts for them on a line that featured the best running attack in the NFL.
Even though they narrowly missed the postseason, running back Jonathan Taylor had a year to remember. He rushed for more than 1,800 yards and 18 touchdowns while averaging 5.5 yards per carry.
The Chargers’ Kyzir White also performed notably well this season. He led Los Angeles with a total of 144 tackles to go with two interceptions.
Additional Mountaineers on NFL rosters
White’s production at linebacker was good enough to rank him eighth among all players in tackles. His 90 solo tackles placed him in the same spot, just off the league leaders.
A few additional WVU players saw the field in the final week of the regular season.
Safety Kenny Robinson plays for the Carolina Panthers. He started in the final week, posting five solo tackles.
Veteran Bruce Irvin Jr. is still at it for the Chicago Bears. He participated in about 20 snaps in Week 18 and got in the box score with a tackle.
Cleveland’s Tony Fields got some action to conclude his first year, with 15 plays on special teams.
Giants wide receiver David Sills got in a little on both offense and special teams against Washington and caught a pass in each of the two previous weeks.
Quarterback Geno Smith remained active for the Seahawks behind starter Russell Wilson.
A bunch of others are on NFL rosters, but they’re either inactive, injured or on a team’s practice squad. They include the following:
- Will Grier – Dallas Cowboys
- Tavon Austin – Jacksonville Jaguars
- Quinton Spain – Cincinnati Bengals
- Nick Kwiatkoski – Las Vegas Raiders
- Yodny Cajuste – New England Patriots
- Kevin White – New Orleans Saints
- Trevon Wesco – New York Jets
- Daryl Worley – Baltimore Ravens
- Adam Panky – Miami Dolphins
- Karl Joseph – Pittsburgh Steelers
2022 NFL draft preview
One of the top names coming back to WVU for one more year of eligibility is defensive lineman Dante Stills. He led the Mountaineers in sacks this season with seven and was considered someone who could be a midround draft pick.
Thanks to the NCAA rules giving athletes another year of eligibility because of the pandemic, Stills can enhance his draft stock even more next fall.
This ruling allows linebacker Josh Chandler-Semedo the opportunity to build on his massive season, too. The senior was among the best in the country, securing 110 tackles total in leading WVU.
This leaves running back Leddie Brown as probably the top prospect entering this year’s draft from WVU. As many know, he chose to opt out of the Mountaineers’ bowl to focus on preparing for the spring event.
He rushed for 1,000 yards again this season and could end up being a solid pro running back. His pass-catching ability should transition well as he gets accustomed to running behind an NFL line. Brown caught 36 passes this season and 31 a year ago.
He will participate in the East-West Shrine Bowl with lots of other top college players.
Another Mountaineer playing in a postseason All-Star contest is safety Alonzo Addae. He finished the year in third on the WVU defense with 73 tackles.
Addae accepted an invite to the 2022 Hula Bowl, which is a similar exhibition meant to showcase draft prospects.
That took place this past weekend, and Addae put together a quality show. According to reports, he was making tackles all over the field, while also getting the job done in coverage.
Both players could end up hearing their name called in this year’s draft, but neither is projected to go too high. Brown and Addae fall outside of the top 150 prospects in most draft rankings.
Soon enough, West Virginia sportsbooks will display odds for the upcoming draft, scheduled to begin on Thursday, April 28.