Geno Smith and Tavon Austin of the West Virginia Mountaineers could each be the top player off the NFL Draft board at their respective positions, with one mocker selecting Smith No. 3 and Austin No. 12.
West Virginia could very well have the top quarterback and wide receiver in the country when it comes to the NFL draft, as at least one mocker has Geno Smith and Tavon Austin going first at their respective positions.
Smith and Austin were part of a disappointing Mountaineers' team that fell from a top five ranking to 7-6 with a brutal loss to Syracuse in the Pinstripe Bowl. But both put up gaudy numbers in 2012, and with their college careers now in the rear view mirror, both players are hot commodities. Smith is seemingly a lock to be the first quarterback selected in the draft. Dan Kadar of SB Nation's Mocking the Draft put Smith first overall in his latest 2013 NFL Mock Draft, predicting the Kansas City Chiefs would take him with their No. 1 pick:
Smith is not the best player in the 2013 NFL Draft. We have him rated as the 16th best prospect overall. But it won't be a surprise for the Chiefs to use the top pick on him because of how desperately they need a starting quarterback.
Josh Norris of Rotoworld doesn't think Smith will hear his name called first overall, but didn't see the Miami native falling below the third spot, where the Oakland Raiders are also desperately in need of a quarterback:
The Raiders may be going through an offensive overhaul, and Geno is a good piece to build around. He may not be a transcendent talent, but he can elevate those around him and help a team win.
As for Austin, his stock is a little bit lower than Smith's. He has tremendous speed, but at 5'9", he's not exactly the model of an NFL wide receiver. He's still expected to be one of the first wide receivers off the board, and Norris predicted he'd be the top pick at his position, at No. 12 to the Miami Dolphins:
It doesn’t mean that much, since GMs look at every name brand prospect at one time or another, but a report surfaced that Jeff Ireland attended West Virginia’s bowl game against Syracuse. Reggie Bush is not expected to return to Miami, and although Austin takes some snaps at running back, he is best used in the open field from a variety of spots. We consider him a mini version of Randall Cobb or Percy Harvin, the only question is if he runs as strong.
Norris also listed fellow Mountaineers' wide receiver Stedman Bailey amongst other players considered, although he was not amongst the first 32 players selected.