West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith and wide receiver Tavon Austin highlight four Mountaineers who received invitations to the NFL Combine, scheduled for Feb. 20-26 at Indianapolis' Lucas Oil Field. Penn State and Pittsburgh will also send players to the annual festival of Wonderlic tests and 40-yard dashes.
Smith, who just finished his senior season in Morgantown with 4,205 passing yards and 42 touchdown passes, is widely considered the top quarterback in this year's draft class and a possible No. 1 pick. Smith's physical skills are not in serious question, and his leadership and mental makeup are solid. He will want to show scouts improved accuracy and ability to adapt to an offense more complicated than the two-read system he ran at West Virginia.
Austin caught 114 passes in his senior season, totaling 1,289 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. At 5'9 and 174 pounds, he has less-than-ideal size for the NFL, but his speed should overcome any concerns over his lack of stature. Mountaineer offensive lineman Joe Madsen and WR Stedman Bailey will also be in attendance. Bailey left school early after a breakout junior season, and should be a second-day draft selection.
Penn State linebackers Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges have received invitations, as did defensive lineman Jordan Hill and center Mike Stankiewitch. Pitt running back Ray Graham has also been invited to attend.
Coverage of the NFL Combine is available on NFL Network throughout the week-long event.