The West Virgina Mountaineers are sending five players to this year’s National Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Those five guys will be showing off their skills along with 325 other collegiate players in hopes of being drafted by an NFL team. Below is the five Mountaineers that will be representing at the combine.
Rushel Shell, RB: This year, the running back position is deep. I mean really deep. Shell didn’t show his full potential last season due to some nagging injuries, but he is a powerful runner and has good speed. Despite those injuries Shell suffered, the Alquippa, PA native still had a solid 4.5 yards per carry. He has the size and speed to be an NFL back, but health issues is a concern. Shell is currently a later round draft pick. A good showing at the combine could solidify him getting drafted, but a mediocre performance could lead to him signing as an undrafted free agent.
Shelton Gibson, WR: I’m looking forward to watching Gibson in the 40 yard dash. The underclassman is slated as one of the fastest receivers at the combine. He was a huge vertical threat the past two seasons with the Mountaineers. Gibson averaged 22 yards per reception in Morgantown and he is flat out fast. He has quick acceleration and once he gets little separation from the defender, he’s gone. His main weaknesses have to do with plays over the middle. Gibson doesn’t run sharp routes and has below average hands when he tries to make a play in the middle of the field. If he can improve his hands and route running over the middle, he’s going to have a good NFL career. Expect Gibson to go around the third or fourth round. Note: Watch him in the 40 yard dash. He is likely to be in the top five fastest at the combine.
Tyler Orlosky, C: Orlosky has the tools to be a solid center in the NFL. He has good speed for his size and is an excellent blocker in both rushing and passing schemes. Orlosky also has the durability that every NFL team looks for. The All-American didn’t miss a single start in the past three seasons with the Mountaineers. He has excellent awareness when engaging blocks and that led to him being a Rimington Award finalist. Orlosky is very smart on the field, and an intelligent blocker. He has struggled several times with snap counts and that will need to improve. I think Orlosky’s name will be called in the third round, but he could end up being a late second round pick.
Noble Nwachukwu, OLB: Nwachukwu was pretty good for the Mountaineers defense, but he’ll need a great performance at the combine to land on team’s radar. While he is listed in the combine as a linebacker he is better suited at the edge position where he played the majority of the time. Nwachukwu had a better year as a junior, but still didn’t have bad numbers last year. He can impose a lot of pressure, but he needs to improve his pursuit ability. If he has a good performance at the combine, he could be drafted in the final round, but he’ll most likely sign with a team as an undrafted free agent.
Rasul Douglas, CB: The cornerback position is another deep position in the draft this year, but Douglas will still be in the mix of things. In 2016, Douglas tied for first in the NCAA with eight interceptions. He is a ball hawk who isn’t afraid to go for the pick. He reads quarterbacks well and is great in zone coverage. He lacks in man coverage. Despite eight picks, he did get burnt at times when he was one on one. A good 40 time at the combine will prove he has the speed to play in the NFL. Look for Douglas to be drafted in the third or fourth round.