West Virginia Mountaineers: Scouting the Combine

Over the past several days, six West Virginia Mountaineers participated in the Combine for the 2019 NFL Draft. Will Grier, Trevon Wesco, Gary Jennings, David Sills, Yodny Cajuste, and David Long all received invitations to attend. We have been scouting the combine to bring you updates on all of the Mountaineers’ participants.

Will Grier

Seventeen quarterbacks were invited to participate in the NFL combine. Grier’s participation with that group produced mixed results. Outside of an impressive vertical jump, Grier finished in the bottom of the middle pack for the position in the measured drills. Grier was also inconsistent with his throws in on-the-field drills.

But, according to several sources, Grier interviewed well, and he showed off the confidence, poise, and intelligence that allowed him to produce at both Florida and West Virginia. Grier’s draft status is not in doubt. He continues to grade out in the second tier of quarterbacks in this draft, behind the potential immediate starters in Drew Lock, Kyler Murray, and Dwayne Haskins. Indeed, NFL.com grades Grier as the 6th-best quarterback in this draft. Obviously, Grier disagrees, and his combine performance did nothing to hurt that grade.

The Receivers

Both of West Virginia’s receivers, Sills and Jennings, turned heads at the combine, but Jennings may have helped himself most. He finished in the top third of receivers with his 4.42 40-yard dash. He also finished in the top 5 on the bench press and three-cone drill. He displayed sure hands during his on-field drills as well. Jennings has been graded as a late third-day pick by most measurements, but his performance may cause him to creep into the earlier rounds of that day or even into the second day.

Sills did not perform nearly as well in the measured drills, but he displayed the maturity, intelligence, and sure hands that made him such a threat in the Old Gold and Blue during his on-field drills and media. One of Sills’ biggest flaws, in fact, was dropped passes. He did not have a lot, but he had enough to notice in the past two seasons. His combine performance may have helped allay these concerns. Sills also buttressed his strengths, smooth route running and crisp footwork, all of which was likely enough to cement his position as a late second-day pick.

Cajuste and Wesco

By now, Mountaineer fans have heard that Cajuste broke the Mountaineers’ all-time record on the bench press. His performance was good enough for fourth among all offensive line prospects at the combine. Cajuste, however, did not participate in any of the other measured drills, leaving some doubts about his athleticism going forward. Cajuste met with several NFL teams at the combine, so interest in his versatility remains. He could definitely hear his name early on the second day of the draft.

Wesco showed Mountaineer nation how strong he was all season long. That strength was on display this weekend, and Wesco finished 1st among all tight ends in the bench press. He also finished in the top half of all tight ends in the three-cone drill and the broad jump. While most continue to believe Wesco is a developmental prospect, his strength and athleticism are sure to attract attention on the final day of the draft.

David Long

Long’s measurements confirmed the questions surrounding his hopes for the next level. Simply, Long is one of the smaller linebacker prospects at 5’11 and 227 pounds. He only participated in the bench press at the Combine and finished in the bottom five, putting up only 15 reps. Long, however, has overcome his size and turned it into an advantage for the last three years in Morgantown.

Linebacker is a demanding position at all levels of the game. Measurable traits are great, but instinct and relentlessness define the game’s best. Long definitely possesses those traits in abundance. And that is what defined his time in Morgantown, leading him to win Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2018. A solid pro day will certainly help him.

Looking Forward

West Virginia holds its Pro Day on March 21. Expect the combine participants, along with Kenny Bigelow, Jabril Robinson, and Dravon Askew-Henry, among the Mountaineers’ other seniors, to put on a show. The draft begins on April 25 and concludes on the 27th.

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