\ Kevin Kinder

West Virginia Players Have Busy Saturday Evening with NFL Free Agent Signings

West Virginia didn't get as many players selected in the seven rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft as it expected, but a number of Mountaineers were quick to ink unrestricted free agent deals at the conclusion of the draft on Saturday.

Receiver Daikiel Shorts, one of many very productive players who didn't get picked, was quick to sign a free agent deal with the Buffalo Bills,

"They told me they liked the way I catch the ball and compete, and they said I would get a fair chance to come in and make the team as a slot receiver," Shorts told "I'm excited for it. They will talk to me tonight about when to report and what I'll be doing."

Joining Shorts in Buffalo will be defensive back Jeremy Tyler, who also rapidly climbed on board with the Bills when offered. "#BILLSNATION" was his quick tweet announcing his move to the NFL.

Defensive lineman Noble Nwachukwu confirmed that he has signed a free agent deal with the San Francisco 49ers. 

"I will be going out there next week," Nwachukwu told

The Pittsburgh Steelers were active, as usual, in evaluating and looking at Mountaineers. Both running back Rushel Shell and defensive lineman Christian Brown have inked deals with the closest NFL team to WVU. Pittsburgh has long looked at WVU as a solid development ground for players. Shell, who is viewing his undrafted stattus as a personal challenge, announced his signing thusly:

Brown noted that the proximity of the Steelers helps West Virginia players.

"It was a quick turnaround after the draft; as soon as it was over they were on the phone with my agent and telling me they had a deal for me," Brown said. "The must have seen something in me they liked, and they are around a lot. They saw a lot of us at Pro Day and they know what we are about."

Brown said Pittsburgh is giving him a few days to get in peak shape before reporting for a first camp.

"I have to show them what I can do," said Brown, who followed a typical Mountaineer development path to become a standout member of the team.

Across the state, the Philadelphia Eagles added offensive lineman Tyler Orlosky as a free agent to their draft haul of Rasul Douglas and Shelton Gibson, rivaling the Steelers as a home for Mountaineer alumni.The fact that Orlosky was undrafted is a bit of a puzzler, despite some assessments about his ability to adapt to any position other than center and to his relatively short reach. Still, he will now get his chance in an NFL camp.

Defensive back Maurice Fleming was one of the first to sign, inking a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He'll also find a couple of friendly faces, as he will join Charles Sims and Keith Tandy on the camp roster.

Quarterback Skyler Howard signed a deal with the Seattle Seahawks, affirming a long ago promise he made it to himself and his mother.

Offensive lineman Adam Pankey will join the Green Bay Packers as a free agent. Pankey visited Green Bay prior to the draft, and will try to join Don Barclay as a Mountaineer alum on the offensive line.

Darrien Howard has not yet signed a free agent deal, but will work out the the Arizona Cardinals on May 12 with three other defensive linemen. After that workout, the Cardinals will make free agent offers, which Howard hopes to be included in.

"They told me they liked me a lot, but since they haven't been able to work me out in person, they want to do that first," Howard told "I am going to go out there and go through a workout with them, and see where it goes from there."

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