Early Rounds Influence WVU Alums

Although no West Virginia players were drafted in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft on Saturday, several WVU alumni figure to be affected by their teams' draft picks.

Foolwing are quick looks at the picks from Day One that could have an impact on the professional fortunes of former Mountaineers:

  • Buffalo took Wisconsin wide receiver Lee Evans with their first pick, which presents a challenge to former Mountaineer wideout Antonio Brown. Brown did not catch any passes for the Bills last year, but did contribute as a kickoff and punt return specialist.

  • Jason Davis, who was on the Houston Texans' practice squad, might face a challenge in moving up as the Texans drafted Western Michigan defensive end Jason Babin, who is a good edge pass rusher and gives top-of-the-line effort.

  • Both WVU connections on the Kansas City Chiefs will also see some new competition. Defensive tackle John Browning could be pushed by Oregon's Junior Siavii. Browning had 42 tackles, but just 1/2 of a sack last year after having seven QB takedowns in 2002.

  • Teammate Gary Stills, who is a pass rushing specialist that lines up at either defensive end or linebacker, will face Georgia Tech's Keyaron Fox in training camp. Fox, like Stills, is a speed player with a quick burst coming off the corner. Stills had 35 tackles and three sacks in 2003.

  • Detroit may have put another big hit on WVU's all-time leading rusher, as the Lions drafted Virginia Tech's Kevin Jones with their second pick. Although Cobourne currently leads NFL Europe in rushing, he figures to have another uphill fight to retain his roster spot. Cobourne saw only spot duty with the Lions in 2003,gaining just 27 yards on ten carries in seven games. He also saw some action on kick returns and defensive special teams.

  • Teammate James Davis will also have a new face to contend with, in the form of Oklahoma linebacker Teddy Lehman, who can play either inside or outside. Davis played in eight games last year, recording eight tackles and two pass breakups.

  • Aaron Beasley, who is on Atlanta's roster after playing with the Jets last year, will have to battle first-round pick DeAngelo Hall of Virginia Tech, among others, for a spot. Beasley had 60 tackles and three interceptions for the Jets last year.

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