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2018 West Virginia Mountaineers prospect primer

Photo by Steve Nurenberg/Icon Sportswire

Scouting Notes

2018 West Virginia Mountaineers prospect primer

Below are notable West Virginia Mountaineers eligible for the 2018 NFL Draft. Of all the teams in the Big 12, the Mountaineers are the wild card with the highest potential to break out. Most of this is due to a potentially explosive offense with former Florida quarterback Will Grier and All-Big 12 running back Justin Crawford.

Offense

Quarterback Will Grier – 6020, 204 – Redshirt Junior

The infamous Florida Gators quarterback transfer is ready to make West Virginia a contender once again in the Big 12 this year. With his arm strength and ability to throw a pretty deep ball, Grier has a chance to break Geno Smith’s school passing records for the Mountaineers. West Virginia’s hopes of being a Cinderella team this season rest on Grier’s arm, and if he does produce, there will be some chirping from scouts.

Mountaineers RB Justin Crawford (25) carries the football (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

Running Back Justin Crawford – 6000, 202 – Senior

With 1,184 rushing yards and a 7.3 yards-per-carry average last season, Justin Crawford enters his senior year as one of the Big 12’s best running backs. He possesses ideal size and athleticism, showing the ability to break away when given an ounce of daylight. His talent to create on his own with the ball in his hands is exciting to watch, but in today’s NFL, he simply needs to do more in the passing game to cement his draft value. This includes both pass protection and catching out of the backfield.

Wide Receiver Ka’Raun White – 6010, 199 – Redshirt Senior

Ka’Raun White is one of two younger brothers on the team of 2015 first-round pick and Chicago Bears wide receiver Kevin White. The younger White brother at wide receiver is a true possession receiver. He is as reliable as they come with his strong hands and plucking ability. However, his lack of breakaway speed hinders his chances to separate from cornerbacks. White also suffered a broken bone in his leg to end the 2016 season.

Offensive Guard Kyle Bosch – 6050, 310 – Redshirt Senior

The Michigan transfer Kyle Bosch has been able to make his mark in just two seasons at West Virginia. He has started every game at right guard since arriving in Morgantown, earning first-team All-Big 12 honors in 2016. Bosch is the unquestioned leader of the offensive line for the Mountaineers, and his combination of technique and strength allows him to handle most defensive linemen in the conference. He is not the most mobile of athletes, but he carries a mean streak that is contagious.

Defense

Linebacker Al-Rasheed Benton – 6010, 238 – Redshirt Senior

Safety Kyzir White – 6030, 218 – Senior

The second younger brother of Kevin White on this West Virginia squad is undoubtedly the better prospect. He plays strong safety and a “moneybacker” role for the Mountaineers, earning second-team All-Big 12 honors last season. White excels when coming downhill in run support and on blitz packages, as he tallied three sacks and seven tackles for a loss in 2016. While an impressive athlete with click and close ability, he needs to slow the game down and play at different speeds. Too often, he is caught overrunning his pursuit lane or angle. People look at safeties thinking they should have more interceptions and deservedly so, but I’d look at White more as a Mark Barron-linebacker than a true safety.

Safety Dravon Askew-Henry – 6000, 200 – Redshirt Junior

Jonah Tuls

Tuls is one of the lead NFL Draft analysts for Draftbreakdown.com and has been a key contributor to several other NFL Draft sites in recent years. At Draftbreakdown, Tuls provides macro-oriented NFL Draft coverage, including comprehensive player rankings, mock drafts and big boards for the site. Tuls has worked with some of the NDT Scouting staff previously before; he worked with National Scout Jon Ledyard to form the core of USA Today’s Draft Wire site for the 2016 NFL Draft season. His work there was centered around draft reports, with additional analysis and breaking news efforts as well.

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