Mountaineers in the Pros
Bryce Ford-Wheaton: ‘I know People Are Sleeping on Me’
INDIANAPOLIS – “I know people are sleeping on me for sure.” That’s what WVU product Bryce Ford-Wheaton said while talking with the media at the NFL Combine.
Ford-Wheaton spoke confidently when asked if he feels he’s being slept on and underrated as far as receivers go in this year’s draft. “But I’m not worried about that. I’ve been slept on my whole life,” Ford-Wheaton then added. He even expressed that he’s heard he could fall in the middle or late rounds, but that he would be a better “bang for you buck” option.
This is something Ford-Wheaton has actually been alluding to throughout the entire draft process.
“Going against corners that are my size. Going against nothing but man. It’s been different,” said Ford-Wheaton explaining he was not used to press man in college. Better learn how to beat it late than never though, right? That’s the attitude Ford-Wheaton seems to be taking about his realization he may be underprepared for the next level. He detailed what exactly makes press man difficult for him. “Press man is kinda different. We don’t see a lot of that in the Big 12. The corners are really just trying to mess up your timing and mess up your route, and defeating that at the line and getting a lot of separation is harder, but I know that’s what it is in the league. So I’m getting adjusted to it and getting better day by day,” he offered while reflecting on his college career and what his plan is moving forward at the East-West Shrine Bowl in Las Vegas.
WVU WR Bryce Ford-Wheaton Realized What’s Missing from His Game at Shrine Bowl
To his credit, it was evident at the Shrine Bowl practices that the 6’3″, 224 pound receiver has the size and strength to be able to handle one-on-one battles and has some sneaky quickness and speed that can result in him getting open no matter if the play is drawn up for him or not. Ford-Wheaton has also always been a player willing to do the dirty work and block well to extend plays when others get the ball. He has the skillset and makeup, but his pro success may depend on if he can translate into an NFL system and learn an advanced route tree, which is something else he quickly realized he needs to figure out.
Ford-Wheaton caught 62 passes for 675 yards in 2022, although that’s only 100 more yards than he had the year prior with Wright ahead of him on the depth chart. He scored seven touchdowns, but four of those came in the first two weeks of the season.