We’ve more or less reached the midpoint of the NFL season and across the league, WVU’s finest have played integral roles. Currently there are 20 WVU alums on either NFL 53-man or practice squad rosters.
While the Mountaineers may be more known for their offensive prowess (they are in the Big 12 after all), it is primarily former defensive stars that have made their marks in the NFL. Wendell Smallwood (Eagles) and Tavon Austin (Cowboys) have had some limited action, but no other skill players have made any meaningful contribution to their teams. However, some bright spots have been found on the offensive line as both Mark Glowinski (Colts) and Quinton Spain (Bills) have played every snap so far this season.
On the defensive side of the ball, defensive stalwart Bruce Irvin (Panthers) has been productive since returning from an injury and Rasul Douglas (Eagles), Karl Joseph (Raiders) and Daryl Worley (Raiders) have all stepped into starting roles for their respective teams.
WVU ALUM IN THE NFL
Austin’s second year on the Cowboys has seen him get limited snaps and zero starts on the season. Austin’s best game so far was week four against the Jets when he had five catches for 64 yards and a touchdown. For the season Austin has just 8 catches for 90 yards and one carry for 20 yards. He also has 7 punt returns for 32 yards, a 4.6 average.
The Patriots 3rd round pick has been on injured reserve while healing up from offseason quadriceps surgery.
The Eagles corner has five starts and eight games played where he’s racked up 27 tackles and six passes defensed. Douglas has played a career high 78% of all defensive snaps on the season and has received positive reviews for his play.
Gipson has one catch on the season for 48 yards playing with the Philadelphia Eagles.
The fifth year guard has played 100% of the snaps on the season for Indianapolis as a full time starter protecting Jacoby Brissett.
Goode has been in and out of the lineup for the Jacksonville Jaguars. After having his best game of the season against the Saints, he suffered a turf toe injury early in the Bengals game and his status is unknown for the Jaguars’ week 8 matchup against Houston.
After missing the first three games of the season with a hamstring injury, Irvin has played in each of the Panthers’ last four games, totaling 3.5 sacks, a pass defensed and 12 tackles.
The rookie wideout has not played this season.
Joseph has played well for the Oakland Raiders starting all seven of the team’s games and compiling 36 tackles, including three tackles for a loss.
The fourth year Bears inside linebacker has played mostly on special teams this season. However he made the most of his one start with nine tackles along with a sack a forced fumble and two tackles for a loss.
The Tennessee Titans rookie linebacker has seen limited action on the season, seeing snaps on the defensive side of the ball in just one game.
The offensive lineman is currently on the Packers’ 53-man roster but has not appeared in any of the teams’ regular season games after spending time on the Titans practice squad.
Although incredibly productive at WVU, Sills went undrafted. After being cut by the Bills he wound up on the Giants’ practice squad.
The former WVU guard has played nearly every snap on the season for the surprising Bills.
In a backup role with the Redskins, Smallwood has 67 yards rushing and 52 yards receiving.
Smith is currently the backup to Russell Wilson in Seattle and has yet to play this season.
The rookie tight end has played seven games for the Jets, starting one.
The Chargers safety has four starts on the season with 23 tackles, one interception and one pass defensed.
The fourth year cornerback has played extensively for the Raiders, starting every game and playing a hybrid role for coach Jon Gruden.