(WTRF) Mountaineers go first. The West Virginia Mountaineers have a distinguished NFL draft history with a total of 198 players selected in the NFL draft. WVU has produced nine first-round draft picks since 1936, the first year of the draft, here is a list of those players:
Stydahar was selected in the first round, number six overall by the Chicago Bears in the 1936 NFL draft. Not only was Stydahar the first West Virginia Mountaineer to be selected in an NFL draft but he was the first player drafted in Bears history and was the first NFL lineman selected in the first round. Stydahar from Beckley, West Virginia played at WVU from 1933-1935. Stydahar went on to be a 3x NFL champion, 4x Pro Bowler, a college football Hall of Famer, and a Pro Football Hall of Famer.
Marconi was selected by the Las Angeles Rams as a fullback in 1956, 6th overall in the NFL draft. Marconi was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1963 and won the NFL championship that same year as a member of the Chicago Bears.
Howley from Wheeling West Virginia was selected seventh overall by the Chicago Bears in the 1958 NFL draft. Howley had a knee injury in 1959 and planned to retire from football, but made a comeback and was traded to the Dallas Cowboys in 1961. Howley made it to two Super Bowls, and became the first and still is the only player in NFL history to win the Super Bowl MVP as a member of the losing team. Howley won the Super Bowl the following year with the Cowboys in 1972. Howley was a 6x Pro Bowler and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2023.
Leftridge is the highest draft pick selected to come from West Virginia University. Leftridge is also one of the first African American to play football at WVU. Leftridge from Hinton, West Virginia was selected third overall in the 1966 NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Leftridge only played four games in the NFL and had two touchdowns.
Jozwiak was an offensive lineman for the West Virginia Mountaineers and was selected seventh overall in the 1986 draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. Jozwiak played three NFL seasons before he suffered a career-ending hip surgery.
Turnbull as a defensive end / outside linebacker was selected 14th overall by the New Orleans Saints in 1990. Turnbull was selected to the first All-Pro team in 1993 and was also selected to the NFL Pro Bowl that same year. Turnbull played 7 seasons in the NFL finishing out his career as a Carolina Panther in 1997.
Becht was a tight end that was selected 27th overall in the 2000 NFL draft by the New York Jets. Becht was known as a journeyman in the NFL after playing for five NFL teams. Becht played for the New York Jets from 2000-2004, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from 2005-2007, the St. Louis Rams in 2008, the Arizona Cardinals in 2009, and the Kansas City Chiefs in 2011. Becht is currently the head coach and General Manager of the XFL football team the St.Louis BattleHawks.
Adam ‘Pacman’ Jones
‘Pacman’ Jones played at West Virginia University from 2002-2004 and was drafted sixth overall in the 2005 draft by the Tennessee Titans. Pacman spent most of his career with the Cincinnati Bengals where he was named to the 2014 All-Pro team and was selected to the 2015 Pro Bowl team. Pacman spent 13 seasons in the NFL. He also played for the Dallas Cowboys in 2008 and the Denver Broncos in 2018.
Irvin spent his college career at WVU during the 2010-2011 seasons. Irvin was selected by the Seattle Seahawks 15th overall in the 2012 NFL draft. Irvin is currently on the Seahawks roster after being a journeyman and playing for four other teams and also jumping back to Seattle three different times. Irvin has played for Seattle from 2012-2015, in 2020, and in 2022. He also played for the Oakland Raiders from 2016-2018, the Atlanta Falcons in 2018, the Carolina Panthers in 2019, and, the Chicago Bears in 2021. Irvin is a Super Bowl Champion as a member of the 2014 Seattle Seahawks team that defeated the Denver Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII.
Austin spent four seasons at WVU from 2009-2012. He was drafted during the 2013 NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams 8th overall. Austin journeyed around the NFL, having spent time with a total of six teams. Austin played for the St.Louis Rams/ Los Angeles Rams from 2013-2017, He then joined the Dallas Cowboys for the 2018-2019 seasons. Austin also was with the San Fransico 49ers in 2020, the Green Bay Packers in 2020, the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2021, and the Buffalo Bills in 2022.
White was a Mountaineer for two years during the 2013 and 2014 football seasons. White was drafted by the Chicago Bears seventh overall in the 2015 NFL draft. White spent four seasons with the Bears and ended up playing for the Arizona Cardinals in 2019, the San Francisco 49ers in 2020, and the New Orleans Saints from 2021-2022. White had a total of 28 receptions for 397 yards in his NFL career.
Joseph was a strong safety for the WVU Mountaineers during the 2012-2015 seasons. He was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the 2016 NFL Draft, 14th overall. Joseph would spend a total of six seasons in the NFL finishing out his career as a Pittsburgh Steeler in 2021. Joseph was also a member of the Cleveland Browns franchise during the 2020 season. Joseph is the most recent Mountaineer to be selected in the first round of the NFL draft.