It’s that time of year, Virginia Tech fans! The 2012 NFL draft is just a few hours away, and the Hokies should be excited about the draft possibilities this year.
This slideshow will track all Virginia Tech players who are selected over the next three days and will provide fans of NFL teams information regarding those players. The players who are expected to or could go in this year’s draft are:
- David Wilson, RB
- Jayron Hosley, CB
- Danny Coale, WR
- Jarrett Boykin, WR
- Jaymes Brooks,OL
- Blake DeChristopher, OL
- Eddie Whitley, S
This slideshow will be updated within minutes of any Hokie player above being selected in this year’s draft, so stay tuned and enjoy as we celebrate the beginning of these young men’s new careers in the NFL.
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There is a lot of competition for the best back in this year's draft behind Trent Richardson, but of all of the candidates for such a distinction, David Wilson has the most talent and upside.
Wilson spent his sophomore season in a more complementary role to Ryan Williams for the Hokies, being used on third downs and as a return man. He was also used in the slot as a receiver.
Wilson gained some weight in anticipation of getting the majority of the carries the next season, which he managed to do without losing the top-end speed he is known for. As a result, Wilson racked up over 1,700 yards at 5.9 yards a clip his junior campaign.
Here is a sample of Matt Miller of New Era Scouting (and Bleacher Report) on Wilson:
This is a very explosive back with a ton of potential. He should go early in the second round. He might be relegated to third down and return duties in his first year. He has some black marks that he still needs to prove he can overcome.
Wilson's main weaknesses—his vision and blitz pickup—are common for rookie RBs. However, they are significant holes in his game that must be improved upon, especially if he wants to earn a third-down role.
His rookie season will be reminiscent of his sophomore season at Va Tech, in which he was a complementary player who contributed in the return game. With some proper coaching, Wilson's raw ability and rare speed-to-strength ratio gives him a chance to be a star at the next level.
Analysis: After letting Brandon Jacobs leave in free agency, the Giants pick up a running back for the future. His instincts and power are NFL ready. Once he learns to pass block and become a receiver, he can shine.
Jayron Hosley would have been a much more hotly discussed name at the cornerback position if his sophomore and junior seasons had been flip-flopped. As a sophomore, Hosley led the nation with nine interceptions and added eight more pass breakups.
2011 was not a bad season for Hosley, but injuries slowed his production, even though he showed great perseverance in playing through them for 13 games. He was eventually named a Second Team All-ACC selection at cornerback.
Being a product of Virginia Tech means that Hosley has had his fair share of exposure to defense and special teams, as evidenced by his 11.8 yard average as a punt returner. This means that Hosley could be a nice blend of Eddie Royal's punt-return ability and Darrelle Revis' coverage skills.
Obviously, Hosley is not at the same level as either player individually, but the combination of his skills makes for a very dynamic prospect.
In the eyes of CBS Sports draft scout Dane Brugler, Hosley:
Gets better as the game goes on, picking up on small details and learning on the fly -- gets smarter as game progresses. Has very quick reaction skills and does a nice job using his eyes to recognize what the offense wants to do.
However, his main weakness that must be addressed is:
[T]o become a better wrap tackler and not settle for simply throwing his body around -- missed too many open-field tackles.
This draft is deceptively deep at cornerback this year, and Hosley is a prime example of talent that could have been considered first-round worthy under different circumstances. In the right system, Hosley can grow into a very valuable all-around player in the NFL, and could do it immediately as a rookie.
Given the depth at cornerback in the 2012 NFL Draft, the New York Giants might've gotten themselves quite a steal at the back of the third round. Although the game film doesn't seem to match the physical tools—at least in his junior year—Hosley has nice speed and quickness, and demonstrated an impressive football IQ in college. The experts aren't sold on his tackling prowess, but I seem to remember a cornerback of note who didn't relish contact. If Hosely can improve in that area, the Super Bowl champs should be quite happy with the selection.
Danny Coale, a 6'0, 200-pound wideout, is second all-time in Virginia Tech history for receptions and receiving yards. But it takes more than school lists to impress NFL scouts.
Fortunately for Coale, he had plenty in store for one of the draft's biggest stages. The redshirt senior was on fire at the scouting combine, showing route-running skills and hands that ranked near the top of this year's draft class.
That's Coale's bread and butter, and he showed it in 2011 en route to 60 catches for 904 yards and three touchdowns for the Hokies. He has the typical slot receiver skill set, as he's a precise route-runner with reliable, consistent hands and the vision to find open field and yards after the catch.
He has big-play ability, averaging 15.1 yards per catch, but that's not his strong suit. The same knocks for every slot specialist also exist for Coale. He is undersized for an outside receiver, and his 40-yard dash time of 4.5 seconds won't turn heads. Former coach Frank Beamer called him "sneaky fast," but high picks at the receiver position are asked to be more than that.
He also lacks good upper-body strength, as he managed only 12 reps at the combine's bench press, so getting off the line and escaping jams could be a struggle.
Still, there's a lot for teams to like. Coale's a smart, reliable option who can contribute in the middle of the field, and there's always room for players like that.
The Cowboys don't have much beyond Dez Bryant and Miles Austin in their receiving corps. Coale should be able to work in almost immediately in his rookie season out of the slot, where his precise route running should serve as a safety blanket for Tony Romo.