Two More Drafted On Saturday

  • By John Antonik
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  • April 28, 2012 07:24 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - West Virginia’s 2010 defense finished second in the country against the run, third in total yardage and scoring, and 11th against the pass and now we know why - good football players.

On Saturday, two more players off that 2010 defense have found their names called in the 2012 NFL draft when linebacker Najee Goode was taken in the fifth round (140th overall) by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Bucs followed that pick up by selecting Mountaineer cornerback Keith Tandy in the sixth round (174th overall).

On Thursday night, defensive end Bruce Irvin became the ninth player in school history to be drafted in the first round when the Seattle Seahawks took him with the 15th overall choice.

Last year, cornerback Brandon Hogan went in the fourth round (98) to the Carolina Panthers, safety Robert Sands went in the fifth round (134) to the Cincinnati Bengals, linebacker JT Thomas was selected in the sixth round (195) by the Chicago Bears and nose tackle Chris Neild was taken in the seventh round (253) by the Washington Redskins.

Eleven West Virginia defensive players have now been drafted by NFL teams since 2005 and five of those 11 have been corners.

Goode, a strongside linebacker for the Mountaineers, earned first team all-Big East honors in 2011 after finishing 12th in the conference in total tackles (88) and 18th in sacks (5). Goode was also 10th in the Big East and 64th nationally with 15 tackles for losses.

A two-year starter for the Mountaineers, Goode ended his career with 158 total tackles, 23 ½ tackles for losses, eight sacks and a pair of interceptions.

Goode was rated the 10th-best inside linebacker and 251st overall in the draft by ESPN.com and was projected as a sixth-to-seventh-round choice by USA Today. Sideline Scouting had the Cleveland resident rated as the 13th-best inside linebacker in the draft, offering this scouting report: “Good movement skills for his size; plays well against the run, fills gaps quickly and can flow from sideline to sideline.”

Tandy was a three-year starter for the Mountaineers at cornerback after getting thrown into the first as a freshman in the 2008 Meineke Car Care Bowl. Tandy earned second team All-America honors as a junior by SI.com after picking off six passes and breaking up 17 more. Tandy was fifth in the country in pass breakups and 10th in total interceptions.

Last year, Tandy had four picks and broke up nine passes to become a repeat all-Big east performer. The Hopkinsville, Ky., resident finished his career with 13 interceptions, 24 pass breakups and 188 total tackles in 45 career games.

ESPN.com had Tandy rated as the 156th-best player in the draft and the 23rd-ranked cornerback. USA Today correctly projected Tandy as a sixth-round pick.

Sideline Scouting wrote this about Tandy: “A bone crushing hitter who can scare receivers like a fierce middle linebacker … not elite height, but great build, nicely filled out.”

Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano is very familiar with Goode and Tandy having faced both players while he coached at Rutgers.

Getting Defensive
West Virginia's Defensive Draft Picks Since 2005
2012, Bruce Irvin (DE), 1st, Seattle
2012, Najee Goode (LB), 5th, Tampa Bay
2012, Keith Tandy (CB), 6th, Tampa Bay
2011, Brandon Hogan (CB), 4th, Carolina
2011, Robert Sands (S), 5th, Cincinnati
2011, JT Thomas (LB), 6th, Chicago
2011, Chris Neild (DT), 7th, Washington
2009, Ellis Lankster (CB), 7th, Buffalo
2008, Ryan Mundy (S), 6th, Pittsburgh
2006, Dee McCann (CB), 6th, Detroit
2005, Adam Jones (CB), 1st, Tennessee

Update: Four West Virginia University players have signed free agent deals so far: Julian Miller (Cincinnati), Eain Smith (Washington), Donnie Barclay (Green Bay) and Cody Nutter (Tampa Bay).


West Virginia University Mountaineers, WVU, Najee Goode, Keith Tandy, 2012 NFL draft