The 2020 NFL Draft was much more anticipated than in year’s past because of the lack of live sporting events. This year’s spectacle did not disappoint and provided three days of quality viewing entertainment.
On top of providing plenty of betting opportunities for West Virginia online sports betting customers, several WVU Mountaineers saw their dreams come true.
Both safety Kenny Robinson and offensive tackle Colton McKivitz went in the fifth round of the draft. Coincidentally, they were chosen with back-to-back picks in the early part of the round.
Robinson went to the Carolina Panthers as the 152nd selection, while McKivitz is headed to the San Francisco 49ers after going No. 153.
This was a solid result for both players. Mock drafts projected Robinson would go around the fifth, whereas McKivitz was looked at as more of a late-rounder.
Although they were the only Mountaineers taken in the NFL Draft, a couple of Marshall prospects were drafted, too.
The New England Patriots took kicker Justin Rohrwasser in the fifth round as well. He was selected with the 159th overall pick.
Then in the seventh and final round, the Tennessee Titans drafted Thundering Herd safety Chris Jackson. He went 243rd overall, 12 picks before the last choice.
While the event wasn’t quite as good as a game played on an actual field, it was close enough for the time being. Fans got to experience some much-needed excitement and bettors had a chance to wager on something that mattered to them.
Even though casinos in the Mountain State are closed, all three online sports betting apps offered markets for the draft. These betting figures will release next week and, hopefully, provide a boost to operators.
Let’s breakdown the draft’s results and take a more in-depth look at the WV players headed to the NFL.
WVU Mountaineers Drafted
The football season didn’t go as planned for the Mountaineers and coach Neal Brown. They went 5-7 overall last year in a difficult Big 12 Conference.
Thankfully, the poor season didn’t stop Robinson and McKivitz from taking their talents to the next level.
Though both players were drafted in the fifth round, they each got to the NFL by very different paths.
McKivitz was a four-year starter in Morgantown and was someone the WVU offense turned to for leadership. His draft profile highlights his strengths as having plenty of experience and a mean, fierce demeanor.
The redshirt senior features a lot of upper-body power and could become a starter in the league eventually.
The biggest weakness to overcome is his arm length. Most NFL tackles have extensive reach to keep defenders at a distance. McKivitz will need to work on the rest of his game to overcome this issue.
Robinson, taken one pick before the tackle, had a different route to the NFL. He wasn’t even part of the WVU football team this past year.
The former All-Big 12 safety was dismissed from the team the previous summer due to an academic violation. Instead of transferring schools, Robinson decided to sign a deal with the new XFL.
Robinson needed to play elsewhere because he wasn’t yet eligible for the NFL Draft. You must be three years removed from high school to enter your name.
He joined the St. Louis BattleHawks in the XFL’s first season since the league’s inaugural year in 2001.
Although Robinson played just five professional games before the XFL was forced to shut down, he showed enough to impress some NFL teams.
He intercepted two passes in his short stint and will be looking to help the Panthers secondary next season.
Marshall Football Players
Two Marshall players were also taken in last week’s NFL Draft. The New England Patriots picked kicker Rohrwasser in the fifth round, while the Titans drafted the safety Jackson in the seventh.
Even though these two selections seem like they would remain under the radar, one did not.
Unfortunately, the Patriots taking Rohrwasser was a big deal because of a tattoo he has on his arm. The former Herd kicker features a tattoo of a logo representing the “Three Percenters.”
The controversial group supports gun rights and has been included among rightwing militia groups who are anti-immigrant and minority.
Luckily, the newest Patriot stated that the tattoo is a misunderstanding. According to The Guardian, Rohrwasser said:
“I got that tattoo when I was a teenager and I have a lot of family in the military. I thought it stood for a military-support symbol at the time. Obviously, it’s evolved into something that I do not want to represent. When I look back on it, I should have done way more research before I put any mark or symbol like that on my body, and it’s not something I ever want to represent. It will be covered.”
The other former Marshall player was selected with the 29th pick in the seventh round. Jackson was a key contributor for a Herd team that went 8-5 a year ago.
He led the squad in pass deflections this past season with 11. Jackson added 25 total tackles along with an interception as well.
Next year, he’ll be playing for a Tennessee Titans team that made it to the AFC Championship Game.
NFL Odds At WV Sportsbooks
The start of the 2020 NFL regular season is still a way out. However, it’s never too early to start placing futures wagers. All three online platforms in WV have betting odds available right now. They include:
You’re able to bet on several NFL markets, like team futures for next year as well as player props and totals.
Of course, one of the standard lines offered at most books is which player will win the MVP. Currently, DraftKings lists the following odds to be named the 2021 NFL MVP:
- Patrick Mahomes +400
- Lamar Jackson +600
- Russell Wilson +700
- Tom Brady +1600
- Dak Prescott +1600
- Drew Brees +2500
- Deshaun Watson +2500
- Kyler Murray +2800