The Times West Virginian

WVU Sports

April 28, 2010

HERTZEL COLUMN: NFL draft pick Capers bucks odds

MORGANTOWN — The first reaction to Selvish Capers being drafted by the Washington Redskins in the seventh round of the National Football League draft this year was one of nearly total indifference across America.

Seventh-round picks do not get first crack at the money or the jobs in a league where collegiate superstars often don’t make the grade.

But when one casts that draft selection in a different light, it becomes obvious that Capers bucked all kinds of odds to earn his chance to play in The League via the draft.

Consider that the last offensive lineman from West Virginia University to be selected in the draft has already concluded his professional career, that having been Lance Nimmo, who was taken in 2003 in the fourth round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and has since retired to New Castle, Pa.

That may not seem a long time ago in the real world, which is measured in decades, but considering that the NFL selected 1,890 players between Nimmo and Capers without naming one offensive lineman from West Virginia speaks volumes about something.

Considering that the Mountaineers had the Rimington Trophy winner one of those years in Dan Mozes, who went undrafted, understand just how strange Capers’ selection might have been.

Certainly, not having WVU offensive linemen drafted wasn’t a case of good players being lost on bad football teams, for these were the glory days of Rich Rodriguez’s run at WVU, and when one analyzes the offensive success of those teams, the offensive line certainly played a big role since they were the foundation of the running game.

You can’t even put the blame on coaching, for during most of Rodriguez’s term here the offensive line coach was Rick Trickett, a feisty little technician who has sent more than 30 offensive linemen to the NFL during his long career … none of them other than Nimmo at West Virginia.

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