Virginia Tech Hokies Top NFL Prospects for 2012 and Beyond


As part of our new series getting ready for next year, we are asking you fans to tell us who you think your college team’s top NFL prospects are. Today’s report is provided by John Callahan, a contributor for You can also follow John on Twitter, and don’t forget to “Like” the NFL Mocks fan page on Facebook as well as follow us on Twitter @NFLMocks.

#2 Josh Oglesby – Running Back, r-Senior, 5’11, 210 lbs

A tough, team-first guy who backed up Ryan Williams in 2009 and was moved to fullback in 2010 with the log-jam of talent at RB. Didn’t get many carries last year, but proved effective when he did, especially with the zone-read option and on pitch plays (8.2 yards/carry).  Will be the primary backup to David Wilson in 2011. Doesn’t flash major play-making ability, but can reliably pick up 3-4 yards every play. Will be the “thunder” to Wilson’s “lightning” and will definitely be a factor this season, especially with Wilson not being built to endure 20+ carries every single game.  Decent receiver out of the backfield.

Every NFL team needs a “thunder” back, and with the wear and tear that college backs have on them when they come into the league, perhaps the fact that this guy doesn’t have a ton of experience collegiately won’t hurt him in the NFL. Like the report says, he is going to need to prove that he can continue to be effective in that type of role, and right now, he’s probably poised for a reserve role in the NFL, possibly as camp fodder and special teams potential.

#11 Dyrell Roberts – Wide Receiver, Senior, 6’2, 185bs

Tech’s best vertical threat on offense – pure speed guy with underrated possession abilities. Playmaker on special teams, returning a TD against Alabama and a 75 yd return again Nebraska in 2009 (averaging 25.5 yards/kickoff for career).  Was having a breakout season in 2010 until he suffered a compartment syndrome thigh injury against Georgia Tech and missed the last five games of the season. Sat out spring practices while still recovering but should be good to go for the fall. Played running back in high school and has good shake moves after the catch. If healthy, will be a big reason Tech runs more 3-receiver sets this year.

Definitely has the size/speed upside to succeed in the NFL, and as the report noted, he has the versatility to be a kick/punt returner in the NFL, and that will be huge. At Virginia Tech, the passing game might become more of a focal point this year with a change at quarterback, and this guy could be a big part of it. The injury is a bit of a concern, especially because it’s one on his leg. However, he has playmaking ability and should get a look in the NFL.

#15 Eddie Whitley – Free Safety, Senior, 6’1, 187bs

A solid if not great contributor in the secondary and a major upgrade to his predecessor Kam Chancellor (who was drafted in the 5th round 2010). Not flashy, but a reliable open-field tackler (80 in 2010) and shows good instincts that resulted in two interceptions. Can be susceptible to the play-fake. Started a few games at cornerback in 2009 and played nickel sparingly in 2010. Will be the leader of an impressive secondary in 2011, but needs to become more of a playmaker. Not afraid to come up in run support and deliver the hit.

Another player with solid upside because of his versatility. I like that Whitley played multiple positions in the secondary, and his tackling ability indicates to me that he can be a solid contributor on special teams and possibly eventually a spot starter or key reserve. If he shows he can be more of a playmaker in 2011, he has the size to be able to be picked possibly as a free safety or nickel corner in the NFL.

#19 Danny Coale – Wide Reciver, r-Senior, 6’0, 196bs

The most-solid hands out of any Tech receiver. Deceptive speed (in the low 4.4s) that results in a lot of teams under-estimating his ability (Nebraska 2009, Miami and FSU 2010). Will most likely be the starting punter as well in 2011 (you read that right). Probably the best route-runner too. Had best season last year with 732 yards and 3 touchdowns. Reminds me of a Wes-Welker type who can be relied on to make the critical catch. Will be a tremendous value pick for any team as he won’t be going until the mid-rounds.

Every white receiver is compared to Wes Welker (wink), but Coale could actually make somebody look good by making that comparison. The scouting report on Coale says he is an “extremely consistent receiver who is at his best in clutch situations.” Combine that with great hands, the best route running skills on the team, and 4.4 speed? Sign me up, please. Averaging almost 20 yards per reception the last two years.

#62 Blake DeChristopher – Offensive Tackle, r-Senior, 6’5, 312lbs

A four-year starter at right tackle who seems to have not realized his full potential (hence no move over to the left side). A mauler in the run game, but can get beat badly by speed rushers. A guard in a tackle’s body, he will be much more attractive to NFL teams if he moves inside. Uses his size to collapse the line on run plays. Major contributor (thanks to lack of depth that VT trusts) and didn’t rotate out often. Mainly known for having the best beard on the team.

It sounds like DeChristopher will find himself playing guard in the NFL, and there is nothing wrong with that. Some offensive linemen are just better playing in what we call a “phone booth” setting, where they are one on one with the defensive lineman. If this scouting report holds true, you can expect DeChristopher to be selected by a power offense in the NFL.

#68 Jayme Brooks – Offensive Guard, r-Senior, 6’2, 307lbs

Good size for an NFL guard. Solid, reliable contributor over the past three years. Forced into the starting line-up in the 2008 Orange Bowl and played very well. Ankle injury has been a concern before. Second-team All-ACC last year. Played defensive tackle in high school and has posted several records in the weight room. A force to be reckoned with on run plays.

Same holds true for this scouting report as does the previous. Guy is a power offensive lineman who is compactly built but solid. Ankle injuries are not good for offensive linemen, but if he can prove healthy he might be a late round or free agent option who can add depth and developmental potential.

#81 Jarrett Boykin – Wide Receiver, Senior, 6’2, 219lbs

A great possession receiver with good but not exceptional speed. Has hands the size of tennis rackets (ESPN makes this point every single game).  A starter since his true-freshmen year. A deep threat that can attack the ball at its high point and win jump-ball battles with his hand strength. Will set the record this year for career catches at VT. Has good size – probably the most NFL-ready receiver on the team.

Big receiver with a lot of experience, and if his speed checks out (meaning less than 4.6) he will get a shot in the NFL. Interesting that he is the most NFL ready receiver on the team, and Coale is the best route-runner and has the best hands. That must mean that Boykin is supremely talented and athletic enough to step in right away. He has been very productive as the Hokies’ top receiver over the last two years, and is definitely their big play guy. His hands are huge, and they dwarf the football. High upside as a red zone threat as well. This is probably the top senior prospect on the team, in my opinion.

Underclassman who could leave early

#4 David Wilson – Running Back, Junior, 5’10, 201 lbs

Tech’s best big-play threat and the focal point of the 2011 offensive attack. A Percy Harvin-type who returns kicks, lines up in the slot, and out of the backfield. Was the third-string back last year but still put up 619 yards (5.5/carry) and 5 rushing TDs. Chipped in four TD receptions and two kicks returned for TDs. Deceptively strong and apparently unstoppable in the spring. Tech didn’t start efficiently using him until mid-season in 2010, but he was arguably the best player on the team at that point. His stock should explode this year.

This kid could be a breakout star in 2011, and it would not shock me to see him lead the conference in rushing. That often happens when a productive backup takes over for a very productive back like Ryan Williams. I have seen in  countless times, over and over again. I love running backs who can split out wide and be every down backs. That gives an offense so much versatility. I think he will need a huge year to leave early, but he is a top of the line NFL prospect for the next couple of years. I mentioned he is a three down contributor earlier, but I think he is four down. He is also a fantastic return man. Simply put–he is a playmaker and could be the best overall player on Virginia Tech’s roster.

#20 Jayron Hosley – Cornerback, Junior, 5’10, 170lbs

Led the nation in interceptions (9) last year. All-American and 1st team All-ACC. An absolute ball-hawk who can steal the difficult picks. Good open-field tackler. Physical for his size, but could stand to bulk up a little bit to get first-round consideration. A good punt returner last year with 12.6 yards per return and one touchdown. Each year that Tech has had a breakout corner, teams don’t normally throw to his side, so Hosley most likely won’t put up those numbers again. With a year half as good as he had in 2010, he’s off to the NFL early.

Would love to see Hosley add some weight this offseason and become a bump corner to complete his game. No question he has the ball skills to make it in the NFL, and could contribute right away as a nickel corner. A team like the Bears or Buccaneers could make a star out of him, and I cannot wait to see the follow up to his nine interception season. I agree that it is going to be nearly impossible for him to repeat that kind of season, but if he does, I expect him to go to the NFL and probably be picked in the top 50.
Another big thanks to John for providing some scouting on his Hokies. They have some solid talent going f0rward, and possibly one of the best playmakers in the country. If you would like to share your team’s best pro prospects for the coming years, shoot me an e-mail at, or find me on Twitter @SayreBedinger, @NFLMocks