MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Depending on which NFL Draft prospect ranking you look at, or which national scout’s opinion you read, West Virginia’s Bryce Ford-Wheaton isn’t listed among the top 20 wide receivers in this year’s draft. Some don’t have him among the top 30 pass catchers available.
Ford-Wheaton finished his time at West Virginia with a career season. He totaled career-highs in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns, and set a personal single-game career-high with 152 receiving yards in September against Kansas.
The 6-foot 3-inch wideout did wonders for his draft stock when he performed well at this year’s NFL Scouting Combine. After a performance like the one he had in Indianapolis, he was going to let those numbers do the talking when West Virginia’s Pro Day came around on Monday.
“I was good off all the tests and stuff [at the combine],” said Ford-Wheaton. “I knocked out everything I needed to at the combine. So, I knew here, I just wanted to show that I’m still a football player.”
Ford-Wheaton hopes to become the first WVU wideout since Gary Jennings in 2019, and the seventh since the program moved to the Big 12 Conference, to be selected in the NFL Draft. Even with his draft stock trending in the right direction, nothing about his future is certain at this point.
“I feel like, every time you do what they say you can’t do, they’re going to add something on that you can’t do this now,” Ford-Wheaton said. “So, I mean, I’m still hearing it, but I’m still going to prove them wrong at the end of the day. Just keep working.”
After impressing at the combine, Ford-Wheaton said his focus is now shifting his body back into better football form. It’s no secret players change their bodies to maximize their results at the combine, which calls for a different physique than maximizing performances on Saturdays and Sundays.
Ford-Wheaton not only impressed evaluators in Indianapolis with what he did on the field, but he showed great restraint in the interview process as well.
“They try to get a reaction out of you. One coach told me he was trying to get me so mad he wanted me to jump across the table,” he said. “He didn’t, of course not. I started smiling, because I knew what he was trying to do.”
Much like Dante Stills, Ford-Wheaton didn’t fall for teams’ tricks in the interviews.
He has more interviews set up between now and the start of the NFL Draft on April 27. The Pittsburgh Steelers are one team he will visit with in person. The wideout also stated has also been speaking with several teams via Zoom.