CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- If the NFL exports from the West Virginia football program are firsts, there will be some firsts.
The NFL Draft is 65 days away. And while there isn't a consensus on projections for WVU's top two prospects - quarterback Geno Smith and versatile offensive playmaker Tavon Austin - there's a possibility one or both could go in the first round April 25.
Smith, the top quarterback according to most draft experts and analysts, would be the first Mountaineer quarterback ever selected in the first round.
Austin, the diminutive receiver with elite speed, would be the first WVU pass-catcher to go in Round 1.
Never have two Mountaineers been selected in the first round together. In fact, only nine former WVU football players have been first-round picks, including three since the turn of the century.
Those nine first-rounders were spaced apart, too. If Smith and/or Austin get plucked within the first 32 picks, it'll be the first time WVU has had first-round selections in consecutive drafts. Bruce Irvin went No. 15 overall to the Seattle Seahawks last April.
Will any of the above transpire when the three-day event begins inside New York City's Radio City Music Hall?
Mike Mayock, a draft analyst for the NFL Network, opined in a conference call Monday afternoon. He has Smith as his top overall quarterback, but that doesn't put the record-setting quarterback in the company with last year's top two selections - Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III.
The value, Mayock says, is not the same.
"Not quite the difference-makers at the top end and a whole lot of holes in the quarterback class," Mayock said. "I'm a big believer in value. If you have a top 10 pick, you want an all-pro at some point.
"If you look at Geno Smith, he could be a top 10 pick in some people's eyes. Now for me, he and (Southern California quarterback) Matt Barkley are more like 20 to 32. That's where I feel more comfortable."
Opinions on where Smith will land are wide-ranging.
CBSSports.com NFL draft expert Dane Brugler has Smith going No. 1 overall to the Kansas City Chiefs. ESPN's longtime NFL draft guru, Mel Kiper, doesn't have Smith in his first round mock projection.