Good(e) News
Najee Goode
Najee Goode
Publisher
Posted Apr 28, 2012


Satuday as "All Goode" for WVU senior linebacker Najee Goode, as he was selected in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Goode, who came to WVU as a walk-on, worked his way into a starting position, earning a scholarship along the way. He finished his Mountaineer career, one in which he played every linebacking position in the defense, with 157 tackles and eight sacks.

That versatility could help Goode in his quest to earn a spot on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster. At 6-1 and 244 pounds, the Cleveland, Oh., native could play either inside or outside, although most evaluations project him as an inside backer initially. Still, his 4.6 speed gives him the chance to earn time at any spot, much as he did throughout his Mountaineer career. His ability to learn multiple positions quickly, and execute them with great attention to detail, made him a valuable member of West Virginia's squad, and should stand him in good stead in the NFL.

"Indescribable feeling right now!", Goode said in a Twitter post after being selected. "Thanking everyone at home for the support and most of mountaineernation for the best experience of my life."

Many projections and mock drafts had Goode rated around the tenth spot among inside linebackers, and as a sixth or seventh round selection. Goode, going in the fifth round at pick #140, is the second Mountaineer alumnus in the draft to beat his projected spot, joining Bruce Irvin in topping most predictions.

Tampa Bay is beginning a rebuilding job under former Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano, and is focusing on defense in the first half of the draft. The Bucs selected linebacker Lavonte David in the second round, and have six other players at the position on the roster. Those include Mike Balogun (2nd year), Quincy Black (seventh), Rennie Curran (second), Jacob Cutrera (third), Mason Foster (third), Adam Hayward (sixth), and Dekoda Watson (third). Obviously, the position skews to the young side, so Goode will have to battle a number of players just entering their prime in order to secure a spot.

Last year, Foster led the returnees in tackles with 84, while Black( 59), Hayward (32) and Watson (23) also contributed.

Goode follows in the footsteps of his father, John, who was also a fifth round pick in the NFL Draft. John Goode played tight end for the St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles in the 1980s.


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