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April 28, 2013
Following the 2013 NFL Draft former West Virginia offensive guard Jeff Braun was one of five Mountaineers to be signed by NFL franchises via undrafted free agency. Braun signed with the Baltimore Ravens, running back Shawne Alston joined the New Orleans Saints, offensive guard Josh Jenkins made it official with the Seattle Seahawks while both center Joe Madsen and wide receiver J.D. Woods became members of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"I'm very excited, I know there is not many opportunities in the NFL, so to be able to have this is a good thing, so I'm excited for the chance that I have," said Braun.
Braun started thirty nine games during his Mountaineer career, playing right tackle during his sophomore year, left guard throughout his junior year and right guard, his natural during his senior year. Braun felt his versatility help land him a contract with the Super Bowl Champion Ravens.
"It's tremendous help. If you want to play in the NFL you better offer a lot different variety because you're not going in there at one position unless you're the best at your position or you're a starter," said Braun, "With a guy like me who's trying to crack the 53-man and trying hopefully to be a backup next year, I need to be able to have many different tools in my belt and I think I have that."
As for Alston, the former ground and pound guy for West Virginia lands in New Orleans. Finishing his Mountaineer career with 1,068 yards, Alston had two touchdowns during WVU's historic 2012 Discover Orange Bowl victory.
Both Joe Madsen and J.D. Woods join the Pittsburgh Steelers. Madsen started fifty games as the anchor of West Virginia's offensive line. Named a second team All-Big 12 performer in 2012, Madsen will look to provide the Steelers with offensive line depth. In addition, J.D. Woods who had a very strong 2012, catching 61 passes for 637 yards and four touchdowns during his senior year.
West Virginia's Tavon Austin, Geno Smith and Stedman Bailey were drafted in rounds one, two and three respectively.