MORGANTOWN — Former WVU wide receiver Bryce Ford-Wheaton has signed as an undrafted free agent with the New York Giants of the NFL.
Ford-Wheaton, who spent five seasons in Morgantown from 2018-2022, was not selected during last week’s NFL Draft, but it was confirmed Sunday morning that he signed with the Giants.
A third-generation Mountaineer, Ford-Wheaton’s grandfather, Garrett Ford Sr., and uncle, Garrett Ford Jr., were both standout running backs at WVU.
Ford-Wheaton made 131 receptions for 1,666 yards and 13 touchdowns during his NFL career but burst onto the scene as an NFL prospect because of his performance at last month’s NFL Scouting Combine.
Ford-Wheaton had the top athleticism score among wide receivers at the combine thanks, in part, to a 4.38 40-yard dash and a 41-inch vertical jump.
“His measurables were off the charts,” WVU coach Neal Brown said at the team’s pro day last month. “His numbers for the combine speak for themself. He’s in rare air with that.”
Those measurables, combined with Ford-Wheaton’s 6’3”, 225-pound frame, started turning NFL heads but at WVU’s pro day, Ford-Wheaton set out to prove that he’s more than just an athlete.
“A lot of people try to take the combine stuff and blow it out of proportion, but at the end of the day I’m still a football player and I can still play football,” he said. “If I’m 6-3 and 225, there’s not too many places or too many instances where the ball’s in the air and I won’t have a chance at it.”
Aside from his physical traits, Brown said there were two big things working in Ford-Wheaton’s favor as a pro prospect, his year-over-year improvement and his play on special teams.
“What I talk a lot about with Bryce is his growth and maturity both as a person and as a player,” Brown said. “If you saw him in the spring of (2019), compared to where he was in the fall of 22 or where he is now, it’s night and day. It’s not even close.
“He’s going to be an asset not only as a receiver, but he’s going to be able to start on three special teams. I think that’s why people are excited about him.”
Both Brown and Ford-Wheaton believe his best football is still ahead of him.
“I look at my film from 2019 and I just feel sick sometimes looking at the plays I missed,” Ford-Wheaton said. “I’m so much better than that right now, but I still feel like I’m not a finished product. I have a lot more room to improve and I’m just looking for steady improvement from here on out.”
There were 33 wide receivers selected in the 2023 NFL Draft.