Is this the year Iowa gets over the hump and wins the Big Ten? Seems that’s the battle cry every year yet Iowa may be closer than ever in 2010. The Hawkeyes possess a large number of top NFL prospects on their roster, specifically on defense, which will be one of the most dominant units in the conference.
Receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos draws a variety of opinion and many in the scouting community like his ability. He’s a tough pass catcher that goes over the middle and exposes himself in order to come away with the difficult reception. He also gives effort blocking downfield. Johnson-Koulianos lacks top end speed and cannot run to the long throw. More of an underneath receiver, we like him as a potential fifth wide out for the next level.
Ricky Stanzi is a terrific college passer yet we think his NFL prospects are minimal. Patient in the pocket, Stanzi senses pressure, steps up to avoid the rush and effectively puts touch on throws when necessary. He flashes the ability to throw terrific passes down the field and works hard to be productive. Stanzi is a limited athlete with marginal arm strength. He shows a lot of indecision and hesitancy in his game, cannot drive the ball into receivers and losses a lot of speed and accuracy throwing on the move.
Tight end Allen Reisner is a solid pass catcher that consistently extends to make the reception away from his frame, looking the ball into his hands. He gives effort blocking yet struggles handling linebackers.
Junior receiver Marvin McNutt is a massive target with nice upside. He’s very raw but is headed in the right direction and has the skills to be a second or third receiver in the NFL.
We’ve written about Adrian Clayborn on a number of occasions recently as the defensive end enters the season the apple of the scouting community’s eye. He’s a pass rusher with a nice combination of quickness, explosion and athleticism. Clayborn plays with good lean, displays a nice inside move and shows speed pursuing the action laterally. He makes plays in every direction of the field and shows himself to be a disruptive force. Our concern is Clayborn can be a liability against the run as too many times he pins his ears back, rushes up the field missing assignments, or is easily blocked from the action. His pass rushing skills will be coveted next April but yet his inability to stop the run will reduce his grade.
In our minds Christian Ballard could be the most underrated defensive lineman in the nation. He very athletic with both size and growth potential. Displaying terrific movement skills, Ballard is fluid getting out to the flanks, makes plays in every direction of the field and is rarely off his feet. He’s as explosive as his more heralded teammate and shows deceptive strength in his lower body. He must do a better job keeping his pads lower to the ground throughout the action and must improve his overall strength yet we like Ballard as a top 100 choice who can play a conventional defensive tackle spot or be used as a two-gap end.
Broderick Binns is another talented player on the Hawkeyes line. Despite size limitations Binns makes a lot of big-time plays, flashing power and the ability to bull rush opponents up the field or beat them off the edge. Binns bends his knees and keeps his pads low to the ground. He effortlessly changes direction and easily pursues the action down the line or out to the flanks.
Karl Klug is proto-typical of many of his predecessors at Iowa; an undersized defensive lineman who makes up for his physical shortcomings with great hustle. Klug quickly diagnoses the action, plays with a nasty attitude and stays with assignments. He displays a terrific first step and plays large degree of explosion. Easily handled at the point of attack by a single blocker, he lacks natural bulk and has limited growth potential.
Jeremiah Hunter is the next in what has been a large amount of linebackers to recently come from the Iowa program. Hunter displays solid speed in every direction, breaks down well and shows ability in coverage. He gets depth on drops, swiftly moves in every direction of the field and effectively making plays in space. Hunter struggles taking on blocks and does a bit grab tackling at times yet has all the makings of a three down defender. We think he’s a potential third round pick next April.
Safety Tyler Sash is a tough defensive back who works hard in all aspects yet is really only effective facing the action and playing downhill. He’ll have to make it as a special teams ace.
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