For the rest of the summer, the National Football Post will be breaking down every team in the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-A) to identify players who could warrant the most interest from NFL teams in the 2011 draft.
Therefore, today we take a look at the Iowa Hawkeyes.
QB Ricky Stanzi: No. 12 (6-4, 228)
A tall, lean quarterback who showcases good balance in his drop from under center and quickly is able to get away from the line of scrimmage. However, gets sloppy with his footwork when asked to get the football out of his hands quickly on his back step. Is very inconsistent from throw to throw, as he will fall off passes even with time on one snap, throws flat footed on the next and then he’ll swing his back leg around into throws the next time around. Is just real spotty with his lower-body mechanics at this stage, which causes his accuracy to really suffer at times.
Displays a smooth, over-the-top delivery and doesn’t have any trouble with passes getting knocked down at the line. Looks comfortable on the move and is a good enough athlete to buy time for himself, keep his eyes down the field and create outside the pocket. Showcases a good feel in the pass game when he knows where he wants to go with the football before the snap and at times does a nice job looking off receivers and working his way back across the field. However, too often has a tendency to lock onto his initial read and will wait for him to sit down/uncover. Needs to take better care of the football, struggles to quickly go through his complete progressions and manage to stay on time/in rhythm with his throws. Looks limited to more of a two-read guy at this stage who consistently is asked to work off play-action and boot outside the pocket in order to cut the field in half. When asked to make plays on his own he struggles to improvise, gets sloppy with his footwork and will throw the ball into coverage. Got better as the season went on, but again wasn’t asked to do as much.
Possesses average arm strength and nice touch down the field when he is able to step up into a throw. Looks much more coordinated in his lower half tossing bucket throws down the field, which really shows in his ability to consistently give his receivers a chance to run under his passes.
Impression: A nice-sized quarterback with good athleticism and touch down the field. However, really struggles anytime he’s asked to make more than his initial read and loves to force passes into traffic. At this stage he isn’t anything more than a developmental-type option.
WR Derrell Johnson-Koulianos: No. 15 (6-0, 200)
A smooth, patient receiver who understands how to sell routes and change gears vs. man coverage. Exhibits a solid but not great first step off the snap, but has the ability to get into his routes cleanly. However, at times likes to slow play routes vs. a free release, allowing corners to drift on him as he quickly snaps off a route back toward the football. Exhibits good fluidity in his hips and can cleanly change directions and locate the football. Uses his head and shoulder fakes well down the field to sell his vertical routes with the body control and balance to accelerate into daylight and track the throw.
Now, he isn’t the most explosive stop-and-start athlete and looks more like a high 4.4/low 4.5 guy to me. Isn’t going to simply be able to outpace defensive backs at the next level. But it’s his body control and fluidity to cleanly get out of his breaks and change directions which allows him to separate down the field and make defenders miss with the ball in his hands. However, needs to do a better job using his hands to pluck the football away from his frame. Too often allows balls to get into his body and isn’t the most natural of pluckers at this stage. Displays a willingness to work and block in the run game and can be a big help for running backs down the field.
Isn’t overly physical or effective at this stage vs. press man. Tends to get hung up consistently off the line, which could end up really limiting what he can do in the NFL.
Impression: An NFL-caliber receiver who has the ability to make plays vs. a free release. Is more smooth than fast, but knows how to sell routes, can block in the run game and reminds me a bit of Early Doucet.
DE Adrian Clayborn: No. 94 (6-3, 287)
A thick, well-built defensive lineman with a strong lower half who has the ability to consistently anchor vs. blocks when run at. Is very balanced and coordinated on the move, extending his arms into contact and consistently playing off opposing linemen. Is a real stack and shed guy who displays a powerful punch at the point. Is really tough to get into off the line, extends his arms well into opposing linemen while maintaining his balance and working his way toward the ball carrier.
Isn’t the most explosive guy initially off the snap as a pass rusher and isn’t going to threaten the edge at the next level. However, for such a big defensive end, he exhibits impressive nimbleness and lateral agility to break off a sudden inside move off his initial outside pass rush. Exhibits a quick arm over with the ability to cleanly change directions and gain a step inside. However, allows his pad level to rise and will lose balance, giving athletic offensive tackles a chance to push him past the play. But has a powerful base and can really generate a jolt on contact as a bull rusher. However, it’s his balance, body control and ability to gain leverage on contact that allows him to be so effective disengaging in the pass game. Isn’t simply a push/pull guy as his lateral quickness paired with his power allow him to consistently shed on contact.
Impression: Isn’t your prototypical speed rusher. However, he’s a guy who can win on first, second and third down for you at the next level at either defensive end spots. Looks like a potential ten-year vet.
DL Karl Klug: No. 95 (6-3, 267)
An undersized interior lineman who lacks the kind of girth needed to hold up at the next level. Exhibits a good first step off the football and loves to work a violent arm over in order to slip blocks and make his way toward the football. Does a nice job sitting into his stance off the snap, gaining initial leverage and locating the football, with the range to make plays away from his frame. However, struggles to disengage anytime an opposing lineman can get his hands on him. Doesn’t have the type of anchor to consistently eat up blocks inside when run at and is at his best on plays off his frame.
Is a bit stiff laterally as a pass rusher. More of a linear athlete who relies on his first step to create for himself initially off the ball.
Impression: Loves to do the dirty work inside, but I don’t see him being real effective as a DT or DE in the NFL at this stage. Will have a tough time making it off a team’s practice squad.
DL Christian Ballard: No. 46 (6-4, 298)
A tall, long-armed prospect with a really explosive first step. Has the ability to consistently fire off the football, cleanly change directions in tight areas and use his length to beat linemen inside. Is a consistent threat to slip one-on-one blocks inside and loves to work his sudden arm over move in order to make his way up the field. Now, allows his pad level to get upright when changing directions and can be pushed past the pocket once he gains a step. But is the caliber of athlete who quickly regains his balance and instantly can close on the football. Exhibits a good feel when asked to shoot gaps up the field, plays off blocks well, uses his length to keep himself clean and really has a strong upper body. Showcases a good motor inside and even when his initial get off burst is stalled, he’s very coordinated fighting his way toward the football. Loves to spin away from blocks and just exhibits a real powerful element to his game in everything he does. Rarely stays blocked for long.
However, needs to do a better job getting his hands up initially into blocks vs. the run game. Too often allows opposing lineman to get into his frame off the snap. Now, has the kind of power to begin to start extending his arms and play off the block. But, can easily be knocked off balance vs. any kind of double inside when run at and get cleared away from the play. Possesses only average anchor strength at the point of attack and can be pushed past the play when he doesn’t locate the football quickly off the snap.
Impression: He’s a long, explosive defensive lineman who has the ability to line up all over an NFL defensive line. Certainly looks like a capable three-technique guy and could also be kicked outside to DE on run downs. Could also be one of the draft’s better potential five-technique prospects. However, his ability to shoot gaps and rush the passer might be too much to overlook for 4-3 defenses.
OLB Jeremiha Hunter: No. 42 (6-1, 233)
A shorter, tightly wound linebacker who displays above-average instincts in both the run and pass game. Reads and reacts quickly in zone coverage and is able to quickly locate the football. Showcases above-average fluidity when asked to change directions and does a nice job getting his hands on receivers and making it tough for them to get into their routes. However, isn’t a real explosive athlete out of his breaks. Allows his footwork to get a bit overextended and struggles to generate a great burst for himself when asked to close on the football. Plays more so at one speed when asked to click and close in space. Has above-average straight-line speed, but it takes him a couple steps to reach his top-end gear. Looks more effective and quick in tight quarters where he has the body control to pick his way through traffic and side step blocks.
Looks natural working his way toward the football on perimeter runs, keeping himself clean through traffic and putting himself in position to make plays. However, struggles to break down consistently on contact. Isn’t overly physical and lacks the ability to cleanly shed a block and make a play on the football. Often gets knocked off balance into the tackle and pushed past the play. Possesses good instincts vs. the inside run game, quickly locating the football and putting himself in position to make plays. But, again, struggles to break down and has a tendency to overrun the football. Puts himself in position to make plays, but simply lacks that sixth sense to consistently finish on the football.
Impression: Has a chance because of his sound instincts and overall athletic skill set. But isn’t real impressive vs. the run game, struggles to break down on contact and seems to be pushed around and knocked off balance easily inside the box. Nothing more than a fringe roster guy.
S Brett Greenwood: No. 30 (5-11, 194)
A thinner safety prospect who displays above-average instincts in coverage. Reads and reacts quickly to the football, allowing him to get good jumps on the throw from the deep half. However, isn’t a real gifted athlete. Doesn’t look real compact in his drop, allowing his pad level to rise and struggles to keep his feet under him. Isn’t a guy who quickly can get out of his breaks and lacks ideal range/straight-line speed in the center field-type role. Possesses good ball skills and knows how to come down with the catch, but isn’t real physical when asked to go up and pluck the football.
Isn’t real impressive vs. the run game. Doesn’t get nearly as good of jumps on the play when asked to attack downhill and is consistently sealed/washed out whenever he’s asked to play near the line of scrimmage.
Impression: Slightly undersized and slow isn’t ever a good combination for prospects at the next level. Nice college safety who doesn’t have the physical skill set needed to be trusted vs. an NFL pass game.
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