2010 NFP Scouting Series: Iowa State

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 State Cyclones.

Offense

QB Austen Arnaud: No. 4 (6-3, 225)
Possesses average height, a thickly built frame and good athleticism for the position. Displays a solid feel in the pocket and does a nice job buying time for himself and can create with his legs. Isn’t a real gifted straight-line guy, more of a strider, but has a nice combination of power and shiftiness in the open field, which allows him to run through arm tackles and create after contact.

Isn’t a real polished passer at this stage, possesses average arm strength and wastes a lot of motion on his release, dropping the football down under his chest plate and failing to maintain proper balance in his lower half. Really gets elongated with his footwork and doesn’t consistently have a good base to throw from. Struggles to recognize coverages, stares down his initial read and will force the football down the field. Has enough arm strength to make all the throws, but isn’t real accurate because of his spotty footwork and lack of balance. Doesn’t exhibit much in the form of timing, especially in the intermediate pass game, and consistently is throwing behind/high of his target and gives defenders plenty of time to break on the football.

Impression: Possesses solid size, arm strength and athleticism, but mentally and mechanically he is nowhere near ready for the NFL.

TE Collin Franklin: No. 88 (6-5, 236)
A tall, leaner tight end prospect who displays pretty good flexibility in his lower half. Looks natural coiling up into his stance and keeping his pad level down off the football. But, isn’t real explosive off the snap and takes him a bit to get up to speed. Isn’t real sudden or quick when asked to slip the bump and can be easily jolted/re-routed on contact. However, exhibits a good feel vs. zone, gets his head around quickly and does a nice job extending his arms and plucking the football. Is limited after the catch, though, and doesn’t display much in the form of physicality or burst in the open field.

Does a nice job getting out to the second level as a blocker and works hard to seal down the field. However, struggles to maintain balance and consistently break down into contact. Isn’t a real physical in-line guy and isn’t going to drive anyone off the snap at the next level. But, is a decent short area athlete who keeps his pads down, extends his arms and can stick to blocks initially while sealing from the play.

Impression: Isn’t a real physical blocker or explosive athlete and just isn’t dynamic enough in either area to warrant an NFL roster spot.

Defense

S David Sims: No. 1 (5-10, 208)
A thick, well-put-together safety who exhibits good balance and natural power when asked to break down and tackle. Is a really effective open field striker who consistently takes good angles toward the ball, generates impressive power into contact and is really able to snap his hips through the ball carrier. Also, showcases good discipline when asked to wrap up in one-on-one situations, as well, and is just a really sound tackler in all areas of the game.

Exhibits good ball skills and overall awareness vs. the pass game and always seems to put himself around the action. Lacks ideal footwork in his drop at this stage and has a tendency to rise a bit high in his back-pedal. However, he’s pretty fluid when asked to open up his hips and turn and run. Showcases a good first step and can click and close quickly when asked to jump routes underneath. Possesses the ability to get up to top-end speed quickly, but isn’t a burner by any stretch. Looks more like a 4.5-plus guy, but he does play faster than he times in coverage. Looks natural attacking the football at its highest point and plays with an impressive combination of controlled violence in both the run and pass game.

Does have some character concerns and will miss the first game of the year for unauthorized use of a credit card.

Impression: One of the better prospects I have seen come out of Iowa State in awhile. Has a good skill set, can really tackle and his running back background helps him change directions and remain balanced in the pass game. Does have some character concerns, but has the ability to make a roster and should end up fighting for playing time if he can keep his nose clean.

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