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Land of Ten’s Scott Dochterman and I talked a little about a lot of things on the podcast today.
First topic: The first round of the NFL draft starts Thursday. Neither Scott nor I will be on super-high alert that a Hawkeye will go in the first round, but you never know.
Friday is second and third rounds. I expect at least two if not three Hawkeyes to go Friday.
Does it feel like CB Desmond King has had the world’s longest draft evaluation? Since the day he said he was returning to Iowa City for his senior year it’s felt like he’s been under heavy scrutiny. And he probably has, that’s how this all works. I still think he’s the first Hawkeye taken this weekend.
Now, DT Jaleel Johnson or TE George Kittle? Johnson had a fantastic senior season and has the body and power that will get him an NFL paycheck for a long, long time. Case-by-case, depends on need, best athlete available and all of that, but Johnson should fit into the second or third round.
I’ve not seen too many Hawkeyes rocket out of the Combine like Kittle did. If nothing else, his 4.51 40 and 11-foot broad jump forced NFL personnel people to do their homework on him. Yes, the first chapter probably was the mid-foot sprain he suffered this year and how that bit into his production, but then you go a little deeper and find cutup after cutup of Kittle’s blocking prowess. And now he’s in a great position, better than I would’ve predicted when the season ended.
We went from the draft to the Hawkeyes’ spring football.
Quick points here:
1) We don’t know where the alchemy is going to happen with the passing game. We acknowledge Iowa can still be successful here, but it’s going to look unconventional (read really tight end-y) and, yeah, it also might not work.
2) Spring was set up for Nathan Stanley to take what had to have been a “leader in the clubhouse” status and build confidence and distance as the No. 1 over Tyler Wiegers.
That didn’t happen. At least going off everything Brian Ferentz, Ken O’Keefe and Kirk Ferentz told us, that didn’t happen. We can only go off what they tell us, right? And then we saw the spring game. Touch, accuracy, it wasn’t there for either QB. Then again, those plays and personnel groups looked a lot like last year’s. Maybe there’s another layer of going on here and we just haven’t seen their best.
3) Jake Gervase is certainly another body at safety and he slings in on a web — kind of like Spiderman — just in the nick of time.
The more bodies the merrier here. I see Gervase and Miles Taylor as starters with Amani Hooker, Noah Clayberg, Joe Argo and incoming freshmen Djimon Colbert, Camron Harrell and Geno Stone lending depth/competition. I think that’s enough to find a good core of three.
3) Defensive tackle will be a hot spot. Lots of inexperience.
It worries me senior Nathan Bazata was still out this spring. Everyone expects him back and, hey, he’s a senior and coaches know what he can do. Still, his 2016 ended in injury, I’m sure he’d like to be up and running.
4) Man, Iowa has a lot of young linebackers.
We opened, just a little, the Bo Bower vs. Amani Jones can o’ worms. Why not? It’s still April, right?
5) Iowa’s offense will run through the O-line and Akrum Wadley, as it should.
6) We think two freshmen corners have to play.
7) Shoot, we forgot to talk about kicker and punter.
We touched on the Jane Meyer trial in Des Moines.
I’ve used this metaphor a lot lately, but let’s say Iowa AD Gary Barta is a butcher going to work with a freshly whitened smock. He was on the stand for something like 11 hours. His smock at this point looks like it was used to clean the slaughterhouse floor.
Everyone comes away from this unclean. I don’t like that during athletes’ exit interviews 27 cases of verbal abuse and 28 cases of mental abuse were mentioned and not investigated because they were anonymous. I’d like to think major college athletics can do better.
If I tried to handicap how this is going to go I’d just sound stupid. I do know, however, Barta’s constituents likely will look at him differently and Meyer’s career in athletics is over.
We knew this was coming and somehow it feels worse than we thought.
We also took Twitter questions.
My favorite was from @Lucascentric: Any chance Jake Gervase can play QB?
Laughs are good, right?