116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — After a couple months training for the NFL Draft in Florida, Jack Koerner started to say he missed snow.
“I did miss the snow,” Koerner said after Iowa’s pro day last month before realizing how that sounded.
“I mean, not miss it, miss it,” he corrected himself. “I got to skip winter.”
Now the five-year Iowa safety is back in his home state and hoping an NFL team takes a chance on the safety who went from being a walk-on to starting in the most productive secondary in the country.
“I’ll play anything,” Koerner said. “I’ll gain as much weight, I’ll lose as much weight. I’ll do whatever a team wants me to do.”
Koerner seemed to help his case at Iowa’s pro day. He ran a 4.51-second 40-yard dash. While that’s certainly not the best time in this year’s draft class, it answered some of the concerns about his speed.
“Obviously teams are wanting to see me run a fast time,” Koerner said. “Athleticism — and things like that — is some things I’ve heard that teams have knocks on me for, so I feel like I kind of put all those things to rest today.”
The fifth-year Iowa standout had a 38-inch vertical jump, 4.08-second shuttle run and 20 bench press reps.
“I feel pretty confident in both my testing numbers and how I performed in the position drills as well,” Koerner said.
It didn’t hurt that the 6-foot safety was healthier than a few months earlier in the Citrus Bowl.
When Koerner stepped foot in the Hansen Football Performance Center for Iowa’s March 21 pro day, it was “the healthiest I felt in like three, four years.”
“I feel so pleased the physical therapy and stuff that I was doing in Florida,” Koerner said. “I kind of started taking my nutrition and my mobility stuff a little bit more seriously, and it definitely paid some dividends.”
He also worked on being “a little bit more fluid” with his hips ahead of competing in the traditional pre-draft drills in Iowa City.
Iowa’s pro day wasn’t the first opportunity for Koerner to meet with NFL scouts.
He informally met with 15 NFL teams at the College Gridiron Showcase in January. Those teams then “circled back” with meetings at pro day, including dinner with the New Orleans Saints.
“Definitely lots of positive feedback,” Koerner said. “A lot of stuff to feel good about.”
Those conversations include plenty of discussions about various football concepts — discussions defensive coordinator Phil Parker “prepares us perfectly for,” Koerner said.
“They just want to either hear you talk about some of our defenses here and kind of hear you explain it,” Koerner said, “or they'll teach you a little bit and do a little bit of an install for them and then have you kind of like regurgitate it for them.”
The possibility of having Koerner playing in linebacker subpackages at the next level has “definitely been discussed,” he said.
Now Koerner is spending the rest of his time ahead of the NFL Draft preparing at Iowa’s facilities.
“This program here and these strength coaches — they know how to develop football players,” Koerner said. “As far as just training to become a better football player, become bigger, faster, stronger, there’s nobody I trust more than Iowa.”
That being said, he’s still thankful for his training time in Florida ahead of Iowa’s pro day, and not just because of his improved numbers at pro day.
"It wasn’t bad spending a winter down in Florida, snowbirding it for a little bit,” Koerner said.
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