Iowa Football

NFL mock draft: Iowa's Tristan Wirfs, A.J. Epenesa should go in Round 1

(Associated Press)
(Associated Press)

Dan and Peggy Shonka of Ourlads provide NFL teams, and fans, with all kinds of scouting information, including an NFL mock draft that “is different from just about everyone or every organization that goes through the ‘mock draft’ exercise. We are not working the phones, the internet, or other ‘connections’ to ‘handicap’ the draft. What we are attempting to do is to slot players based on our ratings, to teams where we feel they best fit.”

1. Cincinnati — Joe Burrow, QB. LSU. The Heisman Trophy winner is a superior blend of leadership, toughness, offensive command and poise. More reminiscent of an NFL veteran than a college senior.

2. Washington — *Chase Young, DE, Ohio State. Widely regarded as the best talent at any position in the draft, will take his dominating ways to the nation’s capital.

3. Detroit — *Jeffrey Okudah, CB, Ohio State. Fills a huge need after trading away Pro Bowler Darius Slay to the Eagles.

4. N.Y. Giants — *Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa. Ourlads had Wirfs penciled in for the Giants for two months. GM Dave Gettleman must decide between the Iowa Hawkeye or explosive linebacker Isaiah Simmons.

5. Miami — Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon. The Dolphins’ choice at quarterback between Tua Tagovailoa and Herbert was easy with the latter’s laundry list of injuries.

6. LA Chargers — *Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama. The Chargers decide to roll the dice on the injury-prone, but accurate Alabama talent.


7. Carolina — *Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson. Matt Rhule, new Panthers’ coach, has always built his teams on defense. The versatile Simmons will be a cornerstone.

8. Arizona — *Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia. The Cardinals need to protect franchise quarterback Kyler Murray. If the Giants decide on Thomas, Wirfs lands here.

9. Jacksonville — Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn. Brown is the most physical inside front line defender in the draft. He is powerful, quick, and has excellent interior play instincts.

10. Cleveland — *Jedrick Wills Jr., OT, Alabama. Packs a powerful punch. A physical mauler who is a good zone blocking fit for new line coach Bill Callahan.

11. N.Y. Jets — *Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville. Becton is the last of the big four projected first round offensive tackles. The man mountain has superior length and a physical edge to his game.

12. Las Vegas — *Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama. Division rival and Super Bowl champion Kansas City has a speedster in Tyreek Hill. Jon Gruden wants one, too. Ruggs is the surprise pick.

13. San Francisco (from Indianapolis) — *Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama. Jeudy is a perfect fit for Kyle Shanahan’s offense with his precise routes and catlike quickness.

14. Tampa Bay — *CJ Henderson, CB, Florida. The Bucs will have to wait on an offensive tackle in Round 2. Henderson fills a big need.


15. Denver — *CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma. With the top offensive lineman and corner off the board, Lamb is too good to pass and gives Drew Lock a big time target.

16. Atlanta — Javon Kinlaw, DT, South Carolina. His tool set of violence, power and speed is among the best in the class at his position.

17. Dallas — *K’Lavon Chaisson, OB, LSU. An ascending talent who can play the run and rush off the edge with equal skill.

18. Miami (from Pittsburgh) — *Austin Jackson, OT, Southern Cal. A raw prospect who has the physical tools and athletic feet to succeed on Sundays.

19. Las Vegas (from Chicago) — *AJ Terrell, CB, Clemson. Plays with outstanding footwork and very little wasted motion.

20. Jacksonville (from Rams) — Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama. A physical force who has the height, size and speed that defensive back coaches covet.

21. Philadelphia — Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor. A three-year starter who is physical and tough. He plays with a defender’s mentality and the speed to take the top off a secondary.

22. Minnesota (from Buffalo) — Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame. An ascending player who is headed in the right direction with his dominant tool set. A hybrid receiver and tight end.


23. New England — *AJ Epenesa, DE, Iowa. Plays with an excellent combination of length, strength and power. A physical player who sets a strong edge in the run game. Can play on the edge or reduce down inside to a tackle slot.

24. New Orleans (from Chicago) — *Justin Jefferson, WR, LSU. A good athlete with an explosive first step. A top level route runner with sharp cuts and separation ability.

25. Minnesota — Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU. A quick twitch athlete with short area burst and explosion. Aggressive and physical.

26. Miami (from Houston) — *Grant Delpit, SS, LSU. A big safety who excels in both deep coverage and playing in the box. Explosive in run support.

27. Seattle — *Yetur Gross-Matos, DE, Penn State. Has the ideal edge rusher’s body with length and the ability to bend. Thick but flexible lower body.

28. Baltimore — *Kenneth Murray, LB, Oklahoma. Sideline to sideline violent tackler who can run down ball carriers and make plays in space. Good instincts and coverage ability.

29. Tennessee — *Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah. A long and physical player who doesn’t shy away from contact. Can play in multiple coverage schemes.

30. Green Bay — *Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson. Elite level ball skills, body control and hands. Attacks the ball and will pluck it at its highest point.


31. San Francisco — *Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU. A disruptive penetrator who plays with a vengeance. Closes an inside running lane quickly.

32. Kansas City — *JK Dobbins, RB, Ohio State. The Super Bowl champs could go in several directions, but with the league’s worst running attack they tab the former Buckeye to slash his way down the field.


Other Iowa Hawkeyes

95 — Michael Ojemudia, CB, to Denver

164 — Geno Stone, SS, to Dallas

224 — Nate Stanley, QB, to Tennessee

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