Iowa Rookie Watch: Preseason Camps

Periodically, we at BHGP will check in with the six Iowa Hawkeyes taken in the 2010 NFL draft. Here's how our six esteemed representatives have handled the NFL so far.

Bryan Bulaga

News: The Packers are still trying to decide whether Bulaga will end up at left tackle or right tackle, according to Madison.com. Offensive coordinator Joe Philbin--remember him?--likes what he's seen from Bulaga so far.

"I like his attitude a whole lot," Philbin said. "I like the way he bends in his stance; he’s got a real good bend. He plays with a pretty good base. He keeps his feet in contact with the ground real well at this point in time. And he seems to be picking up the offense pretty well. I haven’t seen him make a lot of mental errors."

Philbin also said nimble feet are more important than arm length in pass blocking.

"The way you teach pass protection, at least the way we do here, is you’ve got to set first," he said. "You’ve got to take away the direct rush lane of the defender before you do anything else. The punch is the second part of the process. I think he’s got good feet. He gets out of his stance well. He’s moving well. We like his quickness."

Prediction: Bulaga's arm length was referenced no fewer than five times in that article, and none came from Philbin. Contextualize that as you'd like. Bulaga has tried the "start at a different line position and wait for left tackle to open up" before, and it worked pretty well the first time. We predict that he'll start at right tackle until the Chad Clifton era ends. 

Pat Angerer

News: Stampede Blue has posted an interview with Colts GM Chris Polian in which Polian praises Angerer's productivity and versatility. The video is cued to start at Angerer's segment.

Prediction: As you'll notice, Polian says Angerer will start out at backup ILB behind Gary Brackett, but with the talk of shifting Angerer to other spots, the opportunity will be there for Angerer to get on the field. He's probably going to make himself a fan favorite on special teams even if he doesn't start from Day 1 or even Season 1. 

Amari Spievey

News: Spievey has struggled with minor hip issues early on, and according to the Detroit Free Press, has gotten his annual torching out of the way early.

"I did get beat today, in the off-coverage," Spievey said last Thursday. "In Iowa, I didn't play a lot of off-coverage, but I've got to work on that. That kind of woke me up."

Not that he was worried. Spievey missed most of rookie orientation because of tight hips, and they continued to bother him last week. He was still easing in physically and mentally as the rookies joined the veterans for organized team activities. It was only his second practice with the Lions.

Spievey said picking up the Lions' defense had been "pretty difficult" and he was spending a lot of time with defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham.

Prediction: None of this seems like a deal-breaker; as the article goes on to state, everything the team's doing right now is no-contact, and Spievey is a very-contact type of player. He'll have ample opportunity to learn the defensive terminology and earn his starting role once the pads start popping.

Tony Moeaki

News: Moeaki has impressed during off-season practices, according to the Kansas City Star. According to the National Football Post, the Chiefs have entertained notions of letting Moeaki start.

This year’s rookie, third-round pick Tony Moeaki, is having a solid offseason. He has shown good hands, is able to get downfield well and had another big day in the afternoon practice at Saturday’s minicamp.

A team source [told] National Football Post that Moeaki lined up with the first-team offense and didn't drop a pass.

Prediction: Incumbent tight end/manhorse Leonard Pope will likely start in 2010, but he's never been particularly productive, catching only 20 balls last season. Moeaki's presence may make Pope expendable when Chiefs brass make personnel decisions next season.

A.J. Edds

News: Edds and other rookies have been praised by Dolphins veterans, according to the Miami Herald.

A few veterans mentioned Jared Odrick (``he has a strong pass-rush move,'' Long said, and ``never runs out of energy,'' according to Channing Crowder) and A.J. Edds (``good coverage guy and he wants to know everything,'' said Crowder). One quality already obvious about Koa Misi, Edds and Austin Spitler -- plus veteran Karlos Dansby -- is ``all these linebackers can run, which we put emphasis on,'' Brian Hartline said.

Prediction: He won't start from Day 1, but the Dolphins will expect starting-quality play from Edds by the time his rookie contract expires. 

Kyle Calloway

News: Calloway is working out at both guard and tackle, according to BuffaloBills.com

Rookie seventh-round pick Kyle Calloway has seen most of his work at guard, but took a handful of snaps at tackle. Calloway played both positions in his time at Iowa.

Calloway admitted the pace has picked up with the veterans now out there, but with everyone new to the staff and the scheme as well as the blocking techniques up front it’s made it easier for him to adjust.

"We’re all on a level playing field," said Calloway. "It does, it really does because it allows the coach, while he’s coaching the veterans and the starters it’s relevant to everyone. We’re all learning the technique, the plays. We’re doing basic stuff right now, but he’s really going into detail about it which has really allowed me to get some learning in."

Prediction: If Calloway gets any playing time, it's because Buffalo's line is so, so bad, and they need more help at Calloway's more natural position: tackle. Calloway may not be able to make a significant improvement to that line. Or maybe he might. He'll likely start within a couple of seasons, just because Bills brass will have no other choice.

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