NFL Draft Day Special INP: Predicting Where And When Hawkeyes Get Drafted

Feb 26, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes wide receiver Marvin McNutt participates in a catch and run drill during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

BECAUSE IT'S DRAFT DAY, AND I LOVE DRAFT DAY WEEKEND. I'm going to make some predictions for our Hawkeyes on when and where they go in the NFL Draft. Before we continue I should note that I'm no way an expert here, just taking some shots in the dark. I don't follow the NFL as much as some so I'm not the most informed on team needs, salary cap situations and NFL team depth. I have read quite a bit on our Hawkeyes though and I'll try to use that information to make a best guess. By all means, feel free to make your own guesses too.

The NFL Draft is now a three day event starting tonight and ending Saturday evening. For a complete schedule of the times click here. At least one Hawkeye will get his name called Thursday night, making it three years in-a-row Iowa has had a first round draft pick. Friday night covers rounds two and three and it could be really close for a couple Hawks there.

If you're not sure which channel to watch Sports Illustrated has a break down of the coverage that may sway you one way or the other. If this helps at all, the NFL Network will feature LSU coach Les Miles.

Okay, here we go:

RILEY REIFF. Reiff, at one time, was considered a possibility for the #8 pick to the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins now appear to be interested in Ryan Tannehill (QB, Texas A&M), and will not take Reiff here. He could be selected as high as the 10th pick to the Buffalo Bills. There's been talk that they may take Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd. If that happens Reiff could go to the Kansas City Chiefs at the 11th pick or the Arizona Cardinals with the 13th pick.

PREDICTION: 1st Round, Pick 18, San Diego Chargers

MARVIN MCNUTT. There may not be a Hawkeye name called Friday night during rounds two and three. The most likely Hawkeye to get drafted in either round is wide receiver Marvin McNutt. This is a loaded draft of wide receiver prospects and McNutt falls into the second tier of talented pass catchers. Where he is drafted will depend on who moves up and who falls in the first two-three rounds. Several teams have been slated to take him in mock drafts around the web. Miami, St. Louis, Cleveland, the Jets and Jaguars are just to name a few.

PREDICTION: 4th Round, Pick 101, Jacksonville Jaguars

SHAUN PRATER. Early mock drafts had Prater slated as a third rounder but he's slipped some. There's still a chance his name is called Friday night but Saturday is more likely. Prater turned in solid forty times in his Pro Day workouts, despite running on a healing knee. He is a prospect that can begin his career as a third option at corner and cover the slot in the nickle defense.

PREDICTION: 4th Round, Pick 114, Philadelphia Eagles

JORDAN BERNSTINE. His stock has really shot up following an impressive performance at Iowa's Pro Day. Bernstine is versatile and can play safety or some spot coverage in the nickle as a corner. He'll be a special teams star for whichever team drafts him and potentially a starting strong safety two to three years down the road. He's met with the Patriots, Raiders, the Eagles and possibly the Chiefs.

PREDICTION: 4th Round, Pick 116, New England Patriots

ADAM GETTIS. He's a guy that if he was an inch or two taller would be selected in the top three rounds of the draft. Gettis showed he can move and very well at the NFL combine. He lacks upper body strength and is short for a guard but he'll get a call on Saturday. The Chiefs have drafted two Hawkeyes in two consecutive years and I think he's going to make it three-in-a-row.

PREDICTION: 6th Round, Pick 182, Kansas City Chiefs


MIKE DANIELS. Daniels is another guy that if were an inch or two taller he'd be projected a couple rounds higher. Daniels did measure a hair over 6' at the NFL combine which helps. He should hear his name called in the 5th-7th rounds and join Adrian Clayborn, Karl Klug and Christian Ballard in the NFL. Those four were Iowa's starting defensive line in 2010. He's met with the Eagles, Buccaneers, Bears and Patriots.

PREDICTION: 6th Round, Pick 189, Oakland Raiders

TYLER NIELSEN. He's kind of the forgotten man. There's not a lot to be read on his draft stock and that doesn't bode well for his draft stock. Nielsen showed his versatility at Iowa his senior year playing both outside and middle linebacker. He's a big linebacker at 6'4" but lacks quickness to cover in space. There's also the neck injury that ended his junior season that could be a red flag to some teams that are looking for a solid special teams player and possible back-up at an outside linebacker position.

PREDICTION: FREE AGENT

MARKUS ZUSEVICS. There was buzz around Zus following the Senior Bowl but he didn't compete in the game due to injury. He then suffered a torn pectoral that ended his NFL Combine before it got started. He was projected as high as a fourth round pick before the torn pec. It takes awhile to fully heal (August maybe) and then there's the loss of strength he'll need to quickly work to build back up. He still could be a very late round draft pick and become the third Hawkeye OL to get selected.

PREDICTION: FREE AGENT

BRODERICK BINNS. Binns lacks the size (6'0" 255 LB) to play at the pro level as a defensive end in a 4-3 defense. He could find a niche as an rush OLB in a 3-4 defense if he finds the right fit. His forty time at Iowa's Pro Day was hand timed at 4.70s. Not blazing but maybe fast enough to get a look as an OLB. He displayed excellent instincts and a knack for pass deflections at Iowa. He may get a look as a free agent and sign a contract as a practice team player.

PREDICTION: FREE AGENT

ERIC GUTHRIE. Guthrie only punted one season at Iowa playing back-up to current Detroit Lion Ryan Donahue. In 13 games he averaged 41.17 yards a punt ranking him 6th in the Big Ten. Specialists usually don't get drafted unless they are really good. Guthrie will get a free agent contract and the chance to earn a roster spot this summer.

PREDICTION: FREE AGENT

BRAD HERMAN. Herman may get some interest due to the success of previous Hawkeye tight ends in the league. He's 6'5" 253, not quite big enough to be a blocking TE or fast enough to split out. He started three games as a senior and had a disappointing season often outperformed by walk-on Zach Derby. He was eventually passed on the depth chart by C.J. Fiedorwicz and Derby and played sparingly down the stretch.

PREDICTION: INSURANCE AGENT

Other Draft related links:

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