THE NFL COMBINE BEGINS SATURDAY. The Hawkeyes send five to test their various skills for NFL scouts. Now, this year's group is competing with their peers in selective tests. There's historical data used too in measuring the test results. I thought, for fun, I'd look at the results from previous years for Hawkeyes at the same positions as this year's bunch. It may not mean much but we can look at C.J. Fiedorowicz's test results versus Dallas Clark, or James Morris, Chrisitan Kirksey and Anthony Hitchens versus Chad Greenway and Abdul Hodge. We'll follow along this weekend as the Hawkeyes go through the Combine. Let this be your guide.
Kirk Ferentz's first years were lean in terms of wins but he still had NFL talent on the roster. In 2000, his team produced two draft picks: safety Matt Bowen, a sixth round draft pick of the St. Louis Rams and tight end Austin Wheatley, the 5th round pick at number 158 by the New Orleans Saints. Wheatley, of course, played tight end. Here's his combine results:
|AUSTIN WHEATLY||HT||WT||40-DASH||BENCH||VERT||BROAD||3-CONE||20 SHUT||10-DASH|
It would be three years before another Hawkeye heard their name in the Draft. Dallas Clark was a first round pick (#24) of the Indianapolis Colts. Clark participated in the Combine but did not complete all of the tests. His 40-yard dash time is not official.
|DALLAS CLARK||HT||WT||40-DASH||BENCH||VERT||BROAD||3-CONE||20 SHUT||10-DASH|
In 2004, Erik Jensen was drafted in the 7th round by the St. Louis Rams. He didn't receive an NFL Combine invite.
In 2005, Tony Jackson was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the 5th round. Here's Tony's results:
|TONY JACKSON||HT||WT||40-DASH||BENCH||VERT||BROAD||3-CONE||20 SHUT||10-DASH|
Scott Chandler was the next Hawkeye tight end drafted. The San Diego Chargers drafted him in the 4th round of the 2007 Draft. He may be the tight end Fiedorowicz is most similar.
|SCOTT CHANDLER||HT||WT||40-DASH||BENCH||VERT||BROAD||3-CONE||20 SHUT||10-DASH|
Brandon Myers was the next Hawkeye drafted and he, like Erik Jensen, did not participate at the Combine. The Oakland Raiders drafted Myers with their 6th round pick on the 2009 NFL Draft.
In 2010, Tony Moeaki would hear his name called by the Kansas City Chiefs with the 93rd pick of the third round of the 2010 Draft. Here's his stats:
|TONY MOEAKI||HT||WT||40-DASH||BENCH||VERT||BROAD||3-CONE||20 SHUT||10-DASH|
We know Fiedorowicz's height and weight. At the Senior Bowl, he weighed in at 262 pounds at 6'5.5". He's reportedly ran a 40-yard dash as quick as 4.69s but expect him to be in the 4.7-4.8 range. He's not overly fast, like Dallas Clark, or quick like Austin Wheatley but his size and blocking ability will be his strongest traits to scouts. How he measures may not be as important as his film, but if he runs especially slow, he could drop a little in the draft.
LET'S MOVE ON TO LINEBACKERS. We'll start at 2006 with Chad Greenway and Abdul Hodge. Greenway was a first round pick (#17) of the Minnesota Vikings. Hodge was drafted in the third round by the Green Bay Packers. I suspect Greeway will be the most athletic of the Hawkeye linebackers to ever test. Let's take a look:
|CHAD GREENWAY||HT||WT||40-DASH||BENCH||VERT||BROAD||3-CONE||20 SHUT||10-DASH|
Okay, maybe not. His numbers don't scream "freak athlete" but he's still playing today and he's a two-time Pro Bowler.
Let's look at Hodge:
|ABDUL HODGE||HT||WT||40-DASH||BENCH||VERT||BROAD||3-CONE||20 SHUT||10-DASH|
The next Hawkeye linebacker drafted was Mike Humpal by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2008 NFL Draft. Here's his Combine results:
|MIKE HUMPAL||HT||WT||40-DASH||BENCH||VERT||BROAD||3-CONE||20 SHUT||10-DASH|
Pat Angerer was a 2nd round draft pick by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2010 Draft. Here's how he stacks up:
|PAT ANGERER||HT||WT||40-DASH||BENCH||VERT||BROAD||3-CONE||20 SHUT||10-DASH|
And finally, A.J. Edds is the next linebacker drafted. He was a 4th round draft pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2010. Here's his Combine results:
|A.J. EDDS||HT||WT||40-DASH||BENCH||VERT||BROAD||3-CONE||20 SHUT||10-DASH|
Christian Kirksey measured just under 6'2" and a tad over 240 at the Senior Bowl where he got a lot of work on the inside. The move, from outside, could be to show scouts he can be an inside linebacker down the road. Comparing Kirksey to Hodge and Angerer, he may be a tad quicker at the Combine. Angerer showed off some strength in the bench and vertical leap. Expect Kirksey to do the same.
James Morris will be interesting to watch. He and Kirksey are about the same size (6'1"ish and 240 pounds). He came to Iowa as a running back and has the feet to test well in the 3-cone and shuttle. His 40-time could earn him some money if he can run faster than most of the pack. He's reportedly ran between 4.69 and 4.80. Hitting the first of those two could move him up draft charts.
Anthony Hitchens is shorter and lighter than both Kirksey and Morris. He'll really need to have a good Combine to get drafted in the later rounds. He has speed and that will help him. Expect Hitchens to compete with Kirksey for the fastest 40-yard dash of the three linebackers.
HOW BOUT THE OFFENSIVE LINE? Iowa's placed several off of the line into the NFL. Some scratched their heads when it was announced Conor Boffeli was invited to the Combine over Brett Van Sloten. Van Sloten will still get his chance at Iowa's Pro Day and will, at the very least, get a free agent contract. Boffeli, in my mind, is a center prospect at the next level and that makes sense as to why he's invited.
Bruce Nelson is the best center to play under Kirk Ferentz. He was one of three Iowa linemen drafted in the 2003 NFL Draft. Here's some of his measurables:
|BRUCE NELSON||HT||WT||40-DASH||BENCH||VERT||BROAD||3-CONE||20 SHUT||10-DASH|
Moving forward to 2007, Mike Elgin was a 7th round pick of the New England Patriots. He didn't participate in the Combine but measured close to 6'4" and 290 pounds. Similar to Boffeli.
Seth Olsen did participate and was drafted in the fourth round of the 2009 Draft by the Denver Broncos. Here's Olsen's Combine results:
|SETH OLSEN||HT||WT||40-DASH||BENCH||VERT||BROAD||3-CONE||20 SHUT||10-DASH|
In 2011, Julian Vandervelde was drafted in the 5th round by the Philadelphia Eagles. Vandervelde was thought of as both a guard and center prospect, like Bofelli. Vandervelde may be the most similar to Bofelli in measureables. Let's look:
|JULIAN VANDERVELDE||HT||WT||40-DASH||BENCH||VERT||BROAD||3-CONE||20 SHUT||10-DASH|
And finally, the man we spoke to last week, Adam Gettis. He, like Boffeli and Vandervelde, was also a guard/center prospect. He was selected in the 5th round of the 2013 Draft by the Washington Redskins. Here's his results:
|ADAM GETTIS||HT||WT||40-DASH||BENCH||VERT||BROAD||3-CONE||20 SHUT||10-DASH|
Bofelli stands 6'4" and 290 pounds. Great size for an NFL center. He's athletic too and could run in the 5.10's. If he can perform similar to Julian Vandervelde he may move his name up the charts to even the sixth round. While a free agent contract is likely for Boffeli, we've seen Hawkeyes improve their stock with strong performances. See: Adam Gettis.
Again, the NFL Combine kicks off Saturday on the NFL Network. The tight ends and offensive linemen will test on the Combine's first day. Iowa's three linebackers will work out on Monday. Here's a link to the scheduled interviews, measurements and testing.