FOUR HAWKEYES participated at this year's annual NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana. One participant, Drew Ott, was unable to complete physical tests due to recovery from knee and elbow surgery. His status for 2016 as a college athlete is still to be decided by the NCAA. Three other Hawks -- Austin Blythe, Jordan Lomax and Marshall Koehn -- did compete. Let's see how they did.
Jordan Lomax measured in at 5'10" and 202 pounds. His official 40-yard dash time was 4.75 and the slowest time among defensive backs. Lomax suffered a lower body injury late in the season and played the Rose Bowl with a brace on his knee. No word on if that injury affected his time. Lomax added eight reps on the bench press, a 36" vertical leap, a 7.18s 3-cone drill time and 4.15s short shuttle time. Overall, a very underwhelming performance for a guy that is likely a free agent signing after the draft. Lomax may still be a late round pick but he'll need a strong Pro Day at Iowa to impress scouts.
Austin Blythe should be a draft pick. He'll probably be a late pick, but he still should go on the Draft's third day. He measured 6'2" and 292 pounds and completed 29 bench reps despite his short arms. Blythe wasn't overly impressive with lower body explosiveness. His 40-yard dash came in at 5.36s. His broad jump at 8'3" and short shuttle at 4,53s. I did a brief check and Blythe's 40 time may be the slowest Hawkeye ever (edit: sorry Austin, Pete McMahon was slower).
Marshall Koehn did some running and jumping and was the biggest Hawkeye story out of the Combine. Still, he kicks the ball and ultimately, his ability to do that consistently will be what gets him paid. The NFL does kick extra points further back than the college game -- perhaps that helps his draft stock. He's almost certainly a free agent signing if he makes it to the NFL.
In May of 2015, we talked about possible draft selections from the 2015 team in this upcoming 2016 NFL Draft. The Combine didn't change that much. Jordan Walsh and Henry Krieger-Coble weren't Combine invites but both could end up drafted. Drew Ott was a sure-fire pick but we hope he returns to build a better resume for a future pro career. Previously mentioned Blythe may be the only other Hawkeye selected. Blythe, Walsh and HKC are all likely third day selections, if not free agents. Jordan Canzeri, Tevaun Smith, and maybe Nate Meier may get free agent shots, too (if Smith doesn't go to Canada).
Iowa's potential 2017 NFL Draft class looks much better at the moment. Desmond King is currently projected to be a first round pick. If Ott returns he could be a third round pick in that draft. Jaleel Johnson will get some NFL attention and Greg Mabin could be a late rounder. CJ Beathard is a wild card and might be a legit NFL prospect, too. And given the success past Iowa tight ends and offensive linemen have had in the NFL, George Kittle and Cole Croston could get some NFL attention as well.