After watching teammates Tristan Wirfs, AJ Epenesa and Michael Ojemudia go in the first three rounds of the NFL Draft on Thursday and Friday, it was just Geno Stone and Nate Stanley left on the board of the former Hawkeyes likely to be drafted in 2020. Now, Nate Stanley is officially an NFL quarterback.
Stanley was chosen in the 7th round with the 244th overall pick by the Minnesota Vikings.
Stanley is the third consecutive starting QB for the Hawkeyes to be drafted, following CJ Beathard and Jake Rudock. He was a three year starter at Iowa after coming in as a 3-star prospect from Menominie, Wisconsin. His career got off to a hot start. As a sophomore, Stanley threw for 2,432 yards and 26 touchdowns with a 55.8% completion percentage and only six interceptions.
The big-framed QB built on that as a junior, throwing for 26 more touchdowns and 2,852 yards on 59.3% passing with ten interceptions. Within striking distance of Chuck Long’s all-time passing touchdown record, things regressed a bit as a senior. That had more to do with an improved running game near the goal line than a substantially worse season. Stanley finished with 2,951 yards and just 16 touchdowns on 59.4% passing with 7 picks.
For his career, Stanley finished with 8,297 passing yards and 68 TDs with only 23 interceptions while completing 58.3% of his passes. Those are quality numbers in an offense predicated on balance and establishing the run.
As a Hawkeye, the biggest question mark for Stanley was always his ability to complete the long ball. While very good at reading the defense and operating the offense, his passing strength was certainly more in the short to intermediate routes. His deep ball and timing did seem to improve a bit in his senior season, though not enough to boost his TD numbers or bump him into the first few rounds of the draft.
Stanley had a solid showing after the season was over. He has never been the most athletic guy, more likely to shed tacklers or run someone over than run around them, but his combine performance was far from bad. You can see his test results below:
Weight: 235 lbs
Arms: 32 5/8”
40-yard dash: 4.81 seconds
Bench press reps: N/A
Vertical jump (inches): 28.5 inches
Broad jump (inches): 108.0 inches
3 cone drill: 7.26 seconds
20 yard shuttle: 4.48 seconds
Stanley’s full draft profile is available here. While he’s likely to be a backup at the next level, we’ve seen Stanley prove he can step in and run a team. He’ll provide quality depth, be a team-first guy and should be serviceable when his number is called. He’ll stand tall in the pocket and play through contact. Lots of contact.
Congratulations to Nate and the Vikings!