This summer, the National Football Post is breaking down every team in the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly known as Division I-A) to identify players who might warrant interest from NFL teams in the 2010 draft.
The Iowa Hawkeyes are coming off a 9-4 season and feature one of the more talented groups of offensive linemen in the country. They look like a dark horse for the Big Ten crown in 2009.
Note: Iowa offensive linemen Dan Doering, Rafael Eubanks, and Dace Richardson are three players worth keeping an eye on this season. Eubanks, a former All-Big Ten center in 2007; Doering, a former five-start recruit, and Richardson, a former starter at left tackle, have all shown flashes of NFL potential during their careers. However, due to injuries and competition, all three have struggled to consistently stay in the Iowa starting lineup. It will be interesting to see which of them separate themselves during the season since you can never count out a Hawkeye offensive lineman at the next level.
Tony Moeaki: No. 81, TE, 6'3'', 250 lbs
A smooth athlete who extends his arms away from his frame and catches the ball well with his hands. Lacks great explosion down the field and is more of a strider, but displays good balance and short-area quickness to his game. Does a nice job getting his head around quickly out of his breaks and uses his frame nicely to shield linebackers away from the ball. However, he needs to do a better job avoiding defenders in press coverage and getting a cleaner release into his routes.
Impression: Has some decent athletic tools and might be able to make an NFL roster as an H-back.
Bryan Bulaga: No. 79, OT, 6'6'', 312 Pounds
A natural bender who fires out of his stance low and does a great job gaining initial leverage on his opponents. Showcases good hand placement at the point of attack and consistently stays on his man through the play. Is a physical run blocker who pumps his legs through contact and possesses the body control to stay on blocks and angle defenders away from the ball. Looks natural in the open field and showcases impressive athleticism when asked to reach the second level. Displays the coordination to chip at the line and consistently hits a moving target in space.
Is very patient in pass protection and looks comfortable extending his arms into blocks and consistently getting his hands inside the frames of defenders. Does a nice job locking out at the point of attack while keeping his base down through the play. Displays great awareness off the snap and is very smooth and compact with his footwork. Exhibits a quick initial kick-step and has the range to consistently reach the corner. Gets a bit overextend with his footwork on his punch, however, he possesses the athleticism to make up for a false step and quickly redirect himself back into the rush lane.
Impression: There isn’t much to not like about his game; he’s an athletic pass blocker with good feet and knows how to move defenders off the ball in the run game. Is as technically sound as any lineman I’ve seen this year and would be my first choice of any offensive tackle in the country.
Kyle Calloway: No. 60, OT, 6'7'', 318 Pounds
Does a nice job keeping his base low in the run game and creates a real pop on contact. Is a flexible athlete who exhibits good short quickness and has the ability to get his feet around opposing linemen and seal them from the ball. Displays a real toughness about his game and works hard to stay on blocks on the move. Showcases decent coordination at the second level, although he lacks the body control to stay on blocks through the play.
Is an above-average athlete, but lacks the type of footwork to consistently stay in front of defenders on slide-down blocks along the line of scrimmage. Has a tendency to overstep when trying to reach a moving target and is forced to consistently lunge back into blocks as opposed to properly breaking down on in space.
Exhibits smooth footwork in pass protection and does a nice job sitting into his stance when anchoring on contact. Has solid range in pass protection with the ability to routinely reach the corner. However, he isn’t a great athlete and can struggle quickly redirecting on the counter-move vs. more explosive pass rushers. Doesn’t consistently lock onto defenders outside and has a tendency to lose balance when trying to quickly reach the edge
Impression: A smooth, tough offensive lineman who is technically sound and is efficient in both the pass and run game. Isn’t a great athlete but has enough quickness to his game to man a right tackle spot at the next level.
Pat Angerer: No. 43, ILB, 6'0'', 243 Pounds
A short, tightly-wound linebacker who does a nice job locating the football and is very active inside the box. Isn’t really long-armed, but displays a quick, compact punch which allows him to keep himself clean when working his way through traffic. However, he lacks ideal size and has a tendency to get washed out of plays away from his frame too easily.
Possesses great instincts and always seems to be flowing toward the football. Is the definition of a straight-line athlete; displays a good burst in pursuit and gets up to full speed quickly. Is a very sound tackler who consistently takes good angles toward the ball and consistently wrap ups up well on contact.
However, he lacks fluidity in coverage and is forced to open up his hips initially in his drop and sidesaddle his way down the field. Struggles quickly getting out of his breaks and looks stiff when asked to redirect and change directions in space.
Still, he possesses great instincts and consistently gets good jumps on the ball in the pass game by reading the quarterback’s eyes. Displays natural ball skills and good hands when asked to go up and make a play on the ball.
Impression: An instinctive, hard-nosed linebacker with impressive closing speed for the position. However, he’s tightly wound and struggles redirecting in space. Has a place in the NFL, but looks a lot more like reserve middle linebacker/special teams guy than a starter.
A.J. Edds: No. 49, OLB, 6'4'', 246 Pounds
A big, thickly built linebacker who displays good power inside the box and has the ability stack and shed on contact. Does a nice job extending his arms, keeping his base low and using his hands to disengage at the point of attack. Isn’t real sudden on contact and doesn’t cleanly slip many blocks, but he works his legs toward the ball and finds a way to consistently make the tackle. Reads and reacts quickly to plays at the line of scrimmage and has the initial burst to make his way into the backfield and close on the football.
Displays surprising fluidity for his size in space and does a nice job cleanly flipping his hips and getting out of his breaks. Isn’t an overly explosive athlete and struggles quickly getting back up to speed when asked to turn and run down the field. However, he possesses good body control and balance in zone coverage and displays some decent range when closing on the play.
Impression: A physical presence inside the box with impressive fluidity for a guy his size. Isn’t an overly explosive athlete, but looks like an ideal strong-side linebacker at the next level who might end up being an intriguing option for 3-4 teams as well.