Kirk Ferentz knows how to pick NFL-caliber tight ends.
Every starting tight end coached by the Iowa head coach has gone on to the NFL. That trend continues this year, as it seems fair to assume Tony Moeaki will be selected in the early rounds of the 2010 NFL Draft.
Moeaki is a complete tight end. At 6'4'', 250 lbs, the all-Big Ten first-team selection has the size it takes to make it in the NFL. And that size doesn't slow the Big Mo down at all, either.
At the NFL scouting combine, Moeaki recorded one of the top four fastest times by a tight end this year. His 4.69 40-yard dash was tied for fourth fastest among tight ends in this year's combine and his 9'5'' broad jump was tied for fifth best.
If his durability was in question, his NFL combine and Iowa pro day performances attempted to answer that question.
To go along with the great size and speed, he also has great hands and superior run blocking, which might be why Ferentz thinks he is one of the most talented tight ends he has ever coached.
"Everyone just has a lot of respect for coach Ferentz," Moeaki told the Iowa City Press Citizen. "So if coach Ferentz says somebody is a good player, they're going to really take notice of that."
Indeed. Several teams have taken notice of the Hawkeye tight end, including the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals.
With the draft only hours away, let's see what the experts are saying about Moeaki.
"He's an excellent football player, couldn't be a better team leader or team member."
- Kirk Ferentz, Iowa Hawkeyes Head Coach
"He's the furthest thing from soft."
- Bryan Bulaga, Iowa Hawkeyes Offensive Tackle
“He’s got all the talent, and he’s got the ability to start in the league, but you’re going to wonder if he’s going to be in the tub a lot.”
- Dan Shonka, Ourlads Scouting Services
"If you watch him in the bowl game, watch what he does blocking, watch what he does route running and catching the football, he’s definitely a prospect.”
- Charles Davis, NFL Network Analyst
"Moeaki did not receive much media attention leading up to the draft. Nevertheless, we have had rated him No. 2 on our tight end list since October—and now the word is getting out that some teams like him as much as we do."
- Russ Lande, Sporting News Analyst
"He's a guy that can play in both the run and pass scheme. He's a good blocker, physical at the point of attack. He does a great job setting the edge. There is a reason why all those young backs last year were able to get so many good yards on the edge."
- Wes Bunting, National Football Post Draft Analyst
"I think Tony's strengths line up very well with what teams are looking for from a second or third tight end. Tony's not going to be a Brandon Pettigrew type, who was the first tight end taken last year. He went in the first round because he was an excellent blocker and he could also be a factor in the passing game. Tony is what teams are calling a 'move' guy."
- Paul Burmeister, NFL Network Analyst
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