Top Seven Tight Ends Drafted During Kirk Ferentz's Tenure at Iowa
In addition to his offensive linemen supply chain, Kirk Ferentz also 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 continued this year, as Tony Moeaki was selected in the third round of the 2010 NFL Draft by Kansas City.
The most notable of the bunch is none other than Dallas Clark, the All-Star tight end for the Indianapolis Colts.
Here is a list of the top seven tight ends, ordered from highest to lowest by NFL draft number in order to avoid complete homerism.
7. Erik Jensen
No. 237 - 2004 NFL Draft
St. Louis Rams
Jensen was drafted by the Rams in 2004. He never really caught on, but did play several years as a practice squad member for several teams like the Steelers and the Cowboys.
6. Brandon Myers
No. 202 - 2009 NFL Draft
Brandon Myers might secretly be thankful for Tony Moeaki's injury-filled career as a Hawkeye, as it allowed Myers to shine through and quietly make his way into the NFL.
In 2008, Myers was selected first team all-Big Ten by the league coaches after catching 34 passes for 441 yards.
He was drafted in the sixth round by Oakland in 2009, and has been a solid performer for the Raiders so far.
5. Tony Jackson
No. 196 - 2005 NFL Draft
Jackson spent a few years after being drafted trying to catch on with a team. He was on the practice squad for the Seahawks, Raiders and Giants, but hasn't played since 2008.
4. Austin Wheatley
No. 158 - 2000 NFL Draft
New Orleans Saints
Austin Wheatley started the trend of Hawkeye tight ends to the NFL.
He spent a few years trying out for a few different NFL teams, but other than that his pro career didn't last long.
3. Scott Chandler
No. 129 - 2007 NFL Draft
San Diego Chargers
Scott Chandler...the football player, not the actor from All My Children (and don't ask me how I know that because I am publicly pleading the fifth) was originally a wide reciever at Iowa before moving over to tight end.
The move proved wise, as he was drafted as a tight end by the Chargers in 2007.
He is currently a backup tight end for the New York Giants.
2. Tony Moeaki
No. 93 - 2010 NFL Draft
Kansas City Chiefs
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.
That's why Kansas City jumped at the chance to get him in the third round.
With his receiving and blocking skills, Moeaki will grow to be a solid performer in the NFL.
1. Dallas Clark
No. 24 - 2003 NFL Draft
Dallas Clark went from a walk-on, trying to find a position, to a John Mackey Award winner and first-round NFL draft pick by the Indianapolis Colts.
Now, Clark is the highest-paid tight end in the NFL.
He is part of a new breed of tight ends, one that baffles defenses by catching passes downfield like a wide receiver while blocking like a true offensive lineman.
In 2008, Clark broke the Colts franchise record for yards in a season by a tight end with almost 850. In 2009/2010, he caught over 100 passes, only the second tight end in NFL history to do so.
The good thing is...he is just getting warmed up.