2011 NFL Draft Recap: 6 Hawkeyes Drafted

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I think I watched more draft coverage in the past 3 days than in my entire life. This year's group of departing Hawkeyes was rather likable and I wanted to see where they would land. I'm not a big NFL guy and don't really have a team, but this draft was still very entertaining.

Iowa matched a Kirk Ferentz high with 6 players selected in the NFL draft. There were also six Hawkeyes drafted in last year's draft. There were just 4 schools (USC-9, North Carolina-9, Miami-8, and Nebraska-7) that had more players drafted. And, coming the past two years, . Perhaps most impressive to me though, is that the Hawkeyes had 3 defensive linemen selected in one year. Give Coach Kaczenski a raise, because that is truly an amazing feat.

Still the draft was not without its disappointment. Both Ballard and Stanzi were predicted to go in earlier rounds but slipped to the 4th and 5th round respectively. Friday's second and third rounds were frustrating to watch as each team skipped over the former Hawks. Ballard's drop can likely be attributed to his alleged failed drug test at the combine, while Stanzi's is more of a mystery. The best I can guess is that not too many teams were need of a backup quarterback this year.

It was also disappointing to not see Allen Reisner or Ryan Donahue drafted. Reisner is the first starting tight end in the Ferentz era to not hear his name called. I'm sure he'll get picked up somewhere, but it's still sad that the streak is broken. Donahue was the top punter in the draft, but there just wasn't any team willing to use a spot on the punter this year. Only two kickers were taken in the draft, but both were place kickers.

Adrian Clayborn | Tampa Bay

#20 - Round 1
This was about the perfect spot for Clayborn to be drafted and team to play for. It was as early as I had seen any projection for Clayborn and a late first round pick means he gets to play for a pretty decent team. The Bucs also beefed up their defensive line with their second round pick with another DE pick, Da'Quan Bowers. Clayborn should benefit from having not getting all the attention next year and get back to winning one-on-one battles.

Christian Ballard | Minnesota

#106 - Round 4
So Ballard fell probably about 40 or 50 spots because of a failed drug test. I didn't think it would impact his draft status that highly, but clearly teams across the NFL either don't want a pothead or don't want someone dumb enough to fail a drug test at the combine. Still, Ballard is a versatile guy and should be able to help the Vikings somewhere on the field.

Ricky Stanzi | Kansas City

#135 - Round 5
Stanzi to the Chiefs makes a lot of sense...I just thought it'd happen earlier (though I was really hoping for the Colts). KC's head coach is Scott Pioli who is a friend of Coach Ferentz. He is also the man who drafted Tom Brady (just another Stanzi-Brady similarity). Stanzi will be in a good position in KC learning the system behind Matt Cassel.

Karl Klug | Tennessee

#142 - Round 5
This was a surprising pick to me. Klug is somewhat undersized for the defensive line so I didn't expect him to go this high. Tennessee, though, was kind of desperate on defense and looking for some versatile players.

Julian Vandervelde | Philadelphia

#162 - Round 5
This was another kind of surprising pick. Vandervelde was always a good player, but never blew me away. He is known for being smart though, and I think learning zone blocking from Ferentz at Iowa boosted his draftability greatly. The Eagles took 3 O-linemen in the draft (all 3 are likely interior guys too), so there will plenty of competition for Vandervelde. I think he was drafted mostly to provide some extra depth at the position.

Tyler Sash | New York

#198 - Round 6
I was getting a little bit nervous (but not bitter of course) for Sash as Saturday wore on. He was the only Hawkeye to leave early for the draft this year, so it would have been sad to see him go undrafted. I thought he'd go around the 4th round or so, but he finally had his named called in the 6th. It looks like the Giants will be running the Tampa 2 on defense, so Sash should be a good fit.
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