NEPD Editor: James Christensen
The University of Iowa has consistently produced NFL talent for the last decade and more. For example, there are more Iowa players in the NFL right now than there are from vaunted Alabama.
While Iowa doesn’t have a sure-fire first round pick for the 2013 NFL Draft, there are several prospects in this game that will garner top 100 attention.
#18 CB Micah Hyde
-Playing cornerback, also returning punts.
-Sheds block on the outside by WR, there to touch Robinson down as he trips.
-Comes up hard in run support and blows up blocker, forces play back in.
-Off-man with safety help, played him tight and funneled to safety help.
-Corner blitz, tries to shake/shimmy but doesn’t go anywhere.
-Showing some good ball skills catching punts, runs well with the ball.
-Sticks with his man in the red zone for nearly 10 seconds.
-Tackles the holder on botched PAT, wasn’t caught napping.
-Pressing at the line, doesn’t allow a release at all for the receiver.
-Eludes block by LT, makes touchdown saving tackle on tight end screen, great play.
-Reaches across the face of receiver, tips ball, intercepted on the goal line.
-Very effective in zone as well, seamlessly passing receivers between LB/CB/S.
-Deep ball, Hyde is in the receiver’s pocket the entire way.
-Played some man, but mainly looked to be in zone (some cover two, quarters) – would press on 3rd down and short.
-Misses open-field tackle, dove at the feet instead of wrapping up.
-Blitzes from the edge, engulfed by left tackle.
-Hemingway again draped by Hyde on deep ball, tracking the ball well.
-Loses hold of receiver after catch, nearly gives up touchdown.
Overview: Hyde again exhibited great red zone play and was very effective tackling. He seems to make big plays in every game – his open field tackling and versatility again showed me why I think he converts to free safety in the NFL, a la former Iowa corners Charles Godfrey and Amari Spievey.
#44 LB James Morris*
-Playing inside linebacker, occasionally walks out on tight ends and receivers.
-Takes on block, keeps feet and strings play out.
-Walked out on TE, tight man coverage across the middle.
-Fights off pulling guard, assists on tackle.
-Recognizes play quickly, hustles to the whistle and beyond.
-Fills hole quickly, explodes through running back in the backfield.
-Flows to the ball, never too far away from it.
-Takes a few false steps, reading pass when the ball was handed off.
-Changes direction quickly, good backpedal to get depth after play fake.
-Overpursues a bit, leaves big cutback lane.
-Tackles running back a bit high, but gets the job done.
-Pattern reading in zone, passes his man off.
-Holds TE in man coverage, gave up touchdown anyway – couldn’t flip his hips quick enough.
-Another holding call in coverage.
-Hustle prevents a late touchdown as a receiver broke free from tackle.
Overview: Morris is a very active linebacker in the Pat Angerer mold. He is much more adept in zone coverage. He will struggle at times to stick with backs and ends in man. He explodes through contact and has the speed and motor to be a factor from sideline to sideline. If Morris stays for his senior season, I think he’ll end up being a lock top 100 pick.
#5 SS Tanner Miller*
-Playing strong safety and on some special teams.
-Breaks down in space and makes the solid tackle.
-Zone help with man underneath, jumped the route a bit early and nearly called for PI.
-Attacks the ball downhill very well.
-Able to make saving tackle in space, chops feet out.
-Edge blitz, closes quickly and hits Robinson as he throws.
-Good angle on quarterback run, forces Robinson back inside.
-Not tracking the ball well in coverage, back turned at times in the red zone.
Overview: Miller played a lot of deep safety, but was very active in supporting the run. He isn’t polished in coverage, but has some physical tools. Projects as a backup/special teams player in the NFL.
#16 QB James Vanderberg
-Plays mainly under the center, some shotgun as well.
-A bit of a slow-release, but hits WR in stride over the middle.
-Nice play-fake, zips ball accurately on slant play – very quick read.
-First three throws all to an open first read.
-Goes nowhere on quarterback sneak – no leg drive.
-Too high on comeback, first incomplete.
-Under pressure, delivers wobbly but accurate ball – couldn’t step into it.
-Rolls out to the right under control, hits receiver on the comeback.
-Perfect timing and placement on curl route, but receiver drops it.
-Gets to second read, good touch on out route – converts 4th and 7.
-A bit low after the play fake, ball dropped.
-Rolls right again, accurate throw to the goal line.
-Quick play fake, finds his TE wide open in the end zone.
-Nobody open, pulls ball down and makes seven yards out of it.
-Wanted to throw deep, but took the sack rather than throw into double coverage.
-Recognizes blitz, gets the ball out quickly but it is dropped again.
-Throws early to avoid blitz, hits the receiver in his hands as he turns around.
-Shows some zip on out pattern, thrown from opposite hash to the numbers.
-Nobody open in the red zone, throws it into row eight.
-Can’t step into the throw, perfectly placed ball on 5-step slant.
-Effectively running the play-clock down late in the game.
Overview: Vanderberg showed a good command of the offense and fantastic accuracy (14/21), despite three or four drops from receivers. He threw well on the move and handled pressure up the middle well. His play fakes froze defenders and was able to run the ball when needed. His senior season will show whether Vanderberg can be drafted like Ricky Stanzi, I think he will.
#6 WR Keenan Davis
-Playing as an outside WR.
-In-breaking route underneath the zone, plucks ball and goes for big gain.
-Showed some good speed and a nice stutter move to get some big YAC, finished with power.
-Willing to throw a block.
-Catch disrupted by corner, could have made the grab.
-Quick stop and catch, uses big cushion for some free yards.
-Quick slant, drops the easy catch.
Overview: Davis has a lot of physical tools, but his hands need to catch up to his talent level. Marvin McNutt was the featured receiver throughout this game, but
#53 OC James Ferentz
-Combo block on Mike Martin, low pad-level.
-Gets out of his stance quickly to second level, but misses Demens.
-Much better mirror against Demens, seals him off.
-Uses Martin’s speed against him, turns him away from play.
-Chips DL, then seals backside LB, moves very well.
-Jerked out of play by Martin, gives up tackle for no gain.
-Having some trouble with the powerful interior rushers.
-Poor miss in pass protection, lost balance quickly.
-Picks up the linebacker blitz, anchors against the bull rush.
-Roots Martin out of the hole, got very low and had some leg drive.
Overview: Ferentz struggled at times mirroring and anchoring against the likes of Mike Martin inside, but was very effective in the run game, especially on the second level. Ferentz got out of his stance quickly and has a lot of experience with the quarterback under center and in the shotgun. If he can overcome some of the size issues, Ferentz is smart and physical enough to play in the NFL.
#86 TE C.J. Fiedorowicz*
-Playing in-line tight end and on some special teams.
-Good positioning and hand placement, easily seals off DE.
-Comes across formation, cracks DE and seals him off.
-Easily controls safety on the edge, powerful blocker.
-Muscles DE Craig Roh out of the play.
-Able to mirror well, blocks CB down the field.
-Physical down the field in his routes.
-Runs away from linebackers over the middle, hauls in catch to the one yard line.
-Continues to dominate as a blocker.
-Fights for a good release, gets separation on the corner route – QB sacked.
-Buries the defensive end, Iowa having success running his way.
-Seals DE and LB, one with each arm, springs RB for touchdown.
Overview: Fiedorowicz was just a true sophomore when this game was played, but he blocked like a NFL veteran. Michigan had no match for him in the run game and was able to be a threat in the passing game even though he only had one catch. Fiedorowicz is going to be a name to watch in either the 2013 or 2014 NFL Draft.
Michigan draft prospects can be found on page two.