NEPD Editor: James Christensen
An ugly game for some, the 9-6 victory for the Iowa State Cyclones was a good way to watch some of the impressive defensive prospects from both Ames and Iowa City.
Read on to see how the 2013 NFL Draft prospects performed.
Iowa State Cyclones
#47 LB AJ Klein
-Lining up as inside linebacker.
-Flows to the ball, rarely taking a false step in the run game.
-Bends around edge, chases down RB from behind.
-Beaten badly by TE Fiedorowicz, broke out while TE broke in, couldn’t even start to recover.
-Picks his way through the trash, solid tackling fundamentals.
-Immediate burst to the ball, slips by center and makes the stop.
-Reads counter action and comes up and fills the gap.
-Overpursues a bit, gives up the cut back.
-Good chuck on the fullback, takes him to the ground.
-Gets his hand in and disrupts possible touchdown catch.
Overview: Klein was his usual self, making plays in coverage as well as against the run. He doesn’t have quite the athleticism as Knott, but he makes up for it with his technique and instincts.
#20 LB Jake Knott
-Seeing time at both inside and outside linebacker.
-Outruns block from guard, bends and able to clog up the play for a loss.
-Drops into zone, reads the route well and forces a throwaway.
-Great speed, covers “speedy” wide receiver on crossing route, incredible burst to the ball.
-Nice depth on the zone drop, gets a tip on the ball.
-Runs around seal, comes down the line and wraps up for the tackle.
-Sets a hard edge, sticks a strong arm in there and assists on the tackle for loss.
-Poor angle to the sideline, barely able to push RB out of bounds.
-Strings the play out to the sideline.
-Incredible athleticism, huge leap, tip and comes down with the game-winning interception.
Overview: Knott continued to show his above-average athleticism and instincts, especially in the game-clinching interception. I’ve watched Knott a lot over the last few years and I come away more impressed each time I watch him. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Knott picked on day two of the 2013 NFL Draft.
#94 DT Jake McDonough
-Lining up as 1-tech defensive tackle.
-Very active hands, keeping himself clean on the interior.
-Shows some decent quickness off the ball.
-Outworked by Ferentz, lost his position and angled out of the play.
-Good pad level, blows Ferentz back into his running back, tackles RB with one arm.
-Doubled, got a bit off balance and taken to the ground.
-Bull rushes Ferentz into the backfield, assists on tackle with free arm.
-Gets his hands up in the air and tips the pass – came on twist stunt.
-Another tipped ball, decent athleticism to get that high – long arms.
-Pushes Ferentz back into the backfield on goal line, blows up the play.
-Huge initial punch on left guard, resets the line of scrimmage a yard backwards.
-Nice rip move, flushes QB out of the pocket.
Overview: McDonough destroyed Iowa center James Ferentz for the majority of the night, swatting down balls and disrupting plays in the backfield. He has the ability to be a good rotational lineman at the next level.
#79 OT Brayden Burris
-Lining up at right tackle.
-Turns defensive end, extends arms and drives legs.
-A little bit of a waist-bender at times.
-Controlling DE’s with ease, showing some plus upper body strength.
-Consistent hand placement inside on the DL chestplate.
-Good feet, can mirror effectively.
-Crushes DE on combo block, misses LB on seal.
-A little late picking up the end/tackle stunt.
-Staying with his blocks, good effort blocker.
-Holding penalty, got his hands outside and caught grabbing jersey.
-Crushing block on screen pass, leads to big play.
-Takes big punch and loses his assignment.
Overview: Burris looks like a potential backup in the NFL with a little upside. He has some decent feet and strength and has improved each year at Iowa State.
#2 QB Steele Jantz
-A lot of shotgun sets, rarely under center.
-Tough player, takes a lot of hits on QB draws.
-Locks on to his receiver, good touch on pivot route.
-Sees single coverage, lofts up deep bomb, picks up pass interference.
-Delivers accurate ball underneath, found the open receiver quickly.
-Catchable ball, but a little off throwing on the run to his right.
-Taking his audibles from the sideline.
-Reads the field from his left to the right, finds open WR and hits him in the end zone.
-Elusiveness on the QB run, tough to bring down one on one.
-Nice ball on dig route, put the ball on the money.
-Good velocity on deep corner.
-Rolls to his left, good decision tucking it and getting a couple of yards.
-Shows off a big arm, overthrows WR by a couple yards on streak.
-Floats the ball across the middle, nearly picked off – ball thrown behind WR.
-Balls out on time, WR turns and catches on curl.
-Doesn’t see safety cutting off the route, stared down his receiver, intercepted.
-Indecisive on option, leads to a fumble.
-Wild throw on third down, high and wide.
-Escapes the pocket, makes a big 20-yard first down scrambling.
-Misses LB underneath in coverage – bad red zone interception.
-Fails to see wide open WR, chose to safely take the sack instead.
Overview: Jantz showed his toughness and ability to make a play out of nothing, but other than screens and a few wide open throws, he was bottled up after the first 20 minutes. His late interception should have cost ISU the game, but Jake Knott bailed him out. The jury is still out whether Jantz is a legitimate NFL quarterback, or just a possible backup – I’d lean to the latter.
Check out the Iowa Hawkeye draft prospects on page two.