Scouting the Big Ten: Iowa

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Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

Though the Hawkeyes have no early-round prospects, they have a good number of second-day and middle-round players with starting potential at the next level.

Iowa offers three linebackers who can play on Sundays in varying forms. Josey Jewell and Ben Neimann are the best of the trio.

I grade Jewell higher than most as I love his instincts, intensity and playmaking ability. Jewell is constantly around the action making plays against the run or pass while also selling out on the blitz when his number is called. Jewell likely won’t test well in the lead-up to the draft. He’s short (under 6-foot-1) and won’t impress anyone with blinding speed. I grade Jewell as a second-round pick off the film but could see him falling into the fourth round based on computer numbers.

Niemann is another linebacker I like on film. He’s a stout linebacker who plays big football and flashes three-down ability. A big senior campaign should push Niemann into the fifth round.

The Hawkeyes rarely have underclassmen leave early for the NFL but offer two players on the line of scrimmage that bear watching.

Junior center James Daniels blocks with great explosion at the pivot and shows ability at the line of scrimmage or on the second level. He has next-level size and comes with growth potential.

Red-shirt sophomore Anthony Nelson is a developing pass rusher with great length (over 6-feet-6) and solid size. He flashed dominance at times last season and is an exciting prospect for the future.