Six Hawkeyes drafted, two get tryouts
In just one weekend, the Hawkeyes broke a 16-year-old record.
Starting with Bryan Bulaga’s NFL draft to Green Bay in the first round and continuing with five other successful former Hawkeye picks, the number of athletes chosen in this year’s event is the most Iowa has produced since the process was reduced to seven rounds in 1994.
Even the two undrafted Hawkeyes still have prospects — Dace Richardson will try out with the New York Giants this week, and wide receiver Trey Stross signed a free-agent contract with Houston.
Late in the second round on April 23, Pat Angerer was the second Hawkeye chosen, as Indianapolis made him the 63rd overall pick. Angerer became the third Hawkeye drafted by Indianapolis in the Kirk Ferentz era, joining former players Dallas Clark and Bob Sanders.
During a press conference with Indianapolis media, Colt general manager Bill Polian was excited after drafting the Bettendorf native, comparing him with another Colt linebacker, Gary Brackett.
“Hopefully, he can come in and play a major role for us from Day One,” Polian said. “This is a player that is definitely going to help our football team, no question about it. He was the right guy on the board at that time. We often say let the board talk to us, and it did loudly and clearly.”
Three picks later, Detroit nabbed cornerback Amari Spievey in the third round. The Lions used the same selection on Spievey — 66th overall — that St. Louis used on cornerback Bradley Fletcher last year.
During a conference call with Detroit media, Spievey, who decided to forego his senior season at Iowa, described feeling “shocked” when he got the call from the Lions.
“They told me, ‘Congratulations,’ ” he said. “They were thrilled to have me, and the reason they didn’t communicate with me or anything was because they didn’t want other teams to know that they were interested in me.”
Near the end of the third round, tight end Tony Moeaki found a home with Kansas City after the Chiefs took the 93rd pick. Moeaki follows in a lineage of tight ends drafted since Ferentz took over Iowa in 1999 featuring Clark, Scott Chandler, and Brandon Myers.
Chief general manager Scott Pioli noted Moeaki’s performance in the 2010 FedEx Orange Bowl against Georgia Tech as a factor that compelled him to move up and take the 6-4 tight end.
“We like his leadership. We like his toughness,” Pioli told Kansas City media during a press conference on April 23. “He’s been a leader on their team. He’s been very productive when he has been on the field. There’s a lot of things to like about Tony.”
On the draft’s final day, two more Iowa players found teams. Miami traded up seven spots to the 119th overall pick in the fourth round to draft linebacker A.J. Edds, a three-year starter for the Hawkeyes as an outside linebacker.
With the Dolphins running a 3-4 defense, Edds said he’ll likely be asked to move inside.
“I’m excited, because they play a tough, physical style of defense,” he said. “I’m really excited and real enthused about the opportunity, and look forward to getting after it.”
Three rounds later, Buffalo used the 216th overall choice on offensive tackle Kyle Calloway. The 6-7 Calloway became the 10th offensive lineman to be drafted under Ferentz at Iowa and the first Hawkeye to be chosen by the Bills since Ben Sobieski in 2003.
Calloway said he feels what he learned from Ferentz will translate into success.
“I’m real confident in my technique,” Calloway told Buffalo reporters during a conference call on April 24. “I mean, obviously, there are things I need to sharpen up, especially moving off to this next level, but I am confident.”
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