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Hawkeyes finish up at NFL combine

BY JACOB SHEYKO | FEBRUARY 25, 2014 5:00 AM

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After four days in Indianapolis, all five of the Iowa football NFL combine invitees have completed their workouts.

For the Iowa players, the results were mixed.

Leading the pack, and by far the most impressive of the Hawkeyes, was tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz. Of the Iowa players eligible to be selected in May, he will likely go highest in the draft.

Draft experts, including NESN.com writer Doug Kyed said Fiedorowicz could very well end up as the newest member of the New England Patriots and possibly a second round pick.  

“Iowa’s C.J. Fiedorowicz is one of Saturday’s big “winners” from the NFL scouting combine,” Kyed wrote. “He impressed with his speed and agility workouts and caught the ball well in positional drills.”

Kyed also pointed out that two former Bill Belichick staffers — Kirk and Brian Ferentz, coached Fiedorowicz.

The Johnsburg, Ill., native certainly has the size to play tight end in the NFL. He measured in at just a shade taller than 6-5 and 265 pounds. But the Hawkeye tight end impressed observers with more than just his frame.

He ran a 4.76, 40-yard dash, which isn’t going to blow anyone away, but was good enough to rank sixth among the 15 tight ends who ran.

Where Fiedorowicz really impressed scouts was in the 3-cone drill and the 20-yard shuttle. In both of those drills, Fiedorowicz finished with the quickest time at his position.

Another Hawkeye who may have improved his draft stock was offensive lineman Conor Boffeli.

Like Fiedorowicz, Boffeli also performed well in the combine’s agility drills. In the 3-cone drill, he finished seventh with a time of 7.44 seconds. He also finished 13th with a 4.61 second 20-yard shuttle.

Combine this relatively strong combine with Boffeli’s versatility at the guard position and he may become the newest NFL offensive lineman to hail from Iowa.

And then there are the linebackers. All three of Iowa starting linebackers from the 2013-14 season are eligible to be drafted. Chances are, they won’t all be selected. And if they are to be drafted, they will likely be taken in the later rounds.

Fresh off his impressive performance in the Senior Bowl, Christian Kirksey worked out in just three events at the combine. Those events were the bench press, vertical jump, and broad jump. Of those events, Kirksey’s best performance was in the broad jump, where he tied for the fifth-best jump among linebackers.  

The two other Iowa linebackers — Anthony Hitchens and James Morris — competed in all six events. Between the two, no one truly separated themselves from the other.

Hitchens posted a quicker 40-yard dash time than Morris, and Hitchens out-benched Morris by five reps. But Morris out-jumped Hitchens in the vertical jump and broad jump. He also posted faster times in the 3-cone drill and 20 yard shuttle.

With Morris, most were not expecting the most spectacular display of athleticism, but rather they point to other qualities. His NFL.com scouting profile describes him as, “A disciplined, football-smart, 4-3 Mike linebacker with the toughness, discipline and determination desired in a core special-teams player.”

But it also adds that his, “athletic limitations could force him to earn his way as a backup.”

No one will know where these players end up until the NFL draft rolls around on May 8. But one can be certain that a few Hawkeyes will find themselves in NFL uniforms next fall.


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