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NFL Combine Profile: Andrew Donnal

BY JORDAN HANSEN | FEBRUARY 18, 2015 5:00 AM

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Andrew Donnal is yet another player who belongs in the “Late-Round or Undrafted Iowa Offensive Lineman Who Will Get A Serious NFL Look” file along with familiar such names as Brett Van Sloten and Matt Tobin.

Donnal, originally a four-star recruit from Ohio, held offers not only from Iowa but also Michigan, Michigan State, Stanford, South Carolina, and Wisconsin, along with a number of other Division-I programs.

He was considered somewhere close to a blue-chip recruit, and it’s not hard to see why. When Donnal came into Iowa, he was listed at 6-6, 285 pounds — a good frame for the Iowa strength and conditioning coaches to do their thing, transforming him into the 6-7, 305-pounds he is today.

While he may have not received the attention that Brandon Scherff has, Donnal has not gone unnoticed. Earlier this year The Daily Iowan spoke with to Dane Brugler, a senior draft analyst for CBS Sports and NFLDraftScout.com, who believes that Donnal had made strides this season.

“Now that he’s getting a chance as a senior, he’s done a nice job,” Brugler said. “He really limits the mental mistakes; you can tell he works hard at his craft. In terms of the physical aspect of the game, he’s physical at the point of attack; I like the way he uses his hands.”

Part of the unknown comes from Donnal’s missing part of the 2012 season after ripping up his knee against Penn State — a game in which Scherff also suffered a season-ending injury.

In addition, his return in 2013 was spotty — he split time between tackle and guard. In fact, 2014 was the first season during his time at Iowa that Donnal started every game.

However, that he is getting looks is based on Kirk Ferentz’s having coached him. That is a help to both his stock and the program.

While Donnal may be tall and fairly big, a knock on him has been his overall athleticism, which is the major reason his rating is overwhelmingly late rounds to undrafted free agent. That being said, his technique, which many view as his greatest asset, may end up landing him a spot on a roster.

In Rotoworld and NBC Sports NFL draft writer Josh Norris’ podcast, NFL draft analyst Lance Zierlein said he noticed Donnal while evaluating Scherff.

“I notice he’s getting everyone blocked all the time,” Zierlein said. “He’s not a powerful run blocker, but he’s a functional run blocker. As a pass protector, he has a way of staying in front of everyone.”

If things go well for Donnal at the combine and any private workouts he has, Iowa’s “other” offensive tackle could very well be drafted in the sixth or seventh round.

That being said, with the respect that the NFL has for Iowa offensive linemen, even if he doesn’t get drafted, training camp invitations and undrafted free-agent offers are sure to come his way.


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