Hawks head for Sunday

BY DANNY PAYNE | MAY 04, 2015 5:00 AM

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With the 2015 NFL draft over, numerous former Hawkeyes have new homes and a mixed bag of feelings regarding their NFL careers. Some, namely tackles Brandon Scherff and Andrew Donnal, went higher than expected. Some, such as Carl Davis (third round, Baltimore Ravens) dropped. Some who were expected to go — such as Louis Trinca-Pasat — didn’t get drafted at all.

After it was said and done, 10 Hawkeyes are headed to the NFL. Scherff, Davis, and Donnal, along with now-undrafted free agents Quinton Alston (Tampa Bay), Ray Hamilton (Dallas Cowboys), John Lowdermilk (San Diego Chargers), Trinca-Pasat (St. Louis Rams), Mark Weisman (Cincinnati Bengals), Kevonte Martin-Manley (Cleveland Browns), and Damond Powell (Arizona Cardinals) will have their shot in the league, beginning in the near future with team workouts.

The biggest surprises are Donnal (fourth round), Davis, and Trinca-Pasat. Generally, most experts and analysts saw Donnal as a later-round pick, probably going somewhere in the fifth to seventh round. However, the Rams felt the need to stockpile offensive linemen. They drafted former Badger Rob Havenstein and Louisville Cardinal Jamon Brown ahead of Donnal and added guard Cody Wichmann in the sixth round.

“It’s a phone call I’ve been waiting for forever,” Donnal said. “It’s a great feeling hearing that phone ring and knowing a team’s calling your name. I couldn’t be happier right now.’

For Davis and Trinca-Pasat, however, that’s not the case. Some viewed the former as a potential first-round pick, but the second was more likely. Davis was the practice player of the week at the Senior Bowl, but it turns out some of the draft hype was exaggerated.

When his stock began to fall, there were some unconfirmed rumors flying around Davis about struggling in interviews with teams, but whether or not those are true, the Detroit native said he’s going to use his drop as motivation.

“I’m so motivated right now because I was expecting to go [first or early second round],” Davis said on a conference call with Baltimore media. “I feel like I’m one of the best defensive tackles in this year’s draft. And I saw a lot of guys get picked ahead of me, and that’s a chip on my shoulder … I just feel like I’m that much of a dominant player.”

Trinca-Pasat is in a similar case. There was a chance he would go undrafted, but it wasn’t likely. The main knock on the defensive tackle was his size, but he was still projected to go in the sixth or seventh round.

Trinca-Pasat, just as Davis, plans to use the drop as motivation as he begins his career in St. Louis.

“Thank God Rams have given me one more opportunity,” Trinca-Pasat tweeted. “Those who overlooked me will regret it.”

Among the players who signed with other teams, Weisman is perhaps the most likely to make an immediate impact. He was viewed as one of the best fullback prospects in this draft class, and going the undrafted route looked like the most likely situation from the beginning.

Scherff is the highest Hawkeye pick since Robert Gallery went No. 2 overall in 2004. This also marks the second-straight year three Iowa guys were taken. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Christian Kirksey, and Anthony Hitchens went last year.

However, more undrafted free agents went this year, opposed to only five last year.

Follow @dannyapayne on Twitter for news, updates, and analysis about the Iowa football team.

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