Hawkmania football & basketball blog

Smart decision

Iowa football coach Kirk Ferentz has seen it work both ways, and as the start of the 2012 NFL draft approaches, he believes Hawkeye offensive lineman Riley Reiff made a good decision to bypass his senior season and turn professional.
Ferentz said today that the lack of available offesnive tackles in this year’s draft class probably works in Reiff’s favor.
“Everything I read sounds like he’s got a shot to be a top-15 guy. It’s hard to predict, but with not so many offensive tackles out there maybe a team or two will get antsy. I do know that he’s going to be a really good football player,” Ferentz said.
Buffalo, which picks 10th, and Arizona, which picks 13th, are among teams most likely projected to take a long hard look at Reiff.
Ferentz describes why he likes the South Dakota native’s chances at the next level.
“The first thing that comes to my mind is his aggressiveness. He’s durable. It’s hard to get Riley off the field,” Ferentz said. “The other thing is he’s just a very aggressive player. I feel a little bit like I did about Bryan Bulaga with Riley. Clearly, his best football is ahead of him,” the 14th-year Iowa coach said.
Ferentz compares him to another former Hawkeye still working in the NFL, Marshal Yanda.
“Marshal was here for two years. Riley could have come back for another year. I fully understand why he chose to go out. Looks like a real smart decision at this point,” Ferentz said.
“The real plus is whoever gets him is going to see better football from him with each month in the future.”
Ferentz expects all three seniors who started in the Hawkeye offensive line a year ago – a group that includes Adam Gettis and Markus Zusevics in addition to Reiff – to be drafted.
He sees Gettis as a “sleeper pick,” someone who will reward whatever team selects him with a good return on their investment.
Ferentz doesn’t believe that the injury that shortened Zusevics’ stay at the NFL Combine will impact how teams view him.
Zusevics underwent surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle, a procedure that Ferentz compared to one Broderick Binns underwent a year ago.
He said that will the rehab period may prevent Zusevics from participating in mini-camps held shortly after the draft, he would expect him to be healthy and ready to go when preseason camps begin later this summer.

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