Four Hawks being taken in the draft is a solid number, historically speaking. Especially in this day and age of seven rounds.
Five Hawkeyes were selected in the 2003, 2004 & 2005 drafts, and five Hawkeyes were taken in the 1986 draft.
How many Iowa players might hear their name get called in the 2010 draft? Here's a quick look…
A.J. Edds Edds has had the look of a pro about him since his true sophomore year, and I haven't seen anything that changes my mind on that. Is he a first day pick? Probably not. But is he going to get selected in one of the seven rounds? I think so.
Kyle Calloway: Calloway is an NFL player, no doubt, and he will get drafted. What is a bonus for him is that there are not a great number of sure-fire NFL tackles in next year's draft class, at least, at this point in time one year away from the event.
Pat Angerer: I love watching Pat play at Iowa and he has great speed and lateral movement for the college game. I am not certain that he will get drafted, however.
Trey Stross: He needs an injury free and breakout senior season. He has athletic ability, he has speed. He needs to prove that he can stay on the field for an entire season, then he needs to flat turn heads at either the NFL combine, his Iowa pro day, or both, to jump into draft discussions…and even then, you are probably talking about a late rounder.
Tony Moeaki: Same for Tony; he has to stay healthy next year. If he does, I fully expect for him to have a great senior season. He is a great blocker, with great ball skills. If he stays healthy this year, he will get drafted next year.
Bryan Bulaga: Yeah, I know that you don't want to read that, but you might want to start preparing yourself for the possibility. Bulaga is going to make several preseason All American teams and he appears to be in line for a 1st team All Big Ten season. The word is out, and now everyone knows what Iowa fans know about the true sophomore; he's good, with upside to go.
Bulaga may face a similar decision that former Hawkeye Robert Gallery stared down in 2003; do I stay one more year in college, or do I turn pro? Gallery would have been a first round pick in 2003, but he came back to Iowa City, won the Outland Trophy and was the eventual #2 pick in the draft to the Oakland Raiders. His decision to return to Iowa worked out well for Gallery, who put several million more dollars in his pocket than he would have had he elected to come out one year earlier.
Will Bulaga choose the same? The decision will be a little bit different, in that he will have a serious factor to take into consideration that Gallery did not; a possible rookie salary cap in 2011. To me, this is the biggest reason Bulaga may choose to forego his final season in Iowa City.
Matthew Stafford just got a $40,000,000+ signing bonus as the first pick in this year's draft. He has never played one down of professional football, and his signing bonus, which is the only guaranteed money an NFL player receives, is larger than Peyton Manning or Tom Brady received in signing bonus money in their biggest NFL deals. Considerably more.
I love America, and you are worth what you can get someone to pay you. But I can see why NFL veterans have had enough of this type of system, and they are more than willing to talk about this with the NFL when they sit down for talks and reopen the collective bargaining agreement.
The chances of 2010 draftees being subject to a new rookie salary structure is not near as likely as the 2011 class, which most likely will have a rookie cap.
Of course, we will know more about this next January, when underclassmen will have to declare. If Bulaga, and all other non-seniors, are staring down the barrel of the 2010 draft not having any sort of rookie cap, and the 2011 draft having a rookie cap, you are going to see a massive influx of non-seniors entering their names into next year's draft.
Combine this with a general lack of prototypical NFL tackles for next year's draft class, and we might be looking at the perfect storm that could take Bulaga to the NFL with one year on his college clock.
Amari Spievey: Norm Parker has already said publicly that Spievey could be the best cornerback that Iowa has had since they have been there. I think he is already. We just saw Charles Godfrey and Bradley Fletcher go in the third round in back to back drafts, and I think if Spievey has the kind of year we think he can have, he might consider the jump, due to some of the reasons I just spelled out for Bulaga. It all depends on the discussions of the future NFL rookie cap, and just how far down its going to impact later rounds. An early third round pick gets $400,000 to $700,000 in signing bonus now. It stands to reason that number will go down in the future with the rookie cap. Perhaps Spievey will test the waters, too?
Adrian Clayborn: This kid is going to play in the NFL someday, it's just a matter of where he projects in next year's draft. Iowa is not going to be the only school impacted by the possible upcoming rookie 'salary cap', as a lot of programs will be in that boat next year. Perhaps in the long run, that could really clog up some positions with far more competition than there might otherwise be, and actually work in the favor of some programs. I just have a feeling that Clayborn is going to have a break out season this year...but I think he will be at Iowa for his senior season.
TOMORROW: A look at future NFL drafts from an Iowa perspective, and an in depth discussion on if the 2008 Iowa roster will surpass the 2001 Iowa team for the most Hawkeyes ultimately taken in NFL drafts from one Hawkeye team.