Iowa State continually offers big bodied blockers from the offensive line and that trend will continue this year. Left tackle Cale Stubbe is a small area blocker best suited for guard. Quick off the snap, he displays the ability to shuffle and slide his feet then easily rides defenders from their angle of attack once engaged in a block. Very quick in his head, Stubbe immediately picks up stunts or blitzes thrown by the opposition and always does a good job in pass protection. He lacks overall blocking range and the larger the area he must cover the taller Stubbe gets. Sophomore Aaron Brandt is a big, nasty blocker who attacks assignments and destroys defenders. Easily controlling opponents at the point of attack, he has decent upside for the next level.
The defense is highlighted by a pair of explosive prospects. After missing last season with injury Tyson Smith returns at linebacker. The former pass rusher is a good athlete with solid size\speed numbers and the athleticism to make plays in any direction of the field. He must now prove the ability to diagnose the action off the line of scrimmage. If his instincts are up to par, Smith is a solid middle round choice. Cornerback Ellis Hobbs is another physically aggressive prospect with excellent speed and the ability to make plays on the ball. A little shorter than one wants in a press in a press cornerback, Hobbs is another solid middle round selection for a two-deep or zone defense. Lastly, Tony Yelk is a legged kicker who connects on long-range field goals and gets his kick-offs deep into the end zone with regularity. He is definitely a draftable commodity next April.