Hawkeyes on Mel Kiper’s Draft Board

Story by Derek Pech

ANKENY, Iowa – The 2018 NFL Draft will be held from April 26th to April 28th at AT&T Stadium (home of the Dallas Cowboys) in Arlington, Texas. For football fans, the names Mel Kiper and Todd McShay are front and center when it comes to NFL Draft coverage. They are ESPN’s draft gurus of course.

Mel Kiper has released his latest 2018 NFL Draft Big Board. This is where he projects where players are going to go in the draft. We took a closer look to see where he is projecting the Hawkeye players who will likely be taken in the 2018 NFL Draft. Here is his current projections:

Josh Jackson – Cornerback
#20 Overall (First round pick)
#3 CB on the board (behind Denzel Ward and Micah Fitzpatrick from Bama)

James Daniels – Center/Guard
#3 Center (projected second round pick)

Josey Jewell – ILB
#4 ILB (projected 3rd or 4th round pick)

Sean Welsh – Guard
#9 Guard (projected from rounds 3-5)

It is also worth noting that Kiper’s big board does not include RB Akrum Wadley or WR Matt Vandeberg. These two could potentially be picked up as well. Keep in mind, in some cases it is better to go undrafted than to be selected in the later rounds because that gives the player the opportunity to select his destination from teams that show interest rather than being forced to go a team that picks you. This presents the opportunity for a player to look at the depth chart for his position prior to selecting a destination. Sometimes this strategy can improve their odds of earning a spot on a roster.

This is shaping up to be one hell of a draft for Hawkeye fans. If all four of the players on Kiper’s board are drafted that would be the second year in a row the Hawkeyes had four players taken. You have to go back to 2012 to find a draft with more. In 2010, 2011, and 2012 the Hawkeyes had 6 players drafted in each class. In hindsight, that is a pretty damn impressive three year stretch.

Iowa players have a reputation for living up to their hype in the NFL. They are almost always solid draft picks because they come in with a workmanlike mentality. They aren’t full of themselves. They aren’t divas. They are football players.

Expect these four players to live up to that reputation, and to continue to make Hawkeye Nation proud!

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