It’s a star-studded group of Iowa Hawkeyes featured in our latest 2022 NFL Draft scouting reports. Headlined by none other than Tyler Linderbaum, this group of Iowa players headed into the pros are set to potentially change some franchises.
Iowa 2022 NFL Draft Scouting Reports
The aforementioned Linderbaum has the term “generational” thrown around about him at almost every turn. He’s a terrific center prospect with high upside and a great background. Next to Linderbaum are a group of defensive backs that need no introductions to Big Ten offenses.
Dane Belton, Jack Koerner, and Matt Hankins made their presences felt on more than one Saturday over the years. They’ll join edge defender Zach VanValkenburg in hoping for a great landing spot to make early waves in the NFL. Tyler Goodson rounds out a terrific group as the human joystick can make defenders miss in a phonebooth.
Dane Belton, S
Positives: Explosive safety who flies around the field defending the run while also showing solid ball skills in coverage. Picks up coverage assignments, stays on the receiver’s hip out of breaks, and has a nice burst to the throw. Possesses lateral speed, goes sideline to sideline, and fires upfield defending the run. Keeps the action in front of him, breaks down well, and uses his hands to protect himself and get off blocks. Makes a lot of plays in space. Nicely times his pass defenses.
Negatives: Must improve his backpedal and footwork in reverse. Better playing downhill or laterally.
Analysis: Belton is a prospect who I really liked the past two seasons and feel is underrated. Best in a zone system or as a traditional strong safety, Belton is a productive defender who should also do well on special teams.
Jack Koerner, DB
Positives: Nice-sized safety with an underrated game. Instinctive, tough, and works incredibly hard. Dives around the field and sells out to make plays. Terrific run defender who plays with reckless abandon and fires to the action. Drives his shoulders through ball handlers.
Quickly picks up coverage assignments, tracks the pass in the air, and displays good hands for the interception. Works well with cornerbacks to bracket receivers over the middle of the field. Takes proper angles.
Negatives: Lacks speed to the flanks and is usually a half-step late getting to the action. Possesses average ball skills.
Analysis: Koerner possesses the size, speed, and skill to play at the next level. However, he must polish his game and prove he’s more than just a downhill safety.
Matt Hankins, DB
Positives: Underrated cornerback who flashes ability. Stays with coverage assignments, remains disciplined in zone, and is effective facing the action. Stays on the receiver’s hip out of breaks, has an explosive closing burst, and flashes next-level ball skills. Mostly does a solid job reading and anticipating the action. Gives effort defending the run.
Negatives: Very quick out of his backpedal. Does more hitting than wrap-up tackling. Inconsistent.
Analysis: Hankins was a streaky cornerback the past three seasons, displaying terrific ball skills on one series of downs then disappearing for long stretches. He possesses the size as well as the speed to play at the next level if he finishes his game.
Tyler Goodson, RB
Positives: Explosive downhill ball carrier with a terrific burst of speed. Displays good vision, effectively follows blocks, and shows quick feet in a small area. Multi-cut ball carrier who easily changes direction without losing momentum. Will pick and choose his spots on the inside.
Displays the speed and quickness necessary to turn the perimeter and can run to daylight. Gets a lot of momentum going up the field and is tough to bring down. Flashed good vision and effectively follows blocks. Helps the quarterback sell ball fakes and picks up blocking assignments.
b Runs with an upright style. Not a strong back who picks up a lot of yardage off initial contact. Does a lot of running into piles. Does not display soft hands and, despite his receiving numbers, drops a lot of catchable throws.
Analysis: Goodson is a solid athlete who enters the draft with an unpolished game. He is better in a straight line and must improve all the fundamentals of his position.
Want more information on Goodson? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Tyler Goodson, Iowa RB | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Tyler Linderbaum, C
Positives: Exciting young center prospect with a large upside. Fundamentally sound, bends his knees, and consistently gets leverage on opponents. Exceptionally quick off the snap, stays square, and uses his hands very effectively. Keeps his head on a swivel, stays patient in pass protection, and works well with teammates.
Keeps his feet moving, works to block as many defenders as possible on a single snap, and shows outstanding vision. Fires out to the second level, moves well on his feet, and shows the ability to hit a moving target. Slides in space, blocks with balance, and keeps his feet moving.
Negatives: Overextends into run blocks on occasion. Does a lot of clutching and grabbing against bigger opponents. Gets run over at times. Struggles finishing blocks.
Analysis: While Linderbaum is the apple of many in the draft world’s eye, he’s an incomplete center who must get stronger and finish his game. His explosion and quickness off the snap give him a decided advantage, but Linderbaum struggles handling big, mauling opponents.
He’s a zone-blocking lineman who should only improve as he physically matures and adds bulk to his frame. In my opinion, Linderbaum is not worth an early first-round selection.
Want more information on Linderbaum? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa OC | NFL Draft Scouting Report
Zach VanValkenburg, DE
Positives: Tall, hard-working pass rusher who gets the most from his ability. Breaks down well, effectively uses his hands, and plays with balance as well as body control. Effective standing over tackle, bends off the edge, and easily changes direction.
Fires off the snap with a quick first step out of a three-point stance, rarely gets knocked off his feet, and plays nasty football. Explosive, technically sound, and slices through blocks to get behind the line of scrimmage.
Negatives: Lacks bulk and strength and gets hammered by larger blockers. Lacks the pure speed to be a stand-up, pass-rushing linebacker.
Analysis: VanValkenburg was a hard-working defensive end for Iowa who got the most from his ability, yet he comes with athletic limitations. He has a long frame that must fill out as he develops into three-down defensive end.
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