Iowa 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Reports Include Monte Pottebaum, Seth Benson, and Kaevon Merriweather

Jack Campbell, Sam LaPorta, Lukas Van Ness -- what do the Iowa scouting reports say about these 2023 NFL Draft prospects' move to the pros?

The win-loss record may not always reflect what the Iowa Hawkeyes‘ program does in preparing its NFL Draft prospects for the next level. Who are the Iowa prospects to keep an eye on in the 2023 cycle, and what do the scouting reports say about their merits?

Iowa 2023 NFL Draft Scouting Reports

Jack Campbell, LB

Strengths: Athletic, productive linebacker with outstanding instincts and physical ability. Patient, disciplined and does a great job reading as well as diagnosing plays. Fast moving in every direction, outstanding in pursuit, and cuts off the corners or gets out into space to make the tackle.

Easily moves about the field, shows fluidity in reverse, and displays terrific awareness in coverage. Gets depth on pass drops, displays a burst to the action, and flies around plays. Slices through blocks to make plays on the ball handler.

Weaknesses: Shows a bit of stiffness. Must improve his skills in coverage.

Overall: Campbell is a three-down linebacker who is developing a complete game. He plays smart, tough football and is never overwhelmed by the situation. Campbell comes with a huge upside and can have a long, productive career in the NFL if he takes his game to the next level.

Want more information on Campbell? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Jack Campbell, LB, Iowa | NFL Draft Scouting Report

Kaevon Merriweather, DB

Strengths: Nice-sized safety with an efficient game. Instinctive, quickly reads the action, and immediately picks up coverage assignments in center field. Moves well in every direction, gets out to the sidelines to help cornerbacks, and has a closing burst.

Keeps the action in front of him, displays solid range, and tracks the pass in the air. Displays a good move to the throw and works to get a hand in to knock the ball away. Squares and wraps up tackling, giving effort against the run.

Weaknesses: More of a disciplined defender than a playmaking safety. Deep speed is an issue. Was unspectacular during Senior Bowl practices.

Overall: Iowa has produced a number of safeties who went on to have productive careers in the NFL, and Merriweather is next in line. He’s more of a zone defensive back who plays tough, instinctive, reliable football.

Want more information on Merriweather? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Kaevon Merriweather, S, Iowa | NFL Draft Scouting Report

Lukas Van Ness, EDGE

Strengths: Athletic defensive line prospect with a huge upside. Stands over tackle or comes out of a three-point stance. Breaks down well, works his hands throughout the action, and is rarely off his feet. Keeps his feet moving, flashes power in his lower body, and gets push up the field.

Quickly locates the ball handler and displays agility and a nice inside move. Flows down the line of scrimmage to make plays in pursuit. Easily moves to any direction of the field. Plays with terrific pad level out of a three-point stance and flashes an explosive first step off the snap. Forceful and gets a lot of momentum going up field.

MORE: FREE Mock Draft Simulator With Trades

Weaknesses: Has a long thin frame and is easily slowed by blocks. Must develop more pass-rush moves.

Overall: A productive two-year starter for Iowa, Van Ness displayed development in his game last season, then went on to have a terrific Combine workout. He possesses size, athleticism, and growth potential, but Van Ness must get stronger and complete his game before he’ll be ready to step into a starting lineup.

Want more information on Van Ness? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Lukas Van Ness, EDGE, Iowa | NFL Draft Scouting Report

Monte Pottebaum, FB

Strengths: Outstanding lead-blocking fullback who is also effective catching the ball. Displays outstanding blocking vision and a nasty demeanor and always looks for someone to hit. Accelerates into blocks, drives his shoulders through defenders, and viciously attacks opponents.

Blocks down on opponents or gets to the second level and takes linebackers from the action. Seals defensive linemen from plays. Extends to catch the ball with his hands away from his frame, then keeps the play in bounds to pick up positive yardage. Effective short-yardage ball carrier who runs with good lean.

Weaknesses: Not much of a running threat and carried the ball just 13 times in four seasons. Shows a bit of stiffness.

Overall: Pottebaum is a hard-nosed lead blocker who can also be counted on as a pass catcher out of the backfield. He has speed limitations, but Pottebaum can be put on the field in short-yardage or goal-line situations and used in a variety of roles.

Riley Moss, CB

Strengths: Underrated corner who flashed dominance throughout his college career. Smooth transitioning off the line, stays with receivers downfield, and remains on the opponent’s hip out of breaks. Battles receivers throughout the route, sticks with them all over the field, and displays an outstanding closing burst.

Possesses terrific ball skills, does an outstanding job getting his head back around, and positions himself to defend passes. Battles throughout the action, shows good hands for the interception, and is rarely challenged by opposing quarterbacks. Gives effort against the run and wraps up tackling.

Weaknesses: Hesitant reacting to receivers’ moves off the line and finds himself a half-step behind opponents. Inconsistent during Senior Bowl practices.

Overall: Moss was a really good cornerback at Iowa the past three seasons and is an athletic prospect with an upside. There are some elements of his game he must polish, but Moss comes with upside as a nickelback and even starting potential for the next level.

Want more information on Moss? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Riley Moss, CB, Iowa | NFL Draft Scouting Report

Sam LaPorta, TE

Strengths: Exciting tight end with a complete game and a large upside. Fires off the snap into blocks, is explosive at the point, and plays with strength. Bends his knees, blocks with proper leverage, and gets movement run blocking. Runs solid routes for a big tight end, quickly gets in and out of breaks, and positions himself to make the reception.

Works his hands to separate from defenders. Extends his hands to offer the quarterback a target, makes the reception away from his frame, and adjusts to the errant throw. Gets down to scoop up low passes, keeps the play in bounds after the catch, and works to pick up extra yardage. Possesses soft hands and snatches the ball out of the air.

Weaknesses: Must learn to finish blocks. Doesn’t show great breakaway speed on the field despite his 40 time.

Overall: LaPorta was a productive tight end for Iowa the past three seasons and is one of the more underrated prospects at the position. He comes with nice size, long arms, and big hands.

He’s a tremendous pass-catching tight end who does a solid job blocking. Though he’s not a true vertical threat at the position, LaPorta possesses enough speed to create mismatches in the secondary. He’s a three-down TE with starting potential at the next level.

Want more information on LaPorta? Here’s our expanded scouting report and draft profile: Sam LaPorta, TE, Iowa | NFL Draft Scouting Report

Seth Benson, LB

Strengths: Tough, run-defending, two-down linebacker who breaks down well, uses his hands to protect himself, and remains disciplined with assignments. Instinctive, immediately locates the ball handler, and takes proper angles to the play.

Easily changes direction, shows speed pursuing plays laterally, and fires upfield to fill gaps defending the run. Very active, fierce, and sells out to make plays. Takes on blocks to allow opponents to make plays on the ball. Shows ability in zone coverage.

Weaknesses: Lacks true pursuit speed. Lack of height will cause mismatch problems in coverage. Limited upside.

Overall: Benson is a tough, hard-working defender who gets the most from his ability. He’s a two-down LB who stacks well against the run and comes with a special-teams mentality.

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