The NFL Draft is less than three weeks away, and a large group of Cyclones expects their name to be called.
Some Iowa State names will be called, but there will also be a group of Cyclones that are left looking for a team after the draft.
The second edition of the Daily’s mock draft series from assistant sports editor Andrew Harrington includes four players he expects to be called and two players that may make an impact as undrafted free agents.
Breece Hall: Early second round
The running back position has had a downward trending stock in recent years.
The combination of how quickly the players age at the position and the opportunity to select an elite lineman that can help both the run and pass games have caused the first running back off the board to come later every draft.
Kenneth Walker III of Michigan State is the biggest competition for Hall for the No. 1 running back spot, but Hall seems to be the favorite in most mock drafts.
Last year, Najee Harris was the first tailback off the board after being selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 24th pick.
I think there will not be a running back off the board because the first round is based on the needs of teams.
The Texans and Bills are two teams in desperate need of running backs. With Houston’s only first-rounder coming as the third overall pick, it would be unheard of to take a running back with all the holes the team currently has.
The Bills, on the other hand, have the 25th pick and could be a landing spot for Hall. My prediction is that the Bills pass on Hall, and he falls to the second round.
Charlie Kolar: Third-round pick
Teams cannot seem to get enough of the tight end position. Even teams with a star tight end still look to the draft to find a second tight end for added depth.
While I could see Kolar falling into the fourth or even fifth rounds due to the amount of solid tight ends in the draft pool this year, I still think that enough teams need that position for him to be selected in the third.
Critics have knocked Kolar on a lack of athleticism, but between his length and sure-handedness, he will likely be the third tight end off the board.
One thing that Kolar showed at his Pro Day workouts is that he is coachable and understands the game at an elite level for his age.
Mike Rose: Fifth-round pick
Teams know exactly what to expect from Mike Rose. Finishing his career tied for the school record in starts with 49, Rose came in and did his job time and time again.
Rose will not be drafted this high due to his coverage abilities or his tackling, but because teams know that when their big-time linebacker goes down with an injury, Rose will be ready and will do what he always has.
Expect Rose to begin his career as a backup before getting a chance to prove his worth sometime down the road.
Brock Purdy: Seventh-round pick
Quarterbacks are a difficult position to place in mock drafts due to how heavily team schemes and high potential play into a decision. There is not really a way to tell which squads are giving attention to which players without being on the inside.
One thing is for sure; Purdy will not be drafted to be a starting quarterback or to be trained for a few years to take over upon a player’s departure.
If Purdy is going to get a chance in the pros, it will likely be because of an injury or unpredictable situation.
That being said, I believe that Purdy will be drafted. He falls short in terms of decision-making at times, but based on talent alone; he is good enough to make the NFL.
Undrafted Players to Watch: Enyi Uwazurike and Chase Allen
Uwazurike could be a versatile piece of a defensive line as he can play as an edge rusher or on the inside. He has shown that he is capable of making plays as a pass rusher and a run stopper.
Uwazurike is someone I could see sneaking in as a seventh-round draft pick and will make an instant impact wherever he lands.
Chase Allen is a versatile tight end and seems to be willing to do whatever it takes to be a part of an NFL roster.
Allen is determined to grow his game, and I can see him as a blocker for a special teams unit for a few years at the very least.
There are players outside of these two that very well could make an NFL impact, such as kicker Andrew Mevis; however, Enyi Uwazurike and Chase Allen both could be valuable players in the NFL.