Phil Parker outlines the goals at defensive end, defensive tackle.
Considering where things stood two weeks ago, Drew Ott’s NFL Draft trajectory couldn’t be tracking much better.
After learning late at night on April 12 that his Iowa football career was over – that the NCAA had denied his final appeal for a medical redshirt – Ott was in scramble mode. Three days later, he went to the NFL Combine medical recheck. There, agent Neil Cornrich said Ott received a positive evaluation about the surgically repaired ACL in his right knee: That he was on track to be healthy for the 2016 season.
“That’s the expectation of the Combine medical people, too, yes,” Cornrich told the Register on Wednesday.
As an agent should be, Cornrich was optimistic about how Ott would be evaluated in the draft, which begins Thursday in Chicago. Rounds 2 and 3 are Friday. If Ott is selected, it would more than likely happen during Saturday’s rounds 4 through 7.
Elbow and knee injuries prevented Ott (who measured 6-foot-4, 277 pounds on Iowa’s pro day) from participating in drill work in February’s NFL Combine, but he was able to interview with teams. Cornrich pointed to Ott’s pre-injury times of 4.7 seconds in the 40-yard dash and 4.05 in the 20-yard shuttle, plus a 36-inch vertical jump, as attributes an NFL team would be getting.
“When you have those kind of numbers, those are second-round numbers,” Cornrich said. “And when you factor in that Drew’s an Iowa-trained, Chris Doyle-strengthened player, those kids are really polished gem stones by the time they get out of there. And they all do well in the NFL.”
Cornrich has a long history representing Hawkeyes who became high NFL draft picks or stars: tight end Dallas Clark (2003 first-rounder), lineman Riley Reiff (2012 first-rounder), lineman Brandon Scherff (2015 first-rounder) and lineman Marshal Yanda (five-time Pro Bowler).
Ott was a good student and one of the four co-captains at Iowa, something NFL teams like the New England Patriots count toward strong character.
“A number of teams draft players that are team captains," Cornrich said. "That’s considered a huge plus.”
He said Ott’s development under Kirk Ferentz and Phil Parker from Nebraska 8-man football player to potential NFL pass rusher has made the 16-day flurry from NCAA denial to Thursday’s first round easier to handle.
“Drew's optimistic (and) very flattered by the significant interest,” Cornrich said. “The majority of teams in the NFL have called and requested information, including his draft-day telephone number and my contact information. I think teams are hoping to find a bargain, a second-round draft selection perhaps a little later in the draft.”
Register photographer Bryon Houlgrave has the sights and sounds from Saturday's Iowa Hawkeyes spring football game.