Josh Jackson discusses how he realized he needed to develop more football focus.
The NFL mock drafts have started to roll in, and Iowa names are popping up all over.
After ESPN.com’s Mel Kiper Jr. released his first one Thursday that had former Hawkeyes cornerback Josh Jackson going to the Arizona Cardinals at No. 15 overall, NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah came out with his initial version Friday that had two Hawkeyes going in the first round.
Jeremiah — a former NFL scout who has worked for the Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens — has Jackson going No. 22 overall to the Buffalo Bills and former Iowa offensive lineman James Daniels going No. 25 overall to the Tennessee Titans.
Jackson has been essentially pegged as a consensus first-round pick. Count Jeremiah among the cornerback’s fans.
“There is some concern about Jackson's deep speed,” Jeremiah wrote, “but he has the best ball skills in the entire draft class.”
Daniels creeping into the first round is a bit of a surprise, but Jeremiah likes his versatility and could see the 6-foot-4, 295-pound offensive lineman climbing draft boards over the next couple months.
Iowa’s center James Daniels discusses the Hawkeyes' second-half domination of Nebraska. Chad Leistikow/The Register
“Daniels is the best center prospect in the draft,” Jeremiah wrote, “and I believe he could play guard if needed. I think you will see his stock soar over the next few months.”
The 83rd annual NFL Draft runs from April 26-28 and will be held at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
Dargan Southard covers preps, recruiting, Iowa and UNI athletics for the Iowa City Press-Citizen, The Des Moines Register and HawkCentral.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.