For the third time in the last five years, an Iowa offensive lineman was selected in the first round of the annual NFL Draft.
The Washington Redskins chose Brandon Scherff with the 5th overall pick. Former Hawkeyes Bryan Bulaga (2010) and Riley Reiff (’12) were taken 23rd by the Packers and Lions, respectively.
The 6-foot-5, 319-pound Scherff was the second-highest drafted player for 16-year Hawkeye Head Coach Kirk Ferentz. The Raiders picked Robert Gallery, who like Scherff won the Outland Trophy, in ’04.
Scherff became the 20th first-rounder from Iowa. He extended the Hawkeyes’ streak of having a player selected every year since ’78.
"The beauty is Washington has been looking for a right tackle," NFL Network Lead Analyst Mike Mayock said on TV after the pick. "They really feel like the right side of their line has to get younger and more athletic and with Brandon Scherff it has."
Mayock paralleled the Scherff pick to Dallas choosing Notre Dame’s Zach Martin in the first round last year. Martin played left tackle with the Irish before moving inside to guard and starting al season as a Cowboy rookie.
"He can play right tackle or he can kick inside. He makes them stronger. He makes them more athletic. And the beauty is he can play anywhere," Mayock said of Scherff to the Redskins.
Long-time coach and NFL Network Analyst Steve Mariucci agreed with Mayock during the draft broadcast: "This guy can play all over the place. You plug him in anywhere you want and he starts for 12 years. This guy is going to afford RG III a little bit more protection."
The NFL Network called Scherff’s selection at fifth overall as the draft’s "first curve ball." Most mock drafts had the Denison (IA) native lasting longer into the process.
"It’s a major surprise to see him go to Washington but Mike Mayock made the point about how they wanted to get bigger, tougher and more physical," Analyst Charles Davis said on the NFL Network. "He can start out on the right side and play tackle. I evaluated and thought he would be best inside at guard. Washington needs to help no matter where it is on this offensive line save Trent Williams at left tackle."
Redskins running back Alfred Morris approved of the pick.
— Alfred Morris (@Trey_Deuces) May 1, 2015
Iowa defensive tackle Carl Davis was projected as a possible first-round pick but did not hear his name called on Thursday. The draft was set to resume Friday with rounds 2-3 and wraps up Saturday with 4-7.
All-Time Hawkeye First-Round NFL Draft Picks
1936 Dick Crayne, Brooklyn Dodgers, 4th Overall
1958 Alex Karras, Detroit Lions, 10th
1959 Randy Duncan, Green Bay Packers, 1st
1966 John Niland, Dallas Cowboys, 5th
1973 Craig Clemons, Chicago Bears, 12th
1976 Rod Walters, Kansas City Chiefs, 14th
1982 Ron Hallstrom, Green Bay Packers, 22nd
1984 John Alt, Kansas City Chiefs, 21st
1986 Chuck Long, Detroit Lions, 12th
1986 Ronnie Harmon, Buffalo Bills, 16th
1986 Mike Haight, New York Jets, 22nd
1997 Tom Knight, Arizona Cardinals, 9th
1997 Ross Verba, Green Bay Packers, 30th
2003 Dallas Clark, Indianapolis Colts, 24th
2004 Robert Gallery, Oakland Raiders, 2nd
2006 Chad Greenway, Minnesota Vikings, 17th
2010 Bryan Bulaga, Green Bay Packers, 23rd
2011 Adrian Clayborn, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 20th
2012 Riley Reiff, Detroit Lions, 23rd
2015 Brandon Scherff, Washington Redskins, 5th