IOWA CITY — Former Iowa tackle Riley Reiff could land in the top 1o of April’s NFL draft because of the position he plays, NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock said Wednesday.
Reiff, who declared for the draft after his junior season, lists as Mayock’s second-best tackle available entering next week’s NFL Scouting Combine. Reiff was a three-year starter at Iowa and stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 300 pounds. He projects as a starter at left tackle.
“When you start looking at the top end of this draft, and from a talent perspective, I don’t think Riley Reiff should be a top-10 pick,” Mayock said. “But I think he might be once it’s all said and done. He’s a really solid, good technician. When they come out of Iowa, they’re always well-coached, especially the offensive linemen. You can plug him in day one.
“I think he’s a better player right now than Bryan Bulaga was when he came out, and Bulaga started right away in Green Bay at right tackle.”
Bulaga was drafted No. 23 overall by the Packers in 2010. Reiff replaced Bulaga as Iowa’s left tackle the last two seasons.
Reiff, 23, came to Iowa as a defensive lineman from Parkston, S.D. He switched to offensive line and started 37 games in three seasons. He was named first-team all-Big Ten and was a first-team All-American by Pro Football Weekly in 2011.
Mayock initially graded Reiff as the top tackle entering the draft but slotted USC junior-eligible Matt Kalil at No. 1 this week. Mayock said he determined Kalil was a more solid prospect after watching tape on each player.
“I still like Riley Reiff a lot,” Mayock said. “I still think he’s a starting left tackle in the NFL. I just don’t think his upside is as high as Matt Kalil, who’s also an underclassman.
“To me, (Reiff’s) talent would dictate more getting drafted somewhere plus-or-minus 20. But because of the value of the position and because of where we are in this draft, it wouldn’t surprise me if he was a top-10 pick.”
The scouting combine takes place in Indianapolis from Feb. 22 through Feb. 28. Reiff and other offensive linemen, including former Iowa teammate Markus Zusevics and former Iowa State tackle Kelechi Osemele are scheduled to work out Feb. 25. NFL Network will broadcast the workouts.
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