(UPDATE: Stanzi got claimed on waivers Tuesday by the Jacksonville Jaguars.)
Ricky Stanzi got cut Sunday. The Kansas City Chiefs put Stanzi on waivers after two seasons in which he threw zero passes in NFL regular-season games.
Still, Stanzi was as close to throwing a pass in an NFL game as any quarterback from the University of Iowa has been since Mark Vlasic had his last NFL completion in 1991. There were times last season when it seemed like the Chiefs might give Stanzi a shot just out of attrition if nothing else, but they never did. He banked two years of NFL salary without suffering a concussion, so that’s good.
It’s a bit mystifying. Iowa has been a good college football program for much of the last two decades. But when it comes to the so-called skill-position players — quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers — the Hawkeyes have a dearth of alumni in the NFL.
When Stanzi was a fifth-round pick of the Chiefs in 2011, he was the first Iowa QB drafted by an NFL club since Matt Rodgers in 1992, and that’s when the draft went beyond seven rounds. Rodgers was a 12th-rounder.
Chuck Hartlieb was a 12th-rounder in 1989, Vlasic went in the fourth round in 1987, and Long was a first-round selection in 1986. Long threw his last pass in an NFL regular-season game in 1990.
Rookie James Vandenberg, signed by the Minnesota Vikings last spring as an undrafted free agent, was cut by the Minnesota Vikings Monday. He didn’t play in the Vikings’ preseason game at San Francisco Sunday night, the second-straight game he saw no passing action after going 3-for-3 in the team’s preseason opener.
One former Hawkeye running back is in the NFL. That’s Shonn Greene of the Tennessee Titans. He is the only Iowa running back who has been drafted in the last 10 years.
Former Iowa running back Jewel Hampton, who finished his college career at Southern Illinois, scored a touchdown for San Francisco Sunday night (see it here) against the Vikings and carried eight times for 45 yards. He was on the 49ers’ active roster late last season, but had no carries.
The last time a former Iowa wide receiver caught a pass in a regular-season NFL game was Tim Dwight in 2007. Marvin McNutt got in four games for Philadelphia last year, but had no receptions. He is trying to make the Miami Dolphins’ roster, as is former Iowa receiver teammate Keenan Davis.
Now if we’re talking tight ends, seven have been drafted from Iowa since 2000. Dallas Clark, Scott Chandler, Tony Moeaki and Brandon Myers have combined for 70 touchdown catches, 50 of them Clark’s. Myers have 79 receptions for Oakland last year. He is now a New York Giant. All four are still in the NFL.
Alas, Moeaki fractured a shoulder Sautrday night in the Chiefs’ preseason game against Pittsburgh.
Allen Reisner, who has two touchdown receptions in the preseason, is trying to stick with the Jacksonville Jaguars.