2011 Insight Bowl Preview | Iowa vs. Oklahoma
The 2012 Insight Bowl features the Iowa Hawkeyes (7-5) matched up against the Oklahoma Sooners (9-3) in the desert late Friday night.
Both teams are battling injuries and suspensions to key players, making this match-up look a bit more intriguing.
Oklahoma goes into the game without their leading tailback Dominique Whaley (knee), leading wide receiver Ryan Broyles (knee), third wide receiver Jaz Reynolds (kidney), and with quarterback Landry Jones that went from Heisman possibility to not throwing a touchdown in his last three games.
Iowa has suspended their top top tail backs in Marcus Coker and Mika’il McCall. Coker is the main man in Iowa, and without him and McCall (who is just as talented), the Hawkeyes will likely struggle.
Regardless, it’s doubtful that any team will have a run game, which tells me that Landry Jones will have to rely on Kenny Stills, Dejuan Miller, and Trey Franks heavily, although keep an eye out for freshman Kameel Jackson.
Here is a preview of what 2012 NFL Draft eligible seniors to watch for in the 2011 Insight Bowl, which can be seen on ESPN at 10pm EST.
Marvin McNutt, WR
McNutt really had an impressive senior season in Iowa. Even with a new quarterback in James Vandenberg, he caught 78 passes for 1,269 yards and 12 touchdowns.
He has a large frame at 6’4 215, and is a physical receiver that can get up and catch the ball. He runs solid routes, but doesn’t offer much after the catch and lacks good speed. He’s a solid possession receiver to take a look at in the middle rounds.
Riley Reiff, OT*
Reiff was good enough to come out for the 2011 NFL Draft, but was a bit more raw and elected to stay in school. He still could stay one more season in Iowa, but he already is getting a first round grade all over the place.
He’s a solid pass protector that has improved his strength in the run game to become more well rounded overall.
Markus Zusevics, OT
“Zus” has started every game at right tackle the last two seasons for the Hawkeyes, and has played pretty well. He’s a stout run blocker that seals the edge well, and gets a good initial push.
He is tall and has long arms that help him in pass protection, and he could see himself in the middle rounds of the 2012 NFL Draft.
Adam Gettis, OG
Gettis has started at both guard positions, but has also battled injuries, most specifically in 2010. He’s a bit undersized and more of a finesse blocker that lacks a mean streak.
He’s likely to be drafted in the later rounds, if at all, but if he can add strength and bulk, he could help with offensive line depth for an NFL team.
Broderick Binns, DE
Binns has shown a nice ability to get into the back field and disrupt plays for the Hawkeyes, and he has solid size at 6’2 260 pounds.
He fits as an every down 4-3 end with solid upside, but likely will never be a super star. Still, a mid-late round sleeper is among us in Iowa with Binns.
Mike Daniels, DT
Daniels is undersized at 6’1 280, but has a very solid motor and is an exceptionally hard worker. He can be tough to block as he has violent hands and gets a good jump off of the line.
The size will hurt him, but adding bulk while maintaining his agile ways could help him make a roster and get drafted in April.
Thomas Nardo, DT
Nardo was a first year starter for the Hawkeyes, and is quite undersized at 6’3 277. Still, like Daniels, he has a high motor and is an overachiever.
Don’t look for him to be drafted, but he has excellent intangibles and would be a great locker room player.
Tyler Nielsen, LB
Nielsen is a slim linebacker who doesn’t fair too poorly in nickel and dime situations.
He’s not an aggressive tackler consistently, but he has good situational awareness, and is usually where the ball is. Solid special teamer at the next level.
Shaun Prater, CB
Prater has average size at 5’10 185, but possesses solid speed and excels in zone coverage. His read and react ability has improved immensely between his senior and junior campaign’s, but he lacks big time play making ability at corner.
He looks to be a solid nickel corner at the next level with a CB2 ceiling if he can be coached up a bit. I’m seeing a 3rd-4th round pick for Prater.
Micah Hyde, CB*
I’m hoping Hyde will stay in school for another season as he is a bit raw, but he has loads of upside. At 6’1 185, he has room to grow and bulk up a bit, but he is an aggressive tackler and aggressive corner that has been burned a few times by being risky.
He’s very quick and agile, and also serves as a return man for the Hawkeyes at times. He has the potential to be a top notch corner.
Jordan Bernstine, S
Bernstine has experience at cornerback and both safety positions, but lost some playing time to an ankle injury in 2009.
He’s a fast safety that has solid read and react ability and will be in on quite a few tackles. He also has experience as a return man and has game changing ability as a return man.
Landry Jones, QB*
Jones is no lock to come out, as his junior season has ended in a disappointment. But his accuracy throwing the football has proven to be quite solid, and his arm strength is decent. His awkward throwing motion will turn people away from him, but technique can be changed.
Regardless, look to see if he can actually throw a touchdown in this game, rather than succumbing to the Blake Bell(dozer) pressure.
Dejuan Miller, WR
Miller has failed to put himself in a position to see a lot of playing time with his inconsistency and ineffectiveness.
However, he does have very nice size at 6’4 217, and big hands. The problem is that his hands aren’t always soft and his route running could use an overhaul.
James Hanna, TE
Hanna is a decent pass catching tight end that won’t wow many people with his ability. His hands are inconsistent at times, but he does see quite a few targets for a college tight end in third down situations.
At 6’4 243, he makes himself a solid red zone target and is a decent blocking tight end.
Donald Stephenson, OT
Stephenson has to get a bit of credit in pass protection as Landry Jones is rarely sacked. Stephenson stands tall at 6’6 and his 307 pound frame could add a bit of bulk.
Still, he’s a bit slow at times, and lacks a mean streak. He seems to make a bigger impact in the run game as well.
Stephen Good, OG
Good has been a part of the guard rotation since 2009 for the Sooners, and generally doesn’t see entire games on the field.
He got into a bit of legal trouble in November for a felony assault and battery, which is something to watch out for.
(Ronnell Lewis out due to academics)
Frank Alexander, DE
Alexander has been great in 2011, getting into the back field for 18.5 tackles for loss. He’s a quick edge rusher with solid upside and great size at 6’4 255.
He has potential to move outside in a 3-4 defense as well.
Travis Lewis, OLB
Lewis has battled injuries in his career, but is really an exceptional linebacker when healthy. He makes tackles behind the line of scrimmage, he can cover, and he’s a sideline to sideline player.
A healthy Lewis could be an asset to an NFL team in the second or third round.
Jamell Fleming, CB
Fleming is a sleeper cornerback moving up the draft boards quickly. He has solid size at 5’11 191 pounds, and good speed.
He finds the football and makes a play on it, whether it’s a fumble recovery, interception, or pass break up. Look for him to sneak his way into the second or third round in April’s draft.