Riley Reiff, T, Iowa
6-foot-6, 313 pounds
Draft projection: Top 12
Lowdown: Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz produces technically sound offensive linemen. NFL Pro Bowler Eric Steinbach and Green Bay starter Bryan Bulaga are two of his best products. Reiff appears destined for a strong NFL career. He has ideal size. He started 37 of 39 games over the past three years. He has a big frame and good enough arm length, at 33 1-4 inches. (You like offensive tackles to be at 33 inches or more.) He got better as his career progressed. The knock on him, if you want to call it a knock, is he is not as elite an athlete as some of the better top-10 offensive linemen taken in past drafts. Nevertheless, he’s good enough to play left tackle in the NFL, and he looks like a relatively safe pick. He could be the Buffalo Bills’ pick if he’s on the board at No. 10.
Reiff is a South Dakota native. He won three state high school wrestling championships and compiled a 121-1 record as a prep heavyweight wrestler. His lone loss came as a freshman. Asked how wrestling helps his football game, he said: “Your hands, your use of your hands, your hips, footwork. Wrestling is a big endurance sport. Not only endurance, it’s mental toughness, too, that brings to the football field.”
(The News is profiling 50 prospects in 50 days leading up to the 2012 NFL Draft.)