NFL Draft: Reiff Selected in 1st Round by Detroit

April 26, 2012

NEW YORK — If you believe in streaks — and most sports fans do — go ahead and pencil in the Detroit Lions as 2013 Super Bowl champions.

The Lions selected University of Iowa offensive lineman Riley Reiff with the 23rd pick of the first round in the NFL Draft, which began Thursday. Reiff is the third junior-eligible Hawkeye to enter the NFL Draft since 2010, and the other two — offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga (Green Bay) and strong safety Tyler Sash (New York Giants) — became Super Bowl champions during their rookie seasons.

With the selection of Reiff, the Hawkeyes have now gone three consecutive years with a first-round pick — a feat surpassed by no other Big Ten Conference program, and equaled only by Nebraska. Bulaga was chosen with the 23rd pick in 2010 and defensive end Adrian Clayborn was the 20th player taken in 2011 by Tampa Bay.

In the past two seasons, only seven NCAA teams have had multiple first-round picks: Iowa, Nebraska, Alabama, California, Florida, Florida State, and Missouri.

“It speaks well to what they’ve done, and all three are hard-working guys,” UI head football coach Kirk Ferentz said. “From the day they walked in here, they had a lot of pride in what they did. It’s easy to coach players like that, and that makes it a lot of fun.”

Reiff is the 46th Hawkeye student-athlete to be drafted into the NFL during the Kirk Ferentz era (2000 NFL Draft to present). He is the eighth UI offensive lineman to be selected in the first round, joining Bulaga, Robert Gallery (2004), Ross Verba (1997), Mike Haight (1986), John Alt (1984), Ron Hallstrom (1982) and Rod Walters (1976).

Since the 2003, the UI has had more offensive linemen taken in the NFL Draft (12) than any other college program.

The 6-foot-6, 300-pound Reiff started 37 of 39 games during his Hawkeye playing career from 2009-11. During that time, Iowa compiled a 26-13 record and participated in the 2010 FedEx Orange Bowl (24-14 win against Georgia Tech), 2010 Insight Bowl (27-24 win against Missouri), and the 2011 Insight Bowl (31-14 loss to Oklahoma).

Reiff, a native of Parkston, S.D., was named first-team All-America by Pro Football Weekly after the 2011 season, as well as being selected first-team All-Big Ten by the coaches and media.

Last season Detroit, a member of the NFC North division, finished 10-6 overall and qualified for the playoffs. The offensive line coach for the Lions is George Yarno. Reiff will become a professional teammate with former Hawkeyes Amari Spievey (defensive back) and Ryan Donahue (punter).

The NFL Draft continues Friday with the second and third rounds, beginning at 6 p.m. (CT). Rounds 4-7 will be Saturday, beginning at 11 a.m. (CT).

2012 NFL Draft
Round 1 Riley Reiff Detroit Offensive line
2011 NFL Draft
Round 1 Adrian Clayborn Tampa Bay Defensive end
Round 4 Christian Ballard Minnesota Defensive line
Round 5 Ricky Stanzi Kansas City Quarterback
Round 5 Karl Klug Tennessee Defensive line
Round 5 Julian Vandervelde Philadelphia Offensive line
Round 6 Tyler Sash New York Giants Defensive back
2010 NFL Draft
Round 1 Bryan Bulaga Green Bay Offensive line
Round 2 Pat Angerer Indianapolis Linebacker
Round 3 Amari Spievey Detroit Defensive back
Round 3 Tony Moeaki Kansas City Tight end
Round 4 A.J. Edds Miami Linebacker
Round 7 Kyle Calloway Buffalo Offensive line
2009 NFL Draft
Round 3 Shonn Greene New York Jets Running back
Round 3 Bradley Fletcher St. Louis Defensive back
Round 4 Seth Olsen Denver Offensive line
Round 6 Brandon Myers Oakland Tight end
2008 NFL Draft
Round 3 Charles Godfrey Carolina Defensive back
Round 4 Kenny Iwebema Arizona Defensive end
Round 6 Mike Humpal Pittsburgh Linebacker
2007 NFL Draft
Round 3 Marshal Yanda Baltimore Offensive line
Round 4 Scott Chandler San Diego Tight end
Round 7 Mike Elgin New England Offensive line
2006 NFL Draft
Round 1 Chad Greenway Minnesota Linebacker
Round 3 Abdul Hodge Green Bay Linebacker
2005 NFL Draft
Round 2 Matt Roth Miami Defensive end
Round 2 Jonathan Babineaux Atlanta Defensive line
Round 4 Sean Considine Philadelphia Defensive back
Round 6 Tony Jackson Seattle Tight end
Round 6 Pete McMahon Oakland Offensive line
2004 NFL Draft
Round 1 Robert Gallery Oakland Offensive line
Round 2 Bob Sanders Indianapolis Defensive back
Round 3 Nate Kaeding San Diego Place kicker
Round 7 Jared Clauss Tennessee Defensive line
Round 7 Erik Jensen St. Louis Tight end
2003 NFL Draft
Round 1 Dallas Clark Indianapolis Tight end
Round 2 Eric Steinbach Cincinnati Offensive line
Round 2 Bruce Nelson Carolina Center
Round 5 Derek Pagel New York Jets Defensive back
Round 5 Ben Sobieski Buffalo Offensive line
2002 NFL Draft
Round 2 Ladell Betts Washington Running back
Round 5 Aaron Kampman Green Bay Defensive line
Round 6 Kahlil Hill Atlanta Wide receiver
2001 NFL Draft
Round 6 Kevin Kasper Denver Wide receiver
2000 NFL Draft
Round 5 Austin Wheatley New Orleans Tight end
Round 6 Matt Bowen St. Louis Defensive back