'Skins Hit a Homer By Drafting Scherff


May 1, 2015

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Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.


CHICAGO — Moments after University of Iowa offensive lineman Brandon Scherff was selected fifth overall by Washington in last night’s NFL Draft, one of the commentators referred to the pick as the first curveball of the draft.

That isn’t a knock on Scherff, it’s just that most mock drafts had him going to the New York Giants with the ninth pick or the St. Louis Rams at No. 10.


So much for mock drafts.

Scherff has never forgotten his Denison (Iowa) roots. He was a pitcher/first baseman for the Monarchs baseball team in high school, where he threw curve balls from the mound and knocked them out of the park at the plate.

“I handled curve balls pretty well,” Scherff said from the lobby of The Palmer House Hilton.

This time it was Washington that hit a grand slam by picking the 2014 Outland Trophy winner and consensus All-American. And the Redskins’ offensive line added a 2015 version of “The Hogs” — a flattering moniker for offensive linemen George Starke, Russ Grimm, Jeff Bostic, Mark May, and Joe Jacoby in the early 1980s.

If the Redskins threw a curveball, it was to the NFL teams selecting after them. Washington only spoke to Scherff at the NFL Combine from Feb. 17-23 in Indianapolis and not again until head coach Jay Gruden phoned him in the Green Room last night at Roosevelt University.

“They just said, I want you to be a Redskin, and I was like, absolutely, I would love that,” Scherff said. “I talked to (offensive line coach Bill) Callahan, and he said he loves the way I play, and they can’t wait to get me out there.”

It ended a two-month communications hiatus between Washington and Iowa’s behemoth lineman.

“We just talked about film, what my role is on each play, and just pretty much the background,” Scherff said of his Combine interview with the Redskins. “They really didn’t have me do any plays for them, they just had me draw up a couple plays for myself, and that was really it for them.”

Meanwhile, Scherff was a frequent flyer to the state of New York, visiting both the Jets and the Giants.

Since Jameis Winston (choice No. 1 by Tampa Bay), Marcus Mariota (No. 2 by Tennessee), and Amari Cooper (No. 4 by Oakland) did not attend the draft, Scherff was the second draftee to step on stage for the obligatory grip-n-grin photograph with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Preceding Scherff was Dante Fowler, Jr., of Florida, who went No. 3 to Jacksonville. Fowler sauntered on stage in a custom-made white suit and sparkling gold shoes.

Scherff wore a two-year-old suit he bought at Men’s Wearhouse in Coralville.

Scherff will fly to Washington sometime today. Last season the Redskins finished 4-12 in the NFC East Division; the franchise won Super Bowls in 1983, 1988, and 1992. Scherff was born in 1991.

Scherff is the seventh first-round draft choice under UI head coach Kirk Ferentz and the third Hawkeye offensive lineman to go in the first round in the last six years. He is the fifth Iowa first-rounder in the last 10 years, which ties the Hawkeyes with Clemson, Georgia, Notre Dame, and Oregon.

What’s next?

“Just be the best player you can be, get a starting job, and everybody wants to win the Super Bowl, so that’s the next thing right there,” Scherff said.

2015 NFL Draft
Round 1 Brandon Scherff Washington Offensive line
2014 NFL Draft
Round 3 C.J. Fiedorowicz Houston Tight end
Round 3 Christian Kirksey Cleveland Linebacker
Round 4 Anthony Hitchens Dallas Linebacker
2013 NFL Draft
Round 5 Micah Hyde Green Bay Defensive back
2012 NFL Draft
Round 1 Riley Reiff Detroit Offensive line
Round 4 Mike Daniels Green Bay Defensive line
Round 5 Adam Gettis Washington Offensive line
Round 5 Shaun Prater Cincinnati Defensive back
Round 6 Marvin McNutt Philadelphia Wide receiver
Round 7 Jordan Bernstine Washington Defensive back
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
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