NFL Draft: Reiff Selected in 1st Round by Detroit
April 26, 2012
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).