ESPN's Kiper: Reiff is a guy that gets after you
ESPN analyst Mel Kiper says Parkston native Riley Reiff is deserving of a top-10 pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Kiper spoke with reporters on a conference call Wednesday morning for nearly two hours, and he spoke highly of Reiff, a junior offensive tackle who played collegiately at Iowa.
"You like Iowa offensive linemen, No. 1," Kiper said when asked about Reiff by The Daily Republic. "(Iowa head coach) Kirk Ferentz really helps those guys coming in. Kirk has the ability to coach up offensive lineman. That's his specialty."
Reiff, a 6-foot-6, 313-pounder who didn't miss a start in three seasons with the Hawkeyes, will likely be picked in the first round of the NFL Draft, which starts at 7 p.m. April 26 and is televised on ESPN.
He could be the third offensive lineman from Iowa to get drafted in the first round in the last eight years. The Hawkeyes' Robert Gallery was the second overall pick in 2004 by the Oakland Raiders, and Bryan Bulaga was the 23rd overall pick in 2010 by the Green Bay Packers.
Since Ferentz was hired as Iowa's head coach, the school has sent nine offensive linemen to the NFL. Reiff will be the 10th.
"This is a guy that gets after you," said Kiper, who has been analyzing college football players and NFL drafts since 1979. "He has a rugged approach. He's really serious about his business. ... He works on his game and practices hard."
Reiff was invited to the draft's center stage at Radio City Music Hall in New York, but he declined the offer to instead be at home in Parkston with his family and close friends. Reiff was also invited to the NFL Combine at the end of February.
He was clocked with a 5.23 second 40-yard dash and a 26.5-inch vertical jump. He benched 225 pounds 23 times and was measured having a 33¼-inch arm length. Kiper said left tackles who excel in the NFL normally have longer arms.
"Arm length is an issue at left tackle," said Kiper, who projected Reiff to play either left tackle or right tackle. "He doesn't have the longest arms of the left tackles in this draft. That's a concern at the left tackle spot."
The NFL.com website lists Reiff's size and pass protection as his strengths. The website says he has "incredible body control and is a true technician working within the box. He uses his hands well but is more of a catcher, a method that has served him well to this point. He has been durable, reliable and nasty on the field for Iowa, and has the flexibility to play on both sides of the line given his fluid footwork."
Kiper said Reiff could get drafted 10th overall by the Buffalo Bills, but he expects Reiff to be selected at the very latest at No. 13, a pick that's held by the Arizona Cardinals.