Several Iowa college standouts will be looking to take the next step in their football career this weekend with the NFL draft that begins this evening. Iowa tackle Riley Reiff is expected to be taken in tonight’s first round.

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz says it sounds like Rieff will be in the top 15, but it is hard to predict. He says Reiff has several traits that will make him a successful pro. He says Reiff is durable and is very aggressive and compares him to Bryan Bulaga in that he has his best years ahead of him.

Ferentz says the draft is only the first part and the key is latching on with a team and staying in the league. “The one thing I tell all those guys is it really doesn’t matter how you get where you get, there’s financial ramifications obviously, but the most important thing is what they do when they get there,” Ferentz says. He says they will make more in their second contract if they do what they are supposed to and work hard.

It could be the third straight year that a Hawkeye is taken in the first round. “I think it speaks well of the support staff that we have here, all of our coaches I think do a good job of developing the guys on the field,” he says. He says the strength and conditioning programs has been a key to building the program and developing the players.

Receiver Marvin McNutt, defensive back Shaun Prater and defensive tackle Mike Daniels are some of the other Hawkeye players looking to be drafted. Iowa State’s Kelechi Osemele is considered one of the top five guards in the draft and corner Leonard Johnson also expects to be drafted.