Klein, Knott will enjoy draft day on golf course


Senior linebackers Jake Knott and A.J. Klein have accounted for almost 25 percent of the teams tackles in the past two seasons. They will lead the Cyclones out on the field when they take on Tulsa on Saturday, Sept. 1. Photo: Randi Reeder/ Iowa State Daily

Dean Berhow-Goll

The first round of the 2013 NFL Draft started April 25, 2013 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, but former ISU football players Jake Knott and A.J. Klein haven’t started worrying just yet.

Neither of the two have been projected to go in the first or second rounds. But judging from what Todd McShay said at the NFL Combine, they were both most likely day-three prospects, which would land them in rounds four through seven.

With April 27 being the most likely day either former Cyclone will be drafted, they both plan to take in the scenery while playing a relaxing 18 holes of golf.

“I plan to be golfing unless I get yelled at too much,” Knott said jokingly. “That’ll be the slowest day in my mind.”

Since the NFL Combine in Indianapolis on Feb. 20, Knott and Klein have both been busy with team workouts.

Klein was back at Athlete Performance Institute in Pensacola, Fla., working out, then headed back home for a brief stint before Iowa State’s Pro Day on March 26. Then on April 24, Klein was invited to the NFLPA Rookie Debut in New York City, which he attended with his representation agency, XAM Sports with Tim Vallentyn and Scott Smith.

Knott visited the Kansas City Chiefs and worked out on April 5, performing in position drills in front of multiple defensive coordinators and team representatives.

As is customary in those situations, no team really told Knott where they are looking at him in terms of draft stock in order to keep as much information confidential as possible until draft night.

“A lot of the teams ask to remain confidential because they don’t want teams trading up so it’s interesting to look at it from that point of view,” Knott said.

The fact that it was the Chiefs — his favorite team growing up — who Knott worked out with made it a little more exciting. But just as Knott conducted himself at Iowa State, that is how he is approaching a potential NFL career.

“You know me,” Knott said. “[I will go] wherever they want me.”

The both of them were also visited in Ames separately by multiple NFL defensive coordinators as a part of their pre-Pro Day process. During the visits, the coordinators had them work out, watch film together and did linebacker position drills — all of which are part of the pre-draft process.

Now Klein and Knott are both spending time with family, but plan to be enjoying the golf course when day three of the NFL Draft comes around, where they are both projected to go. Klein will be at home in Kimberly, Wis., while Knott will be in Ames.

“Ideally, go shoot a good round [Friday] and come home, eat dinner and pop on [the] TV,” Klein said about his plans. “I’ll just be playing pool in my basement and have my immediate family around [and] a couple of really close friends I’ve kept over the past couple years from high school.

“That would be the ideal situation, to have it happen tomorrow night with those who have supported me the most around.”