Powell Mock Draft 1: Where might the Cyclones land?

Breece Hall and Charlie Kolar talk to each other during Iowa State’s Pro Day on Tuesday at the Bergstrom Football Complex.

James Powell

The NFL Combine and the Iowa State Pro Day are officially behind us, and now all that awaits the 2022 Draft hopefuls is the draft itself.

Just under a month remains until Las Vegas takes center stage and Iowa State cornerstones will hope to hear their name called.

With that in mind, the Iowa State Daily Sports Editors will each take their turn at a Cyclone-focused mock draft leading up to the 2022 NFL Draft.

The first edition, done by assistant sports editor James Powell, features the three Cyclones he thinks will get drafted within the seven rounds, as well as a couple players that he believes go undrafted but are worth mentioning.

Breece Hall: Early second-round

What better place to start than the Cyclones’ most prolific running back perhaps in school history and the current NCAA record holder for consecutive games with a rushing touchdown.

Hall has been nothing but consistent in his ability to make defenders miss in open space, and pick up significant yards after contact as well.

He’s a versatile running back that featured a blazing 4.39 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine and came away from that event as highly-regarded as anyone at his position.

Hall has the ability to punish defenders in the red zone but also busted out multiple runs of over 70 yards this past season, displaying his under-rated breakaway speed. In addition, he became much more of a threat coming out of the backfield as a receiver, catching three touchdowns and gathering over 300 yards in the 2021 campaign.

One of the primary concerns for NFL teams, and there are only a few, is the fact that he had 800 touches in his years as a Cyclone, and there may be a natural fatigue that will catch up to him earlier than other backs. 

If a team is desperate for a running back, Hall may hear his name called on day one.

However, with the current direction of the league leaning away from running backs, I predict Hall will be taken certainly on the second day, perhaps early in the second round.

Charlie Kolar: Fourth-round pick

The middle-to-late rounds are anyone’s guess as to what a team may be looking for, but most every team would see the value in having Kolar in their tight end room.

Kolar was constantly a threat up the seams and provided a mismatch against most any line-backer or safety that went up against him. His unique blend of size, strength and sure-handedness was present in almost every game he played in.

Add onto that his consistency as a blocker and his intelligence on and off the field, and it’s hard to see Kolar making it into the later rounds.

Catching up to NFL speed and strength is a concern for any prospect, and some have used Kolar’s inability at times to create strong separation as a reason for why he may fall.

Some draft boards have him as a top-two tight end, and if he maintains or increases his draft stock over the next month he certainly will be one of the first three taken off the board.

Brock Purdy: Sixth round pick

A player who finished his career as the best quarterback in Iowa State history  surely has the abilities that could result in his name being called on the final day of the draft.

Again, it’s anyone’s guess where teams have Purdy on their list, but the 2022 draft is seen as one light on high-end quarterbacks, and teams typically reach in the later rounds for a signal caller.

The primary reason I even have Purdy this low is because of his consistent inability to really challenge opposing defenses down the field. Purdy was one of the more accurate passers in all of college football, but much of his damage was done in the short passing game.

Additionally, Purdy had a tendency throughout his Cyclone career to do too much, whether that be forcing the ball down the field or attempting to keep a dead play alive for too long.

He discussed before the 2021 season his change in philosophy to fit into the offense more, and he did to some extent. Still, with his combined ability through the air and on the ground, there were still times in his final year where he gave the ball away when he didn’t need to.

Still, all the winning he did at Iowa State didn’t happen on accident. Purdy was a master of the playbook, made the right reads in the short and intermediate passing game and, more importantly, led his team the right way on and off the field.

If Purdy wowed teams in his combine interviews, he could sneak up into the fourth or fifth round. For now, I’ll put him in one of the final two rounds.

Undrafted players to watch: Mike Rose and Andrew Mevis

Undrafted players make a name for themselves every year, and I would peg these two players as the most likely candidates to do that in the 2022 Draft.

Rose was the poster-child of consistency until he missed a game or two in his senior season and sat out of the Cheez-It Bowl. His ability to blitz and also hold his own in coverage made him an integral part of the Cyclone defense.

I haven’t seen Rose’s name pop up much on draft boards and mock drafts, and I think there’s a higher chance he goes undrafted. Still, some team may see the value in a player with his experience after the seven rounds have completed.

As for Mevis, his position is the main thing I believe holds him back.

He stepped into the Cyclone kicking room and provided one of the more consistent years of field goals and touchbacks Iowa State has ever seen. He also flashed the ability to punt the ball, and did that with enough success to warrant attention.

NFL teams don’t typically draft special teams players at all, and almost always wait to pick up an undrafted kicker to try them out in training camp. Still, someone has to advocate for Mevis, and I believe he’d have a very good chance to win a kicking job if a team picked him up.