Purdy ‘Mr Irrelevant’, four Cyclones taken in NFL Draft

Charlie Kolar looks to the sideline for a play call against No.10 Iowa on Sept. 11. Kolar returned from a week-one ankle injury to face the Hawkeyes.

Andrew Harrington

The NFL Draft has come and gone, and it was one of the most exciting ones in Iowa State history, with four Cyclones hearing their names called on the biggest stage which is the most since 1977.

Breece Hall was the lone Cyclone to be drafted on the second day of the draft while Eyioma Uwazurike, Charlie Kolar and Brock Purdy were selected on the third and final day.

Besides the draftees, Mike Rose, Jake Hummel, Chase Allen and others signed deals as undrafted free agents. Here’s a recap of a busy weekend.

Breece Hall

Hall was the first Cyclone to come off of the board as the Jets traded up to the No. 36 pick to select him. This was the highest that an Iowa State player had been selected since Mike Stensrud was selected at No. 31 in 1979. Hall also became the third highest Cyclone selection ever.

It was clear that the Jets were eager to get him as they reportedly tried trading up into the first round to make sure that they got him, but were unsuccessful.

Hall will now be a part of a tandem backfield as Michael Carter of the Jets showed what he can do in his rookie season with the Jets last year. Hall will likely take on a lot of rushes in his first season, while Carter will do a lot of work in the passing game.

Looking at Hall’s statistics, it is really no question why he was the first running back to be selected in the draft. The two-time Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year rushed for 3,491 yards in his three collegiate seasons, and finished in the top-10 of Heisman voting twice.

Eyioma Uwazurike

The first Cyclone to come off of the board on Saturday was versatile defensive lineman Uwazurike. This marked the second highest selection for an Iowa State defensive lineman in school history.

Selected with the No. 116 pick in the fourth round, Uwazurike will head to the Denver Broncos, who have been in hot pursuit of an elite defensive line this offseason.

The Broncos signed former Cowboy star Randy Gregory to a five-year $70 million deal, pairing him with a young talent in Bradley Chubb. Denver did not stop there, taking pass rusher Nik Bonitto out of Oklahoma in the second round.

Uwazurike’s impact will come because he can do it all. He can play on the inside or the outside of the line, has bullrush ability, but can also get crafty at times.

The 2021 season was by far the best for Uwazurike, finishing it fourth in the Big 12 with nine sacks, totaling 12 tackles for loss and clearing the way for players such as Mike Rose to be successful.

Uwazurike likely will not be an instant starter due to the strength of the Denver defensive line, but expect him to see some playing time, especially on the interior next season.

Charlie Kolar

Many people thought that Kolar would be the third or fourth tight end to come off of the board, but this was not the case. Kolar fell to pick No. 128 in the fourth round by the Baltimore Ravens and was the sixth tight end off of the board.

Kolar will now have the chance to learn from one of the top tight ends in the NFL in Mark Andrews. In addition to Andrews and Kolar, the Ravens used another fourth-round pick to take Isaiah Likely from Coastal Carolina.

The Ravens also have a tight end in Nick Boyle that could get into the mix, so there is certainly a battle for snaps brewing in that position room.

Similar to Uwazurike, Kolar saved his best season for last, racking up 62 catches, 756 yards and scoring six touchdowns. These numbers were good enough for him to be the highest selected tight end in school history.

The two things that Kolar excels the most at are the mental aspect of the game and his sure handedness. The mechanical engineering major compiled a 3.99 GPA, dominating on the field and in the classroom.

Brock Purdy

Just when it looked like the draft would come to a close, the final pick of the NFL Draft, which is commonly referred to as Mr. Irrelevant, was none other than Brock Purdy.

With pick No. 262 in round seven, Purdy came off the board to the San Francisco 49ers.

The 49ers already have quarterbacks Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance, so it will certainly be interesting to see what ends up happening to Purdy. There have been speculations that Garoppolo may be traded, so that could possibly open up a backup quarterback spot for Purdy.

Purdy’s Cyclone career is not one to frown upon, as he started four years, taking the Cyclones to places that fans could not have dreamed about five years ago.

After spending four years amongst the top quarterbacks in the Big 12, Purdy will now have the chance to perform at the next level.

Undrafted Free Agent: Chase Allen

The first undrafted free agent to come off the board from Iowa State was the other end of the tight end duo in Chase Allen. Allen is set to become a Chicago Bear.

The Bears have young tight end Cole Kmet leading the way, but the depth is just not there for them at this position. In addition to this, Allen adds more of a willing blocker role to the Bears, that a lot of modern tight ends do not provide.

Undrafted Free Agent: Andrew Mevis

The next player to find a landing spot was special teams phenom Andrew Mevis in Jacksonville. Mevis played a variety of special teams roles for Iowa State in 2021 from kicking field goals, kickoffs and even punting at times.

It is likely that Mevis will stick to kickoffs and field goals for the Jaguars, but the third team All-American in 2021 can certainly do it all.

Undrafted Free Agent: Mike Rose

A lot of experts had Mike Rose going as high as the fifth round, but he managed to fall all the way outside of the draft, signing with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Rose has been the epitome of consistency for the Cyclones, making 49 starts at linebacker over his collegiate career, tying the school record.

Rose certainly had success over his career, winning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2020, and making plays in the backfield and in coverage. The Chiefs front seven has needed some help the last couple of seasons, so it will be interesting to see how Rose is utilized.

Undrafted Free Agent: Jake Hummel

Jake Hummel is the second Iowa State linebacker to be signed to a contender as an undrafted free agent after agreeing to terms with the defending Super Bowl Champion Los Angeles Rams.

Hummel was a two time All-Big 12 Honorable Mention and played a much different role than that of Rose. Hummel is a tough, gritty player that had the ability to make tackles all over the field.

Undrafted Free Agent: Derek Schweiger

Derek Schweiger will represent Iowa State’s offensive line in the NFL, joining the New Orleans Saints.

Schweiger has been a cornerstone of the line for the Cyclones during his career, making the Second Team All-Big 12 back in 2020. Offensive line is a position that depth pieces can get a chance at between injuries and lack of success, so watch out for Schweiger taking some snaps in the future.

Undrafted Free Agent: Greg Eisworth

Greg Eisworth is headed to Miami for a minicamp tryout with the Dolphins. A spot on the team is far from a guarantee at this point, but Eisworth will have the chance to showcase his skills during the offseason.

Eisworth made the All-Big 12 First Team three times from the safety position, taking home honorable mention honors in his senior season. Through the years, Eisworth has also been considered one of the biggest leaders of Iowa State in recent years.