Spriggs remains on the board after Day 1 #iufb

Indiana’s first-round drought continues.

Left tackle Jason Spriggs remains on the board after the conclusion of Thursday’s first round of the NFL Draft. Considered one of the top five or six offensive tackles in the class, Spriggs was viewed as a possible late first-round selection.

Instead, he’ll have to wait for the draft’s second round, which begins tonight at 7 on ESPN and NFL Network. Indiana has not produced a first-round selection since the New York Giants took receiver Thomas Lewis at No. 24 in 1994.

Mock drafts released during the build-up to Thursday’s first round had Spriggs as a possible option for Seattle with the No. 26 pick and Carolina with the No. 30 pick. Denver, at No. 31, was another option, though the Broncos signed new left and right tackles during free agency.

As it turned out, Denver traded the 31st pick and a third-round selection to Seattle for the 26th pick, using it on Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch. The Panthers used their selection on Louisiana Tech defensive tackle Vernon Butler.

The Seahawks closed the first round by taking tackle Germain Ifedi from Texas A&M. Ifedi was the fifth offensive tackle taken in the first round.

Baltimore selected Notre Dame’s Ronnie Stanley at No. 6, Tennessee took Michigan State’s Jack Conklin eighth overall, Miami grabbed Ole Miss’ Laremy Tunsil at No. 13 and Ohio State’s Taylor Decker went to Detroit at No. 16.

Although he must wait until the draft’s second day, which includes the second and third rounds, Spriggs could go within the first 15 picks of the night.

Lauded for his athleticism and technique, it is believed that Spriggs has the tools to stick at left tackle in the NFL. Draft analysts question his core strength, but the first team All-American has a college highlight reel that suggests he will translate to the next level.

Spriggs isn’t the only Hoosier expected to be drafted this weekend.

Running back Jordan Howard profiles as a third-to-fifth-round selection, while quarterback Nate Sudfeld could come off the board in the sixth or seventh round on Saturday. If not, he’ll likely sign quickly with a team as an undrafted free agent.

7 comments

  1. What’s it going to take? It’s not Spriggs’ size or strength, it’s not his lack of experience, it’s not a concern about his health, it’s not the level of competition he’s faced, it’s not his lack of intelligence. And it’s certainly not his lack of athleticism or concerns about his character. You just have to wonder about the collective wisdom and/or judgement of NFL executives and coaches involved in the draft. Is it a case of group-think? Is it a bias against IU’s lack of a winning tradition in football? What kept this gifted and high-potential young man from being drafted in the first round?

    I winced and genuinely felt terrible while watching as the news about Laremy Tunsil broke, realizing that he was losing millions of dollars in front of my eyes by falling nine or ten spots in yesterday’s draft. Then I watched him during the press conference. It was like watching a deer get hit by a car. The damage he did to his image, his finances, to his college coaches, and to the Ole Miss football program during ten minutes of a press conference was tragic and unprecedented. But I could not turn away. Then, when the first round ended and Spriggs had not been drafted, I had to wonder, “what’s wrong with these people?” Frankly, i was a little disgusted. Sure, Tunsil is a uniquely gifted athlete. He’s got all the physical tools necessary for success as an offensive tackle in the NFL. And he’s probably physically superior to Spriggs at this stage in their respective careers. But come on, did the Miami Dolphins do any research on Tunsil? Did they simply ignore all the alarm bells and warning signs. Does character really matter, or is all that talk just a bunch of pap? How about judgement and discipline? How about intelligence and common sense? I’m not saying Tunsil is the next Johnny Manziel, but if any of those non-physical attributes really matter to NFL teams, the the difference between Spriggs and Tunsil as projected over the next five to ten years must be negligible. If those non-physical attributes really matter, Spriggs should have been drafted in the first round, maybe even ahead of Tunsil. Congratulations, Miami. Enjoy dealing with the notoriety your new first round draft pick brings to your franchise.

    I hope that over the next ten years, Spriggs will show those teams that passed him by in the first round that they made a mistake. And I also hope that Tunsil avoids the mistakes that plague so many young and highly gifted young athletes like Johnny Manziel, and that he goes on to have a successful career in the NFL.

  2. A few more thoughts. I’ll take IU’s lack of winning tradition in football over Ole Miss’s success due to systemic cheating any day. The texts between Tunsil and an Ole Miss coach explains how Ole Miss went from bottom dweller in the SEC to being able to defeat Alabama and compete for Conference Championships in such a short amount of time. I wonder who will get the NCAA’s death penalty first, UNC or Ole Miss? And I guarantee you, that if the NCAA keeps digging, they’ll find a other SEC football programs doing exactly what Ole Miss did with Tunsil. And someone please explain to these highly paid genius college coaches that cell phone communications are not secure.

  3. Some NFL teams have been rolling the dice with questionable players for a generation. Dallas, the Raiders, Miami, Cleveland are usually landing spots for these kinds of draft picks. Look at who has been losing for a generation.

    I follow the Panthers as I lived in NC from their formation until a few years ago. After the Rae Carruth incident that team has a policy to jettison a player in a heartbeat if bad character revels itself. They dropped Greg Hardy like a rock. They had a punter who picked up a couple DIUs and, in games, managed to draw unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. A punter. Gone the next week. Love Cam or hate him, he is highly visible in the community and generally considered a great guy by the people of Charlotte. Kuechly, Thomas Davis, Greg Olson. The core of their team are people you’d like as neighbors it seems.

    The Panthers have a good thing going in recent years. Don’t look for their policies to change. The Cowboys have sucked for nearly two decades. Mark Sanchez has won twice as many playoff games as Tony Romo. They don’t appear to be changing anything either. Expect them to remain in mediocrity.

    Some teams are well run and they make an effort to have quality people in their system. Then you have the Cowboys and the Browns and Miami, and the like, who are certain the next roll of the dice will come up big.

  4. Yes Chet, I think we agree that character and judgement matters. Beyond his obvious talent as a quarterback, Peyton Manning provided great value to his teams by setting a positive example of how to behave as a pro, on and off the field. And he inspired his teammates in many, many small ways and made them want to be better. I just don’t understand how some of these NFL executives can ignore the value and advantages their teams would derive from selecting people with high character. While good people do make mistakes, the best indication of a person’s future behavior is their past behavior. And while people can grow and change over time, especially young people, a lot of them never escape from the cycle of self-destructive behavior. Two years ago, as a former Browns fan, I screamed “Nnnnnoooooooo” at the TV when the Browns drafted Manziel in the first round. It did not take any great insight to see that he was a train wreck waiting to happen. Not that he should have been denied an opportunity, but to waste a first round draft pick on him and place him in a leadership position was ludicrous given the “character issues” that were known to exist at the time. It was a ridiculously stupid mistake. I think Manziel, and obviously the Browns, would have benefitted from the humility that would have come from being drafted in the third or fourth round. Who knows, that might have provided him with the opportunity to mature into a responsible man that others would be proud to have as a teammate. I wonder how Tunsil’s teammates are feeling about their new first round draft pick today?

  5. I think Manziel is toast. Sure the Raiders might pick him up or the Cowboys as insurance for when Romo has his annual mid season hiatus from the game. He will come cheap, get a couple headlines, and, of course, he’s from Texas and they like their heroes drunk.

    Then he’ll drive a propane truck into an orphanage and it will start over.

  6. Chet, I agree Maziel is toast because his character and his talent doesn’t match the NFL. How any NFL team could draft him in the first round is a mystery as he showed at A&M he was all about himself and didn’t read defenses. At that time, too many people thought SEC teams could compete with NFL teams when they really couldn’t beat any NFL team.

    Podunker, you are on the money about Spriggs not being drafted in the first round. The first round was odd this year as two top defensive players were injured at the end of the season so no one knew what would happen with them. Add in that two QBs were selected #1 and #2 even though they aren’t considered franchise QBs. There was talk about 4 or 5 Tackles being selected and 5 got selected but why Spriggs was rated lower than Conklin or Decker is something I don’t see. I do think that coming from IU does knock down players in the draft. Hopefully 2016 is an improvement on 2015 making IU considered one of the better teams in the B1G. If we look at the 2015 season as a whole instead of wins and losses then IUFB 2015 was one of the better teams in the B1G. I get people that want to look at the wins and losses but that doesn’t tell the whole story. IUFB needs to have the wins in 2016 if the program is to improve. Then IU players won’t be faced with being drafted later than what their talent shows.

    Now I am waiting to see where Jordan Howard is selected as that team will get an NFL back that had injuries this year. Nate will be drafted in the later rounds or will be a free agent. The other IU players will be free agents that teams contact after the draft. I have to wonder with all the OSU players drafted in the first three rounds how they didn’t repeat as National Champions. They must be a failure with all the talent they had and still not winning the B1G.

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