Iowa Hawkeyes in the NFL

Iowa-Hawkeyes_header

The University of Iowa was established in 1847 as the State University of Iowa, and the athletics department has been part of the Big Ten Conference since 1899. While the university is well-known for its wrestling prowess (they’ve brought home 23 national championships), it has an impressive football program as well, winning 11 Big Ten championships and seeing plenty of play in bowl games, including a 2010 Orange Bowl victory.

Iowa produced Heisman Trophy winner Nile Kinnick in 1939. Although his time on Earth was short (he died during a WWII training mission just a few years later in 1943), Kinnick lives on in many ways. The stadium the team plays in is named after him, his face appears on the coin used in every Big Ten coin toss, and there is a statue of him outside Kinnick Stadium.

Former Hawkeyes that have made it to the NFL include Dallas Clark (long-time tight end for the Championship Indianapolis Colts) and second overall pick in the 2004 draft, Robert Gallery. Iowa has also produced Pro Football Hall of Famers, including Emlen Tunnell, Paul Krause, and Andre Tippett.

There are 25 current Hawkeyes in the NFL. Let’s check them out.

Go Hawkeyes

Iowa Hawkeyes-Asset

There are 25 NFL players who played college ball at Iowa. C.J. Beathard, for example, has taken over the reins in San Francisco as he prepares to make his first NFL start. Beathard is the grandson of former general manager Bobby Beathard. Bobby had a lot of success working with two NFL Teams – the San Diego Chargers and Washington Redskins – earning four Big Game appearances (including two wins). While C.J. is just seeing his career launch, we’ll have to watch to see where this former Hawkeye’s path goes in the NFL.

Rookie mini camp in the books! So blessed to be apart of such a great organization! #niners

A post shared by C.J. Beathard (@ceejaybeat_hard) on

Let’s not forget Bryan Bulaga, the formidable offensive lineman who blocks for the Green Bay Packers. Bulaga has been a member of the Packers since he was drafted No. 23 overall in 2010 and was part of the squad that won it all his rookie season.

Micah Hyde is another standout player. This former Hawkeye was also drafted by the Packers, albeit in 2013, and continues to cover receivers for the Buffalo Bills after the team signed him as a free agent in 2017. Now in his fifth season, Hyde has 12 interceptions (so far) and four sacks.

Victory Friday 👏🏽🧀

A post shared by Micah Hyde (@micah_hyde) on

Another former Hawkeye drafted by the Packers is Mike Daniels, who joined the team in 2012.  Now in his sixth season, Daniels has racked up 23.5 career sacks and 125 tackles.

Workload Thursday let's get it !!!! #GoPackGo #Packers #NFL #Football

A post shared by Mike Daniels (@mikedaniels) on

Moving to the Big Time

The 2017 season brought a much longed-for change: The university’s beloved Tiger Hawk emblem finally adorns the field at Kinnick Stadium. If you’re heading to the stadium to watch your Hawkeyes take on their rivals, or you’ve been following former players through the NFL, Fanatics has all your gear needs covered, from jerseys to hoodies to hats.

Sources

 

Digging Into The NFL Draft

17-NFL-Draft-Header

10 Years of First-Round Picks

After 32 picks, the first round of the 2017 NFL draft was over. Teams had the chance to select the next big thing – from a new face for the franchise to a highly talented player in a position of need – from the most recently declared class college athletes. These picks may have represented the dreams of not just a team, but a city of fans, and the hope that success is on the horizon.

Just what has the history of first-round picks looked like over the past decade? What positions have been most coveted? Have any vindicated their draft position, or did the franchise that selected them ask for a redo? We profiled the last decade of NFL drafts to highlight the highs and lows across the 32 teams in the NFL.

Positions in Demand

17-NFL-Draft-Asset1

In nearly 350 picks made in the past ten years in the first round of the NFL draft, almost 100 were used on either a defensive end or defensive back. The Cleveland Browns and five other teams helped this cause by using their first-round picks this year on defensive ends. Myles Garrett, Solomon Thomas, Derek Barnett, Jonathan Allen, Takkarist McKinley, and Taco Charlton all joined the NFL in this year’s draft class as their team’s latest addition in this position.

The future is now.

A post shared by Cleveland Browns (@clevelandbrowns) on

Only 6 players from the three safety positions – free safety, safety, and strong safety – have been drafted in a decade of first rounds. And over 30 percent came from the 2017 NFL draft, with Jamal Adams from Louisiana State University to the New York Jets, Malik Hooker from Ohio State to the Indianapolis Colts, and Jabrill Peppers from Michigan to the Cleveland Browns.

NFL’s Farm System

17-NFL-Draft-Asset2

While Alabama head coach Nick Saban couldn’t unlock a winning formula as the Miami Dolphins head coach, posting a 15-17 record over 32 games, he has proven to be a master of player development. The Crimson Tide accounted for 22 first-round draft picks in the last decade.

History made. #BuiltByBama #rolltide #nfldraft

A post shared by Alabama Football (@alabamafbl) on

Four Alabama players were drafted in the first round this year: Marlon Humphrey by the Baltimore Ravens, Jonathan Allen by the Washington Redskins, O.J. Howard by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Reuben Foster by the San Francisco 49ers.

The Southeastern Conference is well-represented in regard to total first-round picks over the last 10 years, with two other schools in the top five: the University of Florida and Louisiana State University. One of the biggest picks from these prestigious programs was the 2010 NFL draft’s 25th pick, Tim Tebow. He’d post an 8-6 record as a starter for the Denver Broncos before he’d begin a new line of work, but not before uncorking a beautiful Hail Mary against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2011 AFC wild-card.

Adverse to First

17-NFL-Draft-Asset3

While some teams have had more picks in the first round, others have been less concerned about the glitz and glamour of those first 32. In fact, the New England Patriots have only had eight first-round picks in the last 10 years, but have had the league’s best record in the same period. With a 10-season record of 126-34, and 20 wins more than the second-place Green Bay Packers, the lack of first-round talent hasn’t hurt the five-time Super Bowl champions.

Only the Seattle Seahawks have had less draft picks in the first rounds – seven – and have made two trips to the Super Bowl, winning one. However, it wasn’t a first-round draft pick that came back to haunt them in their Super Bowl XLIX loss, but New England’s undrafted free agent cornerback, Malcolm Butler.

Who Goes Where?

17-NFL-Draft-Asset4

In seven of the last ten NFL drafts, a quarterback was selected as the number one overall pick, and four had a QB going in the second overall spot. In three drafts – 2012, 2015, 2016 – there were back-to-back quarterback selections in the top two positions.

If you’re looking for defenders to get drafted in the top 10, try and pay attention during the third and ninth picks. Defensive ends and linebackers have been picked most commonly over the past decade in these spots.

Stacking the Deck

While there’s plenty of roster moves that happen through free agency, many teams built their teams through their picks in the NFL draft. Just as there have been over-hyped players who never lived up to their potential, there were also stars who soared higher than anyone’s initial grades. Get all the best gear to represent your favorite NFL draft picks and team at Fanatics.com!

Sources

The Evolution of the Indianapolis Colts Jersey

Colts_Header

The Indianapolis Colts are an NFL franchise established in 1953. Originally located in Baltimore, the team played as members in the All-American Football Conference before merging into the National Football League (NFL).

Just five years after their inception into the league, the team won the 1958 NFL championship – the first game ever to utilize the overtime rule. With friction brewing in Baltimore, the franchise struggled to perform and revenues were dwindling. After years of discussion, Colts ownership agreed to move the team to Indianapolis with a famous story in which moving trucks swept away any remains of the team from Baltimore in the middle of the night.

The Colts have found a place to call home in Lucas Oil Stadium, which currently seats about 67,000 fans. The Wild Horses have appeared in four Super Bowls, and emerged victorious in two – one in Baltimore and one in Indianapolis.

We decided to take look into the details of this town-changing team, and unraveled the transformation that occurred throughout their long history. Continue reading to see how the renowned Colts blue has been modified over time.

Logo History

1953–1960: The Colts start out as a team based in Baltimore. The first logo depicts a bucking horse donning a football helmet while leaping through a field goal post. The team name is accented in blue with gray fill.

1961–1978: Drawing inspiration from the first logo, the Colts remove the intricate background and settle for a leaping horse accented in blue and white with the team’s helmet attached.

1979–1983: The Colts ditch the horse for a simple horseshoe logo.

1984–2001: The logo is carried over from the team’s time in Baltimore.

2002–Present: The team lightens the shade of blue, but keeps the same logo.

colts_flag

Indianapolis Colts 29” x 43” Glitter Suede House Vertical Flag

Notable Jersey Changes

colts_jersey

1953: The team’s first jerseys take a simplistic route, sticking with a solid blue jersey and plain white numbers. The helmet was blue with a white horseshoe on the back.

1956: The Colts make small adjustments to the previous design and change things up with inverted helmet colors.

1958: Indy’s white away jersey features blue numbers on both the center of the jersey and the sleeves. Stripes move to the shoulder area, and a blue horseshoe is moved from the back of the helmet to the side – where it still rests today.

1968: The Colts lower the stripes around the shoulder area and shrink the sleeves down. Player numbers also now appear on the back of the helmet, which is still around today.
colts_helmet

Riddell Indianapolis Colts Revolution Speed Full-Size Authentic Football Helmet

1969: The blue home jersey changes little from 1968 to 1969. The sleeves become longer and a patch is placed onto the left shoulder, celebrating the NFL’s 50th anniversary.

1970: The length of the sleeves shrinks slightly on the white jersey. The helmet design utilizes a smaller metal cage – adding extra protection for the players.

1984: Once again, the jerseys see little change, but an added horseshoe with the player number is placed on the pants. The team also adds a blue belt and some additional blue trim to the pants.  

1988: The horseshoe on the pants is removed and the double-stripe design returns to provide consistency between the shoulders and pants.

1993: A patch on the left shoulder is added to celebrate the team’s 10th anniversary. The NFL shield is also added on the neckline of the jersey – following the footsteps of most teams.

1997: A horseshoe is placed on the left shoulder of the jersey to honor the passing of late owner Robert Irsay. His son, Jim, still manages the team.

2004: The Colts make minor adjustments, including darkening the shade of blue from royal to “speed” blue and adding white stripes to the socks.

colts_gloves

Nike Indianapolis Colts Vapor Jet Light Speed Gloves

2010: The Colts wear 1955 throwback jerseys during the team’s 2010 preseason debut. The jersey features a dark royal blue color with matching helmets, and the horseshoe is placed on the back as tribute to the 1950s style.

2012: Following the NFL’s partnership with Nike, jerseys receive minor alterations to reflect a modernized feel with subtle nuances.

Looking Back to Look Forward

Traditionally, NFL teams tend to retire the jersey numbers of legendary players who have taken the field in their name. This trend lives on through the Colts, as a whopping eight jersey numbers have been put to rest since the team’s inception into the league. As the team progresses into future seasons, fans eagerly await what number will have the honor of being retired next. Possible candidates in the mix for retirement include No. 63 (Jeff Saturday) and No. 87 (Reggie Wayne) – both key players in securing the 2007 Super Bowl win and the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

No.18 Peyton Manning

No. 19 – Johnny Unitas

No. 22 – Buddy Young

No. 24 – Lenny Moore

No. 70 – Art Donovan

No. 77 – Jim Parker

No. 82 – Raymond Berry

No. 89 – Gino Marchetti

manning_jersey

Peyton Manning Indianapolis Colts Nike Retired Player Game Jersey – Royal

As it appears, the future for the Colts seems to be shrouded in an optimistic light. With five of their eight home games already filled to capacity, the hype around the 2016 season has radiated throughout each player on the team. Needless to say, everyone is excited to see what’s in store for this historic franchise.

Do you bleed blue and white? Be a true Fanatic, and support #ColtsNation by rockin’ the latest fan gear to the next sold-out showdown!

Sources