One thing IU Coach Kevin Wilson has received credit for in his five seasons at the helm has been raising the recruiting standard at IU. Now, the development of that recruiting is becoming more apparent.
Three Hoosiers were selected in the 2016 NFL Draft over the weekend, the most IU has had since 2010.
First was left tackle Jason Spriggs. The four-year starter at IU was selected Friday by the Green Bay Packers in the second round with the No. 48 pick overall. Some mock drafts had Spriggs going as high as the first round, but he wasn’t too disappointed with the result.
“There’s no words to explain the excitement I felt,” Spriggs said in a conference call Friday. “I was trying not to hold any expectations as to where I was playing. I’m just happy to be part of the organization.”
Spriggs will go to a well-established offensive line in Green Bay that is looking for some depth. The Packers scrambled to find a replacement last season when starting left tackle David Bakhtiari missed time.
Packers Director of Player Personnel Brian Gutekunst said he believes Spriggs can play anywhere on the line, but he gives some depth to back up Bakhtiari and right tackle Bryan Bulaga.
Spriggs came to IU as a tight end and started as a freshman at left tackle.
“He got stronger,” Gutekunst said. “He was able to add some weight. The athleticism was always there, the ability to cover speed on the edge. The strength is the thing that really progressed.”
Projections from spotrac.com have Spriggs’s draft slot earning a contract worth over $5 million with a $1.8 million signing bonus.
The next Hoosier to be drafted was running back Jordan Howard, who was selected at No. 150 by the Chicago Bears in the fifth round Saturday.
Howard came to IU for one season from UAB after its program was disbanded. He rushed for 1,213 yards in 2015 in only nine games.
ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. said good things about Howard’s ability as a runner, but noted Howard’s durability as his biggest issue.
Then, record-breaking quarterback Nate Sudfeld was selected at No. 187 in the sixth round by the Washington Redskins.
Defensive tackle Darius Latham, who forewent his senior season to declare for the Draft, went undrafted Saturday. He announced on Instagram he signed a contract with the Oakland Raiders.
Tight end Michael Cooper signed an undrafted free agent deal with the Washington Redskins and center Jake Reed signed with the Atlanta Falcons.