Indiana’s streak of players taken in the NFL Draft will continue.
For the 7th straight year, a Hoosier was taken in the annual event, which was held virtually for the first time due to the coronavirus outbreak. Indiana guard and captain Simon Stepaniak was the first Hoosier off the board, selected with the 209th pick by the Green Bay Packers. The Hamilton, Ohio native played 41 games at IU, starting 31, including 23 over the last two seasons. Stepaniak missed the Gator Bowl, held out of the game due to injury.
The 6-foot-4, 313-pound lineman made an impression at the NFL Combine, where he recorded 37 bench press reps (at 225 pounds), the 2nd-highest total for any OL prospect. For comparison purposes, 4th overall pick Andrew Thomas had 21 reps, 11th overall pick Mekhi Becton had 23, and 13th overall pick Tristan Wirfs had 24.
NFL Media’s Lance Zierlein noted that Stepaniak has the skill set to play either right or left guard at the NFL level. He also cites that Stepaniak’s strengths are physicality and run blocking.
Stepaniak was named Third Team All-Big Ten by the media in 2019 and graduated with a media degree in December.
Keep an eye out for teams to scoop up seniors Nick Westbrook, Logan Justus, and Reakwon Jones as undrafted free agents this weekend.
Featured Image: IndianaHQ