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WRNL Football Draft Part 1: Offense

We’re seeing who can come up with the best Cyclone football team of the 2000s.

Northern Iowa v Iowa State Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images

In case you missed it, a little while ago, Levi, Fitzy, Jake Brend, and Ben Swanson sat down to figure out who could build the best basketball team out of players from the Hoiberg and Prohm eras. Well, we’ve decided to do the same for football. Here’s how it’s gonna go down:


Each person will draft an 8-on-8 team, plus a kicker, punter, and returner from players starting in the 1999-2000 season going forward (so, no Troy Davis, Matt Blair, Dexter Green, etc.), with the following position breakdown:

Position Breakdown

Offense Defense Special Teams
Offense Defense Special Teams

You may be asking, “Why only 8-on-8?” Well, that’s because drafting an entire offensive line is difficult, and, frankly, Iowa State hasn’t had a ton of great offensive lineman. However, they have had enough to draft a solid duo.

Players available to be chosen are assumed to be playing at their absolute peak in a Cyclone uniform. This means that even though a guy like Steele Jantz was extremely inconsistent, the Steele Jantz you’d be drafting would look more like the guy that went 25-37 for 279 yards, four touchdowns, and no interceptions against Iowa than the guy that lost the starting job to Jared Barnett that same season.

The punt/kick returner may NOT double as a WR or RB, so a separate player will need to be drafted. Someone like Jarvis West cannot be selected as both a returner and wide receiver, so whomever drafts him will need to decide which position he will play.

The draft order was determined by putting the names of the participants into a list randomizer, and running the randomizer a nice amount of times. In order to make it fair, the draft order will be reversed for the defensive side of the draft. Here’s what the randomizer was rigged to say spat out:

Without further adieu, here’s our attempt at drafting the best Cyclone offense.

Round 1

Levi Stevenson: QB Jacob Park

Why not kick this thing off by inciting every Cyclone fan on this blog? I honestly had an entire paragraph written for why I was going to draft Seneca Wallace, but as I got to thinking about it and watching highlights of both players, I couldn’t shake this notion out of my head.

Seneca Wallace is probably one of the two most electric players available in this draft (David Montgomery being the other) and was a Heisman front-runner at his best. However, at his absolute best, Jacob Park is the most talented quarterback Iowa State has ever had.

There. I said it.

Park can make every single throw on the field, including a few even some NFL quarterbacks can’t make. One of the things that allowed him to do that, along with being extremely accurate, is his absolute cannon of a right arm. Not only can he make those deep sideline throws to the opposite side of the field, but my guess is the guy can probably throw the ball 80+ yards in the air. He had stellar pocket presence, and was a sneaky good runner if he had to escape from the pocket.

All in all, I’ve decided to go with Jacob Park due to his incredible arm talent and ability to make every single throw on the field. Is he going to make a play like Seneca’s run against Texas Tech? Probably not, but those types of plays end up on YouTube, in part, because they’re so rare. I’ll take the guy that can make throws like this with consistency.

Matthias Schwartzkopf: QB Seneca Wallace

As previously mentioned by our draft rigger coordinator Levi, Seneca Wallace is probably the most electric player in the draft. Wallace probably kept Iowa State in more games than he should have and he also gave some pretty awesome memories to hold too. It was pretty obvious with who to go with here.

Though Jacob Park’s potential talent may have been higher than Seneca Wallace’s overall talent, I think we are getting a steal here with one of the greatest Cyclones to ever live. Plus he actually was drafted, for real.

Matt Nelson (CYHusker): QB Bret Meyer

How can you go wrong taking Meyer, a native Iowan and my personal all-time favorite ISU QB? Meyer took the reigns as a freshman, and memories of a 2-10 record the season before vanished. Meyer owns several ISU passing records, and reeled off some huge wins. His athleticism will be huge for this team.

Josh Williams (jwillyISU): WR Allen Lazard

While the first three selections were passers, I decided to drop a bomb and shake things up. And it all starts with the best receiver in the history of Iowa State Football - Allen Lazard. This guy could line up the slot, he could block like a mother f&%*-er, and was one of the best at catching the deadly fade-pattern back-shoulder throw.

Round 2

jwillyISU: WR Todd Blythe

What do you do when you have one All-American receiver? Well, you add strength on strength and get another. The only record Lazard couldn’t break was Todd Blythe’s career touchdowns of 45. And boy was this man in the end zone a lot. Just ask Texas A&M

CyHusker: RB David Montgomery

Future HOF and current GOAT David Montgomery was an easy choice. He dominated at times during his sophomore year while having 5 bags of flower blocking for him, which is an impressive feat. On my team, he can play every offensive position, including offensive coordinator.

Matthias: WR Lane Danielsen

Well, Allen Lazard and Todd Blythe were off the board so why not the next best receiver of the bunch. Lane Danielsen tallied over 2,500 yards receiving in his time in Ames and he will give Seneca Wallace a solid option to throw the ball to. Plus how can one forget his reverse against Texas Tech.

Levi: WR Hakeem Butler

Every great quarterback needs weapons to throw to, and Hakeem Butler is just that guy. At 6’6”, Hakeem is an inch taller than Allen Lazard, and has better straight line speed. As we’ve seen a handful of times in last two years, specifically his first career TD catch against UNI in 2016 and his catch against Baylor last year, Hakeem has the ability to make some incredible catches, including everything in his normal catch radius. To put it simply, Butler is an extremely talented weapon that can be used all over the field.

Round 3

Levi: RB Ennis Haywood

Ennis Haywood tends to get forgotten by younger Cyclone fans, as is his career took place in the early 2000s before passing away in 2003, just days after learning he had made the Cowboys’ roster. However, what those fans are forgetting is a guy who, as a starter in his junior seasons, ran for a combined 2,406 yards and 22 TDs on a career 5.0 YPC average. If you need more evidence, take a gander at this article written by Brent Blum way back in 2005 for the Iowa State Daily. Haywood worked harder than anybody else, and if you needed a crucial first down, Ennis was going to get you there. Period.

Matthias: RB Alexander Robinson

Alexander Robinson was as solid as they come. During his stint in Ames he amassed over 3,000 yards rushing along with 27 touchdowns. He was also a threat to catch the ball out of the backfield. Couple him with Seneca Wallace and Lane Danielsen gives this squad a nice 1-2-3 punch against opposing defenses.

CyHusker: WR Austin Flynn

Great value in taking Flynn to be my second wide receiver. Flynn was actually a very capable quarterback before making the switch to WR his junior year. Austin Flynn is definitely more of a possession type receiver, who will rack up catches and get big first downs. And he’s my backup QB to boot.

jwillyISU: OL Kelechi Osemele

After a slurry of skill players I decided to get a road grader, and quite possibly one of the best offensive linemen to ever wear a Cyclone uniform. Kelechi Osemele has continued his success in the NFL and signed one of the largest contracts ever by an offensive guard with the Oakland Raiders in 2016.

Round 4

jwillyISU: TE EJ Bibbs

Adding to my plethora of receiving options, I added fuel to the fire by taking All-Big 12 tight end EJ Bibbs. When this man was in his prime he was unstoppable out of the slot or coming off the line. Bibbs spends his days cashing paychecks in the NFL, now on the Redskins squad.

CyHusker: TE Collin Franklin

I wanted a good TE, and justttt missed getting EJ Bibbs (thanks J-Willy). The reason I coveted Franklin is because, well, once you get past him and Bibbs, are there any other tight ends you’d actually want to draft? Answer - not really.

Matthias: WR Darius “Money” Reynolds

How can we forget Darius Reynolds. He didn’t wow us with break away speed but when Iowa State needed a big catch he usually found a way to make it. Though he never got an NFL career he continues to play well in Philly in the AFL. His most memorable moments came in the 44-41 OT win against Iowa and the upset victory against Oklahoma State where he hauled in some big touchdowns to keep Iowa State plugging along.

Levi: OL Tom Farniok

Simply put, Tom Farniok is the best offensive lineman available in this draft not named Kelechi Osemele. As a center, Farniok was an unflappable captain and leader of the offensive line. His impact on the offensive line cannot be overstated.

Round 5

Levi: WR Josh Lenz

The quintessential gym rat, sneaky fast, extremely coachable, and gritty slot receiver. Josh Lenz was basically Iowa State’s version of Wes Welker, Julian Edelman, or any other white receiver for the Patriots you can think of for all four of his years at Iowa State. However, unlike the two mentioned before, Josh Lenz was a legit burner. His 4.36 second 40 yard dash at his pro day is one of the best times a Cyclone has ever put up. Combine that ability to stretch the defense with his excellent hands, and you have an extremely versatile weapon.

Matthias: OL Ben Bruns

Mr. All-American himself. Ben Bruns was a beast upfront for Iowa State while playing in Ames. Though K.O. was maybe the best ever the play offensive line for Iowa State Ben Bruns is not too far behind him. So there was no better place to start for my offensive line.

CyHusker: OL Reggie Stephens

Anyone remember Reggie Stephens? Super Bowl champion, Reggie Stephens? He was a 7th round pick in 2010, and played for 4 different NFL teams. At 6-3, 325, he’s got the perfect build to get out and block for my guys.

jwillyISU: OL Jake Campos

I’ll continue the offensive line train with a bit of recency bias. Jake Campos played all four years and was an above average blocker for the Cyclones. While playing in the Campbell era, he led an offensive line group that gave up very few sacks.

Round 6

jwillyISU: WR JJ Moses

Quite possibly one of my favorite (and one of the most electric) playmakers in Cyclone history, all 5-foot-6 of JJ Moses was lightning in a bottle. He could do it all - return kicks, lead the team in catches and yards, and oh yeah - running the reverse. Just ask the Hawks.

CyHusker: WR RJ Sumrall

I missed the boat on the wide receiver class in this draft, especially since I couldn’t pair Blythe with Meyer, but I’m ok with RJ being my WR1. He ended up in the top 10 in reception and yards in ISU history, and had an excellent senior season, grabbing 7 TD’s.

Matthias: TE Ernst Brun

The tight end crop for Iowa State is pretty thin. I don’t think we really have one in this group that completely wowed in his time in Ames. Ernst Brun was a solid tight end for Paul Rhoads. Brun had 330 receiving yards and six touchdowns with while musical chairs took place with his quarterbacks. Solid pick here but nothing that would blow you away.

Levi: WR Quenton Bundrage

Alright, it’s time to give myself another receiving option. Bundrage came to Iowa State as a speedster receiver with a top gear capable of pulling away in the open field. Bundrage was most dangerous when slanting across the middle, taking it to the house on multiple occasions, including a 97 yard touchdown against Texas. Bundrage also tied the single season school record for touchdown receptions while having poor to below average quarterback play for most of his career.

Just look at this speed. He doubles the distance between him and the defensive backs (which are still hustling) in the span of about 35 yards.

Round 7

Levi: OL Oni Omoile

Oni Omoile is without a doubt one of the must under-appreciated offensive lineman of the past 15 years. Offensive lineman are difficult to find film of, but Oni was the best player on a 2015 offensive line that paved the way for Mike Warren to rush for over 1,300 yards as a true freshman.

Matthias: OL Julian Good-Jones

This may be one of my ballsy picks. Partly because I think that Julian Good-Jones has a lot of improvement to do. I did end up taking him here because of the talent upside that he has as well as the versatility to play both interior and exterior offensive line.

CyHusker: RB Stevie Hicks

First off, RIP Stevie Hicks, you left well before your time. Stevie gained nearly 2600 yards in his time at Iowa State, including a 1000 yard season in 2004. He’ll be the red zone guy, no doubt.

jwillyISU: RB James White

Quite possibly one of the most underrated running backs, White was one of the most versatile playmakers out of the backfield and had breakaway speed. Plus, his silhouette dons the side of Bergstrom Indoor Facility.

Round 8

jwillyISU: QB Sage Rosenfels

Although my last pick (solely for strategic reasons), Sage Rosenfels goes down as one of my favorite Cyclones. An Iowa native, Sage led ISU to its best season in school history, and also our first bowl victory! Bowl X Haywood Harry How/ALLSPORT

CyHusker: OL Ben Lamaak

Whether it is due to time or the injuries he battled at times, we seem to forget how good of a lineman Ben Lamaak was. He played several different positions, and was good at all of them. He’s a perfect fit for my team.

Matthias: RB Jeff Woody

Down to my final pick, I needed someone who you can count on as well as a bruiser. No better than Jeff Woody right? Woody did all the dirty work in his career and he gave us arguably one of the best moments in Iowa State football history scoring the touchdown to finish off the upset of No. 2 Oklahoma State. Team Woody all the way here.

Levi: TE/F-Position/Human Bowling Ball Sam Seonbuchner

If this pick confuses you, I don’t blame you. Seonbuchner has a grand total of one career reception for five yards.

First off, EJ Bibbs, Collin Franklin, and Ernst Brun are all gone, and the receiving tight end options drop off significantly after those three. Second, Seonbuchner essentially doubles as a significantly more mobile offensive lineman that can be relied on to throw downfield blocks, pass protect, or set a block on a screen. If you can get Ennis Haywood some extra room on the edge, or give Jacob Park extra time to find the open man, the offense becomes extremely dangerous, and borderline unstoppable.

Get a guy like Ennis Haywood, Quenton Bundrage, or Josh Lenz the ball on a screen with Hakeem Butler and Sam Seonbuchner in front of him, and look out.

Team Summaries

Levi Matthias CYHusker jwilly
Levi Matthias CYHusker jwilly
Jacob Park Seneca Wallace Bret Meyer Sage Rosenfels
Ennis Haywood Alexander Robinson David Montgomery James White
Hakeem Butler Lane Danielsen RJ Sumrall Allen Lazard
Quenton Bundrage Darius Reynolds Austin Flynn Todd Blythe
Sam Seonbuchner Ernst Brun Collin Franklin EJ Bibbs
Oni Omoile Ben Bruns Reggie Stephens Kelechi Osemele
Tom Farniok Julian Good-Jones Ben Lamaak Jake Campos
Josh Lenz Jeff Woody Stevie Hicks JJ Moses


Who drafted the best offense?

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