It took four injury-filled years before Jordan Bernstine finally got on the field for the Hawkeyes.
In 11 starts this fall, the Des Moines native made an impression. The Washington Redskins made him the 10th pick of the seventh round in the NFL draft Saturday.
“I’ve always had that dream,” Bernstine said. “Since I started playing football in third grade, I never let it get out of my reach. I kept striving for it even when I was injured, or not on the field.
“When I got on the field this season, it became a realistic goal.”
Bernstine was one of five Hawkeyes picked on the third and final day of the 2012 NFL Draft. Including offensive tackle Riley Reiff going to the Detroit Lions on Thursday in the first round, it gave Iowa a total of six players drafted for the third straight season.
Other players taken Saturday:
Mike Daniels, defensive tackle, 37th pick, fourth round, Green Bay Packers.
“We think he’s an all-football guy,” Green Bay defensive coordinator Dom Capers said. “He plays the game with quickness, intensity. I think he’ll bring a sense of energy with him.”
Adam Gettis, offensive guard, sixth pick, fifth round, Washington Redskins.
Shaun Prater, cornerback, 21st pick, fifth round, Cincinnati Bengals.
Marvin McNutt, receiver, 24th pick, sixth round, Philadelphia Eagles.
Later on Saturday it was announced that five Hawkeyes had signed as unrestricted free agents. New England signed offensive tackle Markus Zusevics and tight end Brad Herman, Arizona signed defensive end Broderick Binns, Minnesota signed linebacker Tyler Nielsen, and Tampa Bay signed punter Eric Guthrie
Bernstine was among the least likely to be picked. He wasn’t one of nine Hawkeyes to get an invitation to the NFL Scouting Combine in February, but he impressed teams with his workout at the Iowa Pro Day.
He ran a 4.34 40-yard dash and had a 41-inch vertical leap. He bench-pressed 225 pounds 18 times.
“There are a lot of different roads to go to the NFL,” Bernstine said. “I went out and showed the teams I could play.”
Bernstine is 5-foot-11 and 205 pounds and ranked 10th in the Big Ten in tackles per game (7.4). He had 89 tackles, three tackles for loss and one sack. He had one forced fumble and two pass break-ups.
He said he called coach Phil Parker when he got drafted and thanked him.
“It took a little while, but I got my opportunity to be one of the elite,” Bernstine said. “I made the most of it.”
In talking briefly to Redskin coaches, he knows he has to make his mark on special teams first.
“Nothing is going to be given to me,” Bernstine said. “I’ve got to earn everything from here.”
Bernstine was seventh in the Big Ten in kickoff returns (23.8 yards per return).
Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football