ISU's Jake Knott Has Outdoor Plans For Draft Day

By Rob Gray, Reporter

Iowa State linebacker Jake Knott scoops up the ball as he participates in position drills during the team's pro day Tuesday, March 26, 2013 at the Bergstrom Indoor Training Facility on the Iowa State campus in Ames. (Brian Ray/The Gazette-KCRG)

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By Grant Burkhardt

AMES, Iowa - He might be teeing off.

Could be lining up a putt.

Whatever Saturday’s fourth through seventh rounds of the NFL Draft bring, former Iowa State standout linebacker Jake Knott will be ready — clubs in hand.

“In the morning I’ll be golfing, for sure,” said Knott, who spent plenty of time on the links in the past with fellow pro hopeful A.J. Klein.

Knott is pegged by analysts as a possible late-round pick.

Klein, who ran one of the fastest 40s at the NFL Combine among linebackers (4.66), is considered a middle- to late-rounder.

“All you can control is obviously what you do out here on the field and the preparation you put in,” Klein said.

Both Knott and Klein excelled on those fronts in Ames.

Knott became ISU’s sixth all-time leading tackler with 347 stops before shoulder surgery derailed his senior season.

“What a career he had in terms of production,” ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. said in a teleconference. “I think he’s a late round possibility.”

Klein ended up seventh on the Cyclones’ career tackles chart, with 344.

“(He’s) one of the faster linebackers,” Kiper said. “He runs under 4.7 consistently. Brings some versatility to your defense.”

Both earned first team all-Big 12 honors the past two seasons.

Klein owns the ISU record for interceptions for touchdown with four.

Knott tipped and secured an interception that sealed last season’s win at Iowa, among several other big plays.

“They both had outstanding careers and we’ve seem them up close for a couple years,” Hawkeye coach Kirk Ferentz said. “Just seemed like very impressive young people and obviously very impressive football players.”

Knott knows past achievements don’t mean much to NFL teams.

He shines in the area commonly known as intangibles.

But his so-called measurables stack up pretty well, too.

“I’m definitely one of those ‘tweener guys and I think my agent knows that,” Knott said. “He really believes I should get drafted and I have the skill set to get drafted and everything. ... Basically he said, ‘Go in, prepare for the worst, hope for the best.’”

Suffice it to say Knott, like Klein, plans to play through — Saturday and beyond.

“I just want to make myself an asset as a starter, as a backup, as a special teams guy, even as a practice player,” Knott said. “So they know how much talent I have and how much I could do to help out the team and the locker room.”

MCDONOUGH, LENZ HAVE SHOTS: Kiper described ISU defensive lineman Jake McDonough and wide receiver Josh Lenz as likely “high priority free agents.” He called McDonough an interesting guy. “Gives you everything he has,” Kiper continued. “He’s 6-4, about 290, 295 pounds. I liked him as a player.” Kiper expects all four of the Cyclones’ top NFL prospects (Klein, Knott, McDonough and Lenz) to go deep into camps. “I think all of those kids have a chance to make a football team,” Kiper said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if all four are on a roster come September.”

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