Wednesday's Clicks: Hawkeyes Predicted For Seven-Win Season

Ihmir Smith-Marsette leads a talented returning group of Iowa's wide receivers. (Kirby Lee/USA Today Sports)

John Bohnenkamp

Iowa's big NFL Draft class leads to big questions for the upcoming football season for the Hawkeyes.

The Hawkeyes lost offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs, defensive end A.J. Epenesa, cornerback Michael Ojemudia, quarterback Nate Stanley and safety Geno Stone, who went in the seven rounds of last weekend's draft. Linebacker Kristian Welch, defensive tackle Cedrick Lattimore and tight end Nate Wieting signed free-agent deals.

Those losses will have to be replaced, and it was clear before the draft that the Hawkeyes had a lot of positions to fill with a young roster last season.

Iowa still has a strong group of skill players, included a talented wide receiver group, but there are still pieces to figure out.

CBS Sports' Tom Fornelli, in breaking down the Big Ten, predicted the Hawkeyes would go 7-5 overall, 5-4 in the conference.

Fornelli has Iowa defeating Northern Iowa, Northern Illinois, Michigan State, Northwestern, Illinois, Nebraska, and Wisconsin, while losing to Iowa State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State, and Purdue.

Fornelli's take:

"There's a certain amount of competence you can always expect with Iowa, but this is a team that loses a lot — and that clouds the picture. Nathan Stanley started every game the last three seasons at QB, and he's gone. So things will look a bit different in 2020, and the Hawkeyes have to hit the road for Minnesota, Ohio State, and Penn State. There's also a difficult nonconference game against Iowa State early in the year. The Hawkeyes will go bowling, and they'll be a pain in the butt, but they don't strike me as a threat to win the division this year."

Bucs on the rise

Wirfs went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the 13th overall pick in the first round, and said it was the perfect situation for him.

It is, considering the Bucs are a team on the rise. Tampa Bay moved to No. 11 in Sports Illustrated's NFL Power Rankings.

Of course, the Bucs added quarterback Tom Brady, who has six Super Bowl rings. That, combined with a strong draft class, does lead to high expectations for a team that hasn't had them over the years.

Comments (2)
No. 1-2

Also, great spot for Wirfs.


Eight wins, I think.