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NFL Draft Profile: Zach VanValkenburg, Defensive End, Iowa Hawkeyes

NFL draft profile scouting report for Iowa defensive end, Zach VanValkenburg


Pos: DE
Ht: 6040v
Wt: 264v
Hand: 0948v
Arm: 3238v
Wing: 7938v
DOB: 2/17/98
Eligible: 2022
Zeeland, MI
Zeeland West High School

Zach VanValkenburg
Iowa Hawkeyes


If VanValkenburg can have a solid and injury-free season, he can move his name up draft boards. Strength and a strong countermove are his biggest needs going into 2021.


Zach VanValkenburg is a sixth-year senior who has some potential for his game. He is versatile enough to play on either side and with or without his hand in the dirt. He does have solid awareness and anticipation and can read where the runner is headed on his side. VanValkenburg has decent speed off the edge but nothing that will get you excited. The biggest plus is that he has a high motor and won’t stop until the whistle blows. VanValkenburg has a mediocre swim move that can get him around smaller offensive linemen. His potential is there but polishes his game a bit more and he can take it to that next level.


Outside of having less time against DI schools, VanValkenburg has been mediocre in his nine games started for the Hawkeyes. He could use a bit more polish on his handwork, trying to break off the block and make the play. VanValkenburg seems to be lazy when it comes to breaking the block at times, questioning how he plays the game. While his play awareness is solid VanValkenburg does have the tendency to overshoot the play, allowing the ball carriers to get farther upfield. If he wants to make it to the next level, he will need to pack on some pounds to compete with those bigger, more physical offensive linemen.


For starting his career in Hillsdale College, VanValkenburg has made a considerable leap to the next level, not only for him but for his entire Iowa defense. VanValkenburg will need to polish his skills to make an impact at the next level. As of right now, he is looking like an undrafted free agent to a seventh-round pick. With only having nine starts under his belt, another year as a full starter should help bump his draft stock 


Zach was born February 17th, 1998 to Rebecca and Dale VanValkenburg. While attending Zeeland West High School in Zeeland, MI, Zach was first-team all-state and all-conference as a senior. He was named as the Defensive Player of the Year and part of the Dream Team from the Detroit Free Press. During the entirety of his high school career, Zach was a letterman at both defensive end and linebacker. He also lettered in wrestling and track. who also was a member of three state conference titles and two state championships. Zach was named as a team captain during his senior season, in which he registered 85 tackles, 28 tackles for a loss and nine and a half sacks. Zach started his college career at Hillsdale College before enrolling at Iowa.


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6.9 / 7.6

1/26 - Put some dynamite on the train tracks and you still might not be able to stop this locomotive, as VanValkenburg possesses a non-stop motor and contagious energy level. He has made noticeable strides each season for the Hawkeyes, as evidenced by his 15 tackles for loss this past season, including five and a half sacks. He continued to impress going through the bag drills during the first day of practice and noticeably stood out above the others. While VanValkenburg isn’t expected to wow scouts in the testing department, his understanding of fundamentals, relentless mentality, football instincts and leadership intangibles make him worth a late-round investment.


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