Iowa linebacker Josey Jewell (43) walks away after Boston College scores a touchdown during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York on Wednesday, Dec. 27. The Hawkeyes went on to win 27-20. (Ben Allan Smith/The Daily Iowan)

Josey Jewell selected by Denver Broncos in Round 4

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Josey Jewell, known by many as ‘The Outlaw,’ is heading out west.

By Adam Hensley

Adam-hensley@uiowa.edu

Hawkeye linebacker Josey Jewell was selected by the Denver Broncos with the sixth pick in the fourth round of the NFL Draft (No. 106 overall).

Jewell entered the draft ranked by ESPN as the third-best inside linebacker and the 91st-best prospect overall, earning a grade of 72.

A 6-1, 234-pound redshirt senior from Decorah, Iowa, Jewell was projected by many to land in Round 5 or 6. NFL analysist Lance Zierlein noted that while the linebacker has exceptional play diagnosis and downhill flow, there are still many areas in which he can improve.

“On the borderline from a size standpoint, Jewell already had his detractors who worried about whether he was big enough to handle inside duties,” Zierlein wrote on NFL.com. “On top of that, he ran a painfully slow 40 at both the Combine, and his 40 that will send him tumbling down the draft board. On the field, however, he is a highly instinctive linebacker who combines physicality with a relentless motor to find his way into play after play. Jewell’s consistency and football character give him a shot at becoming a solid NFL backup despite his speed limitations.”

Jewell’s football instincts, and his knack of finding the ball, enticed NFL scouts.

“I like him a lot. I think he will run faster than people think for sure,” an anonymous AFC director of scouting told NFL.com. “Give me a guy with his mindset and instincts, and I can sell him to a coaching staff even if he’s not as big as they are looking for. His tape will win them over.”

Last season, Jewell racked up 132 tackles despite missing a contest with injury. He also tallied 4.5 sacks, 13.5 tackles for a loss, intercepted a pair of passes, and also forced and recovered a fumble.

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