Riley Reiff is another in a long line of top-caliber offensive lineman from the University of Iowa. Like the others before him, Reiff is a blue-collar blocker who is fundamentally sound, hard working, and plays with the aggressiveness that most NFL scouts drool over. While there are some flaws in his game, Reiff strikes me as a day-one starter in the NFL, and should be able to man the left tackle position for a team for many years. Playing at a premium position so many teams crave, Reiff should hear his name called within the first 15 picks in the NFL Draft.
Reiff is technically solid in pass protection, using his natural foot quickness and lateral agility to mirror speed rushers on the edge. He has nice length and uses his arms to his advantage to gain leverage on defenders, although he does overextend at times causing a loss of balance. Reiff seems only average when anchoring against bull rushers, but at the same time he does a nice job of recovering and fighting for position even when pushed off balance.
Reiff is a strong run blocker who is powerful at the point of attack and comes off the ball hard during run plays with a nice initial burst. Despite being an average athlete, Reiff is quick and light on his feet in the screen game and gets to the second level with ease. Once at the second level, he does a nice job of locating his target and maintaining his block through the duration of the play. He plays in a zone blocking scheme and is not asked to pull or trap much, so there may be a learning curve there in the NFL.
Like most Iowa linemen, Reiff is a smart player who seems to understand his assignments in both the run and pass game. My only criticism here is at times he locks onto a single target while letting a secondary defender run free. He needs to improve his ability notice that defender and chip when necessary.
Probably Reiff’s biggest area for improvement is inconsistent hand placement. He doesn’t use his hands aggressively enough at times, especially for a guy as big and powerful as he is. When he does lock on and fight for position, he is tough and almost impossible to shed. He seems to understand the importance of leverage, so he should be able to improve this aspect over time.
Reiff is not the most athletic tackle you will see play, but he is good enough to not be considered heavy-footed. He is a natural knee bender and sits in his stance very well. He is quick enough off the snap to be strong and aggressive at the point of attack. He does at times play too upright for his height, but should improve on that with additional coaching. For as tall as he is, he is a good cut blocker who is fluid when attacking a defender low.
Reiff seems to be strong fundamentally in his footwork, getting nice depth on his kick step in pass protection, and showing nice fluid agility in his lateral movements. He does a nice job of consistently moving his feet to maintain balance and leverage. Reiff keeps a nice wide base at most times.
As a freshman at Iowa was arrested for public intoxication and for leading police on a 20-minute chase on foot… South Dakota Gatorade Player of the Year as a high school senior… two-time South Dakota Elite 45 team selection… South Dakota 11B all-American as a senior… first team all-state defensive end as a sophomore and junior… first team all-state tight end as a senior… first team all-conference as a sophomore, junior and senior… Collected 261 tackles, 23 sacks and eight interceptions on defense… also caught 27 passes for 321 yards and nine touchdowns… lettered in wrestling, golf and track… three-time state wrestling champion with a career record of 121-1.
2011: Played and started in all 13 games at left tackle
2010: Played and started in all 13 games at left tackle
2009: Started 11 of 13 games, with three starts at left tackle, seven at left guard and final game at right tackle
Interdepartmental studies major.
Awards & Honors
2011: First team all-Big Ten by league coaches and media … Pro Football Weekly first-team all-american
2010: Second team all-Big Ten by league coaches and media … Hustle Team Award, Offense.
2009: Third team Freshman all-America by CollegeFootballNews.com … first team Big Ten all-Freshman team by Sporting News … Next Man In Award, Offense.