Mel Kiper Jr.: Allen Lazard’s “stock has risen” and Joel Lanning is “draftable”

Jan 25, 2018; Mobile, AL, USA; North Squad wide receiver Allen Lazard of Iowa State (85) catches a pass during Senior Bowl practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Glenn Andrews-USA TODAY Sports

ISU’s record-setting receiver, Allen Lazard, quieted questions about his speed at the NFL Combine by running a 4.56 40-yard dash. ESPN NFL Draft expert  Mel Kiper Jr. — along with a slew of NFL teams —certainly noticed.

Kiper, in a pre-Combine conference call, pegged Lazard as “an early to mid-day three guy,” but Wednesday hinted he could sneak into day two, based on his Senior Bowl, Combine and Pro Day performances.

“Lazard,  you don’t have many guys that are 6-4 and a half, 225 pounds, and have the length he does,” Kiper said during Wednesday’s conference call. “He ran well. A 4.55 for his size is good. A strong kid. Very athletic with almost a 40, 38(-inch) vertical. That’s impressive.”

Lazard’s post-NCAA career efforts helped Kiper form a comparision to at least one star receiver currently in the league, too.

“He’s the kind of kid, if he’d get into that third, fourth round as kind of an Alshon Jeffery-type player once he’s in the league,” Kiper said. “I think (Lazard) would be a guy that’s certainly helped himself over the last two three months, his stock has risen.”

As for quarterback-turned-linebacker Joel Lanning, Kiper reiterated praise voiced a couple months ago centered on his versatility and toughness.

Oct 14, 2017; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones quarterback Joel Lanning (7) makes a tackle in the second quarter against the Kansas Jayhawks at Jack Trice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

“I love the way he plays,” Kiper said. “He’s the kind of guy, we talked about of players — guys you want on your team in a back-up role. A special teams guy. A reserve with a good attitude, the right approach. I think he’s draftable, which you would have never thought (he’d be) actually in the draftable category, but it wouldn’t shock me if he was a sixth or seventh-round pick.”

Wouldn’t shock us, either. So stay tuned.

Linebacker Jeremiah George was the last ISU player selected in the draft. The New York Jets selected him in the fifth round on 2014.

It’s been 33 years since a Cyclone receiver was drafted. The New York Giants took former star Tracy Henderson in the fifth round in 1985.

This year’s NFL Draft will take place from April 26-28. Both ESPN and the NFL Network will provided coverage of all seven rounds.


Rob Gray


Rob, an Ames native, joined Cyclone Fanatic in August, 2014 after nearly a decade and a half of working at Iowa's two largest newspapers. He spent 10 years at the Des Moines Register and, after a brief stint in public relations, joined the Cedar Rapids Gazette as an Iowa State correspondent three years ago. Rob specializes in feature stories for CF.