Riley Reiff turned down a chance to attend the NFL Draft in New York City. Truth is, when he received the news that he was the first round draft pick of the Detroit Lions, the 23rd overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, Reiff was out in his families barn in South Dakota because he doesn't like to sit around and watch TV.
That's Reiff in a nutshell. He isn't about glitz and glamour. He's a hard working country boy at heart and now he's realized the dream of having an opportunity to play in the National Football League.
"When I got the call, I was super excited," Reiff told the Detroit media this evening.
The Lions really never expected the #2 rated offensive tackle to be available when they were slated to make their first round pick.
"It's not very often that the 2nd overall offensive lineman on the boards goes off at number 23. We were very fortunate to stay at 23 and end up with a player that we really liked," said head coach Jim Schwartz.
Schwartz sees Reiff fitting in very well on the Lions offensive line, likely at left tackle, and helping them get younger up front.
"He fits the criteria for that position," Schwartz said. "He's athletic and a three time state champion wrestler. He comes from a great tradition of offensive linemen at Iowa. He is a good run blocker and pass blocker. He is a very experienced player that has played at a high level in the Big Ten."
The plan for Reiff is very similar to when he arrived in Iowa City to play for the Hawkeyes, come in, learn, and try to fit in with his teammates.
"I'm going to come in and compete and hopefully learn from the guys," Reiff said.
With Reiff going in the first round, that marks the first time in Iowa Football history that the Hawkeyes have had a player selected in the first round in three consecutive years. It's also the second time in three years that Iowa has had an offensive lineman picked in the first round with Bryan Bulaga going to the Packers in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Reiff is the 6th first round pick during Kirk Ferentz tenure at Iowa and he will join former Hawkeyes Amari Spievey and Ryan Donahue on the Lions roster. Spievey was a third round selection by the Lions in 2010 and Donahue signed as a free agent following last year's draft.
The NFL Draft will continue on Friday night with 2nd and 3rd round selections. Rounds 4-7 will take place on Saturday. The next Hawkeye player expected to be picked Marvin McNutt, who has been projected as a 3rd or 4th round pick. Stay tuned to HawkeyeReport.com for the latest NFL Draft news.