September 22, 2012; Iowa City, IA, USA; Central Michigan Chippewas quarterback Ryan Radcliff (8) stumbles while running the ball as Iowa Hawkeyes linebacker James Morris (44) defends in the second half at Kinnick Stadium. Central Michigan won the game 32-31. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft: James Morris, LB, Iowa Hawkeyes Player Profile


Height: 6’1″

Weight: 240 pounds

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Scouting Report/Player Notes

If Morris tests pretty well at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine, he should have no problem being one of the top inside linebackers selected. He is a very good student-athlete with a great work ethic who has gotten bigger and better as a four-year starter at Iowa. Morris has been a leader on the Hawkeye defense ever since he stepped into a starting role as a freshman, and despite being nicked up a couple of times, he has been a really durable player for Kirk Ferentz.

Iowa has had a really good recent history of producing productive collegiate linebackers, and some have done really well at the NFL level. Specifically, Chad Greenway and Pat Angerer have proven to be really productive players, despite the difference in draft position.

I think Morris has the ability to be a starter at the next level. Depending on how his measurables turn out, I think he definitely appears to have the range and speed to play inside in either a 4-3 or 3-4 scheme. He is the type of tough, smart playmaker that defenses like, and if nothing else, I think he could crack a roster coming out of Iowa as a special teams player. He seems like the kind of guy who will work as hard as possible on the film room and on the practice field to make not only himself but his team better.

Morris flies to the ball and has really good instincts and anticipation for the play. There are times when Morris struggles to disengage when linemen get out to his level, but for the most part, I think he has the ability to be an effective starting linebacker at the next level.

2012 Notes

Morris is a blue-collar, hard-nosed, tough-as-nails inside linebacker prospect who has the look of a future NFL starter, and a reliable one at that. He is rangy and has great leadership skills, and though he came into the Hawkeye football program as a 215 pound pup, he has emerged as one of the team’s top tacklers and grown into a 230 pound beast. Morris is a tackling machine who is always flying to the ball, and he’s been productive ever since his freshman season. He had 70 tackles as a freshman, 109 tackles as a sophomore, and as a junior, he’s looking to break the 100 tackle mark yet again with 96 through 10 games. The former running back is a little tight in the hips in coverage, and he’s not an elite athlete like the other LBs on Iowa’s roster, but he’s going to make tackles and make plays for your defense, and he’s a guy you’ll want to have on your team, undoubtedly.

Stats

James Morris stats via CFBStats.com

Video Highlights (via YouTube)

Career Highlights (via Iowa athletics)

Hawk-Item – - Ranked third in the Big Ten and tied for 31st nationally in tackles per game (9.4) . . . with 12 tackles in second game of 2012 season, became 66th Hawkeye to register at least 200 career tackles . . . ranks 16th in career tackles with 293 . . . ranked fifth in the Big Ten and tied for 37th nationally in tackles per game (9.2) in 2011 . . . one of four juniors named to 2012 Leadership Group . . . one of four sophomores named to 2011 Leadership Group . . . one of nine true freshmen to see action in 2010.

2013 Preseason Honors – - Named to Lott Impact Watch List . . . 2013 – - listed as first team linebacker following spring practice.

2012 Honors – - Permanent Team Captain, defense . . . Hayden Fry “Extra Heartbeat” Award, defense . . . Players Choice Award, defense . . . named to Capital One District VI Academic All-America team . . . Academic All-Big Ten for second straight year . . . honorable mention All-Big Ten by league media . . . third team All-Big Ten by CollegeSportsMadness.com . . . earned honorable mention recognition for linebackers from College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) for his play vs. Iowa State . . . 2012 Preseason Honors – - named to Bednarik Award, Butkus Award and Rotary Lombardi Award preseason Watch Lists . . . second team preseason all-Big Ten by Phil Steele’s College Football .

2011 Honors – - Academic all-Big Ten . . . honorable mention all-Big Ten by both league coaches and media . . . third team all-Big Ten by College Football Madness and Phil Steele. 2011 Preseason Honors – - Second team preseason All-Big Ten by Athlon Sports, Lindy’s Football Preview and Phil Steele’s College Football

2010 Honors – - First team Freshman All-America by CollegeFootballNews.com . . . third team Freshman All-America by Phil Steele’s College Football . . . Big Ten Conference all-Freshman team by Rivals.com . . . Next Man In Award, Defense

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Tags: 2014 Nfl Draft Football Iowa Hawkeyes James Morris