Draft Scouting Report: Iowa’s Christian Ballard


Before the 2010 college football season, it was clear to any decent fan of the game that Iowa had the best defensive line in the country with Christian Ballard, Adrian Clayborn, Karl Klug, and Mike Daniels manning the front line for the Hawkeyes. Perhaps the most underrated player in that group is Christian Ballard, who never put up the big numbers like Clayborn did his junior year, but he was very solid for the Hawkeyes and had an underrated career there.

Over the last four years, Ballard had 149 tackles, 11 sacks, two forced fumbles, and no shortage of big hits. In Iowa’s 4-3 scheme, Ballard showed excellent versatility by playing both tackle and end, and it’s clear that he has the athleticism to play either in the NFL.

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6’4″ 283  4.70

Ballard isn’t the ideal pass rushing defensive end, so I think he will likely get picked up by a 3-4 team where he can be that anchor defensive end and collapse the pocket. He’s not going to get a ton of pressure on the quarterback, but he will make plays and not allow much to get past him.

Ballard has excellent athleticism, and that was often on display at Iowa. He closes on his “prey” very quickly. He is the type of guy that can play sideline to sideline, while also being a solid anchor for a defensive front. He packs a big punch, and wraps up really well. Ballard is a classic power defensive end who is a jack of all trades, and master of none.

His biggest slight is that he’s not an elite pass rusher, but he’s still very solid in this regard. Ballard has long arms and is very good when working on the inside. NFL teams will love his versatility, not only on the line, but in what type of scheme they run.

There’s not much that you can say about Ballard. He is just an all around good player, and not especially “great” at anything. For the Hawkeyes, he was a durable and reliable starter, and he will be greatly missed by the fans. He is an excellent overall athlete and is very strong. Ballard’s toughness and athleticism will combine with his production and earn him a spot in the first three rounds of the draft.

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