NFL players are signed and released every single day, but it isn’t often that one former Hawkeye replaces another.
That’s exactly what happened Thursday when the New England Patriots announced its decision to release linebacker A.J. Edds and replace him on the 53-man roster with practice squad player and former Iowa teammate Jeff Tarpinian.
The Patriots claimed Edds off of waivers earlier this month from the Miami Dolphins. The former Second Team All-Big Ten linebacker for the Hawkeyes was selected by the Dolphins in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft, but missed all of the 2010 season after tearing his ACL in training camp.
Edds made appearances in the first two regular season games for the Patriots this season, recording one tackle.
Tarpinian joined New England as an undrafted free agent. He was released on Sept. 12, but was then signed to the Patriots practice squad two days later.
New England expects Tarpinian to not only be an option at linebacker, but also add versatility to special teams. The former Hawkeye battled injuries during his college career but when healthy proved to be solid both as a defender and special teams player.
Hawkeye fans will certainly remember the hit Tarpinian put on Michigan kick returner Darryl Stonum in 2009.
For the second consecutive year, six Iowa Hawkeye football players were selected in the NFL Draft.
Twelve players drafted in the last two years ranks third-best among college football programs. Only USC (16) and Florida (13) have had more players taken in that span.
Here’s a breakdown of who was selected:
– All-American defensive lineman Adrian Clayborn was the first Hawkeye picked — going 20th overall to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Clayborn is the fifth Iowa player in the Kirk Ferentz era to be taken in the first round.
– Fellow defensive linemen Christian Ballard was taken in the fourth round by the Minnesota Vikings. Projected to be possibly a second or third round selection, Ballard’s draft stock may have dropped slightly after it was discovered he tested positive for marijuana at the combine in February.
– Quarterback Ricky Stanzi was the third Hawkeye taken, going in the fifth round to the Kansas City Chiefs. His teammates include fellow former Hawkeyes Tony Moeaki and Casey Wiegmann. Stanzi is the first Iowa quarterback to be drafted since Matt Rodgers went in the 12th round to Buffalo in the 1992 draft.
– Defensive lineman Karl Klug and offensive lineman Julian Vandervelde were also picked in the fifth round. Klug, a second-team All-Big Ten player, was selected by the Tennessee Titans, while Vandervelde went to the Philadelphia Eagles.
– The last Hawkeye to go off the board was safety Tyler Sash. He was taken in the sixth round by the New York Giants.
Punter Ryan Donahue, wide receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos, tight end Allen Reisner, safety Brett Greenwood and linebackers Jeremiha Hunter and Jeff Tarpinian went undrafted. With the NFL Lockout still in place, they are unable to sign with NFL teams until an agreement is reached.
It will be interesting to see if any elect to play in the United Football League. The UFL Draft is May 2.