by Ryan Myers
Photo courtesy of Hawk Fanatic.
At Draft 412, the NFL draft talk never ends. We will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars—from today and all the way until draft night 2024. We will bring you mock drafts, player profiles, individual team needs, and everything else you may need related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Iowa, Defensive Tackle, Yahya Black
Name - Yahya Black
Pos - DT
Team - Iowa
HT/WT - 6’5” 315 lbs.
Born - 04/21/2002
Home - Marshall, MN
Yahya Black played his high school football at Marshall High School where he lettered three times, helping his team to state playoffs in his sophomore and junior years. In his junior year, he was named district Defensive Lineman of the Year and as a senior, he earned all-state honors while being named district Defensive Player of the Year. He set the school record for career sacks with 17.5 and earned 3 star recruiting ratings from Rivals.com and ESPN while having a 4 star rating from 247sports. He chose Iowa as his next step in his football career over offers from Kansas State, South Dakota State, and North Dakota State.
In his freshman year at Iowa, Black saw action in 4 games and recorded 3 tackles and 1 TFL in his limited action. As a redshirt freshman, he played in all 14 games for the Hawkeyes and collected 11 tackles, 1 forced fumble, and 2 passes defended.
In his redshirt sophomore season, Black played in 9 games and recorded 18 tackles including 1.5 TFL, 1 sack and 1 pass defended. He earned a starting role for his 4th year at Iowa and is now climbing draft boards with his performance. So far this year, he has started in all 10 games for the Hawkeyes and has 41 tackles including 3 TFL, 2 sacks, and 1 forced fumble.
Black has an NFL ready 6’5”, 315 pound frame and with his size has proven to be a great run stopper. He consistently moves his offensive linemen backward to start the play with his strength and good burst, creating problems in both the run game and the passing game as the pocket shrinks. His long arms and strength make him a very reliable tackler.
However, Black tends to play with a pad level way too high while fighting through blocks. This limits his ability to overpower the offensive linemen and create pressure as he cannot get underneath the pads of his blocker. He makes up for this on occasion with his raw strength, but if he learns to play with more leverage, he will be a force on the inside for any defense. He also possesses slightly below average speed for the position which leads to his struggles in chase down and open field situations.
Black may not be an immediate impact player in the NFL, but if he adds a bit more mass and learns to play with better leverage and mechanics, he has a real shot to be a fantastic run-stopping threat.
Draft 412 Draft Prediction - 5th round or 6th round