Position battles: Iowa Hawkeyes

Spring practice is just around the corner in the Big Ten. Michigan and Northwestern will be on the field before the end of this month, and the rest of the league will follow shortly after.

With that in mind, we're taking a look at some spring position battles to watch for each Big Ten team. We'll key on two to three spots for each squad and give you the outlook.

Up next: Iowa

Quarterback: Both C.J. Beathard and Jake Rudock had turns leading the offense last fall, and neither was able to really solidify himself as the full-time answer for Kirk Ferentz. The Iowa coaching staff made some minor waves by listing Beathard at the top of the postseason depth chart, but in reality that doesn’t mean much since they’ll have all of spring and then training camp in the fall to sort out the competition. The Hawkeyes also have Tyler Wiegers waiting in reserve after he redshirted last season and he could potentially add some intrigue to a quarterback derby that will receive no shortage of attention.

Left tackle: One of the most physically gifted blockers in the country is gone, and regardless of who winds up winning the quarterback job, Iowa is going to need to find somebody to anchor the protection on the edge in place of Brandon Scherff. Boone Myers and Cole Croston both have size and have spent time in the program learning the system and gaining strength, and considering the big shoes they’re trying to fill, this camp could serve as a crucial audition. The Hawkeyes have room to improve across the line, but tackle figures to be the focus.

Defensive tackle: A talented tandem that gave Iowa little reason to worry about the interior of its defensive line is now gone, and Carl Davis and Louis Trinca-Pasat won’t be easy to replace. Iowa does have some upperclassmen on hand to potentially help ease the transition, and there actually isn’t all that much experience to draw on among Jaleel Johnson, Faith Ekakitie, Nathan Bazata and Kyle Terlouw. The Hawkeyes will need to find at least two reliable contributors out of that group with so much production now out the door and heading to the next level.