2. Marshal Yanda
Marshal Yanda attended Anamosa High School in Iowa before spending two seasons with North Iowa Area Community College. After a successful tenure there, he joined the Iowa football team where he earned All-Big Ten honors and did enough to convince the Baltimore Ravens to select him in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft.
His career with the Baltimore Ravens has been nothing short of spectacular. He is a seven-time Pro Bowler and a six-time All-Pro. Moreover, according to Pro Football Focus, he was ranked as the top guard from 2014 to 2016. At the ripe age of 34, Yanda shows no signs of slowing down.
For me, ranking Yanda as the second-best player in the NFL was an easy choice. He’s still performing at a high level despite being on the backside of his NFL career, and he’s been arguably the most consistent and longest-tenured Hawkeye in the last two decades. He easily tops the list of top-earning Hawks in the NFL, but with just a few more years (at most left in this league), his time on this list will likely end soon.