6 Greatest NFL careers in Iowa football history

Who were the Hawkeyes that made the biggest impact at the next level?

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Paul Krause. . 1964-1979. Paul Krause. 60. . player. Paul Krause. Defensive Back. 1

Paul Krause is one of the NFL's greatest players of all time, regardless of position. His 115 WAV from Pro Football Reference is in the top 50 since 1960.

Krause was drafted by Washington in the second round of the 1964 NFL Draft and immediately became a problem for opposing quarterbacks. As a rookie, Krause collected 12 interceptions, just two shy of the NFL's long-standing record held by 'Night Train' Dick Lane. Somehow, he wasn't the Rookie of the Year, it went to some guy named Johnny Unitas instead.

Nonetheless, Krause was named to two Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams in his first four seasons with Washington. He moved on to Minnesota to play with the Vikings where he cemented himself as a legend.

Krause played in Super Bowl IX against the Pittsburgh Steelers. While he had six tackles and recovered one of the Steelers' four fumbles in the game, he wasn't able to pick off Terry Bradshaw, who only needed to throw 14 passes to give the Steelers the win.

The following season in 1975, Krause returned to form after seeing a dip in his interception numbers, grabbing 10, returning them for a league-leading 201 yards. He earned his final All-Pro selection and his eighth Pro Bowl that year.

By the end of the 1977 season, Krause had tied Tunnell's career interception mark. Krause missed nearly the entire 1978 season. But in his final season, Krause hauled in three picks, breaking the tie between the Hawkeyes and cementing his legacy on a record that may never be broken.

Krause had to wait until 1998 to be enshrined in Canton, but he holds the distinction of being one of the very best defensive backs in NFL history and the greatest NFL player to ever don the Black and Gold of Iowa.