The Iowa Hawkeyes had a solid 2023 season including an appearance in the Big 10 titles game. The Hawkeyes did lose that game to the eventual National Champion Michigan Wolverines, however. Unfortunately, The Hawkeyes ran into a brick wall that was Tennessee in their bowl game.
Iowa will still have firepower heading into the 2024 season, but they are also losing solid players on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Cooper DeJean is one of the top defenders in this year's draft and Erick All who is a top-five tight end.
The Hawkeyes will definitely hear their player's names called during the NFL Draft. Here is where I think these Iowa players will be taken in April.
Cooper DeJean is the top-rated cornerback on Mel Kiper Jr.'s latest big draft board. DeJean had his 2023 season cut short due to a lower leg injury, so his stats are not as great as they could have been, but he still finished with seven interceptions, three of them returned for a touchdown.
The Denver Broncos have a couple of glaring needs, most notable at the wide receiver and cornerback positions. With the No. 12 pick in the draft, it might be more beneficial for the Broncos to take a cornerback in the first round because they can take the top one. They need a cornerback that can pair well with Pat Surtain II to strengthen their secondary to give their defensive line time to get to the quarterback.
DeJean has good speed and ability to stay with receivers. He can track the ball well and has good hands when catching interceptions. He can be used as a cornerback, safety, punt, and kick returner. DeJean and Surtain could be one of the best cornerback tandems in the league.
Iowa is known as tight end university in the NFL with star players George Kittle, T.J. Hockenson, Noah Fant, and Sam LaPorta all being former Hawkeyes. Erick All can add to that list. With his size and ability to catch the ball, All would be a great addition to any offense. He also knows his role as a blocker and can make multiple blocks down the field.
The Los Angeles Chargers are a team that never could put it all together on offense or defense. With the possible departure of Austin Ekeler, the Chargers would probably use draft capital on the running back and wide receiver position. So the tight end position is something the Chargers can afford to get later in the draft.
Undrafted free agent
- P Troy Taylor