The 5 best Iowa Hawkeye hidden gems taken in the NFL draft since 2000

The Iowa Hawkeyes is a program notorious for giving the NFL some of its finest diamonds in the rough.

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Geno Stone. . Defensive Back. Geno Stone. player. Round 7, Pick 219. 4. . Geno Stone. 26

Geno Stone is both the youngest player on this list and the lowest-drafted player of the five. He just finished out his rookie contract with the Ravens and is looking to cash in on a successful first four years in free agency.

At Iowa, Stone was versatile, showing ball skills in 2018 with four interceptions and playing in the box more in 2019 with 70 tackles, three for loss and a sack. After watching his name get passed over more than 200 times, the Ravens finally called him at 219 to give him a job.

Stone had a breakout season in 2023, grabbing seven interceptions, which was second in the league. He did that while effectively sharing time in the defensive backfield with veteran Marcus Williams, who was signed in free agency to ensure the inexperienced seventh-rounder wouldn't be given too much responsibility. Turns out that was an unnecessary move as Stone will take his talents to the rival Cincinnati Bengals in 2024.

Stone was the 20th safety selected in his class in 2020, which has turned out to be a fairly strong class overall. Still, it's safe to say he's far better than the 20th best now in 2024.

. Defensive Back. Micah Hyde. Micah Hyde. . 3. 49. Micah Hyde. player. Round 5, Pick 159

Before there was Geno Stone, there was Micah Hyde. While Stone is still young in his career, Hyde has more than a decade of incredible success in the NFL.

Hyde quickly became a staple in the Green Bay Packers' defensive backfield starting in his second season in 2014. After three strong years, he hit the free agent market as one of the best safeties in the NFL at the time and landed in Buffalo where he has since been a premier player on a perennial Super Bowl contender. Ironically, he paired up with Jordan Poyer in Buffalo, a seventh-round pick from the same draft class.

Hyde has 24 interceptions in his career and over 600 tackles. Not bad for the 38th defensive back selected in the 2013 NFL Draft.