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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. Round 3, Pick 86. player. Offensive Guard. . Marshal Yanda. Marshal Yanda. 2. 26. Marshal Yanda

To be fair, the third round is often where the NFL finds its best value. These guys are usually locks to make the team their rookie season and are expected to contribute in a meaningful manner before their rookie contracts expire. But finding a bonafide Hall of Famer is a completely different story.

Marshal Yanda was the first Hawkeye selected in the 2007 NFL Draft and the 12th offensive lineman taken. In a class that already has four Hall of Fame inductions, Yanda is sure to be one of the next to be enshrined in Canton from the class. Of course, of those Hall of Fame caliber players, Yanda was the only one selected outside of the first round.

Yanda went to eight Pro Bowls, topped only by Joe Thomas from the class, and was twice named First-Team All-Pro. He won a Super Bowl with the Ravens and for a solid decade was recognized as the best right guard in the NFL.

Sure, Yanda wasn't an afterthought in the 2007 NFL Draft, but he sure could've been drafted higher for everything his career gave to the league.

. . Round 5, Pick 146. George Kittle. George Kittle. player. Tight End. George Kittle. 1. 42

Yanda isn't the only future Hall of Famer that scouts and general managers in the NFL overlooked from the Iowa Hawkeyes. Despite Iowa being TE-U, George Kittle wasn't selected until the fifth round in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Of course, Kittle was one of the leaders in giving Iowa that distinction as he's easily one of the top five tight ends in the NFL. Coming out of Iowa with 48 receptions for 738 yards and 10 touchdowns, Kittle was overlooked as the ninth tigth end selected.

Of the tight ends still in the league from his class, most of them now look up to Kittle. He has since established a National Tight Ends Day in the NFL and set up Tight End University for tight ends around the league to come together to bond and continue to build upon an increasingly more important position in the game.

Kittle has had an excellent career so far with the San Francisco 49ers, having played in two Super Bowls, making multiple Pro Bowls and being named to All-Pro teams multiple times as well. He's well on his way to the Hall of Fame early in his career, so the best could still be yet to come for one of the greatest Hawkeyes in the NFL ever.

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