The 5 best NFL first-round picks in Iowa Hawkeye history since 2000

These Hawkeyes made a name forthemselves in Iowa City before becoming icons at the next level.
New Orleans Saints v Minnesota Vikings
New Orleans Saints v Minnesota Vikings / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages
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The Iowa Hawkeyes have produced some incredible talents for the NFL over the years. Many of those players went overlooked and were drafted a bit later than maybe they should have been.

But that doesn't mean the Hawkeyes only produce hidden gems. Iowa has seen 26 players selected in the first round all-time. They'll look to add one more at the 2024 NFL Draft as Cooper DeJean projects to be selected on Day One.

Many of those 26 players have gone on to have fantastic careers, but a surge of great talents this side of the millennia has been particularly special. Half of those first-round picks have come since 2000 and nearly all of them have produced as advertised. A select few have been even better.

In ranking the five best Iowa first-rounders, we'll look at the contributions of the former Hawkeyes both as an individual and in helping bring team success.

No. 5 Chad Greenway

Linebacker Chad Greenway was the 17th-overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. He spent his entire career in Minnesota and, from a national perspective, was a woefully underappreciated player throughout his nine-year career.

This is largely because the Vikings weren't very good for most of his career. The two Brett Favre years in Minnesota allowed for some team success, especially in 2009 when the Vikings reached the NFC Championship.

However, in six of his seasons in Minnesota, the Vikings posted a .500 record or worse.

This hampered his ability to garner much national recognition as he scored two Pro Bowls in his career. A lot of media attention instead went to the Vikings' impressive defensive line, led by Jared Allen.

For his career, Greenway posted 1,103 total tackles, 62 for a loss with 18 sacks. He also forced eight fumbles and recovered 11 of his own. Greenway also scored on two of his 11 career interceptions.

Off the field, Greenway was the recipient of the 2014 NFLPA Alan Page Community Award given annually to a player who goes above and beyond to perform community service in his hometown and team city.