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.
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No. 2 Tristian Wirfs

Tristian Wirfs instantly became one of the NFL's best right tackles once he was selected 13th overall by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2020 NFL Draft.

With the Bucs signing plenty of weapons for Tom Brady, Wirfs was brought in to help keep the legend upright and he performed even better than what could reasonably be expected. Tampa Bay won Super Bowl LV with the rookie Wirfs leading the charge in the running game and pass protection.

In 2021, Pro Football Reference indicates by its Approximate Value score that Wirfs was the best player on the team for the Buccaneers. He was gifted the first of his three Pro Bowls to date and his first All-Pro selection as a result.

Wirfs hasn't even signed his second contract yet, but when he does it will most likely be the most expensive right tackle contract in the NFL. With such a strong start to his career, the best may be yet to come for this Hawkeye.

No. 1 Dallas Clark

As if there could be another selection. Dallas Clark was drafted 24th overall by the Indianapolis Colts in 2003 and quickly became one of Peyton Manning's favorite targets in an offense that was already stacked with weapons.

Clark played in the NFL Playoffs in each of his first eight seasons. Manning's neck injury in 2011 led to Clark's final season in Indy to be largely forgettable and his one-season stints in Tampa Bay and Baltimore weren't enough to get those teams into the postseason.

Still, Clark is likely a Hall of Famer one day. Despite just one Pro Bowl and All-Pro selection to his name, Clark was a star for the Colts' prolific offense that reached two Super Bowls, including the win over Chicago in Super Bowl XLI.

For his career, Clark caught 505 passes for 5,665 yards and 53 touchdowns.

While it took a decade and a half after his selection for Iowa to earn the distinction of TE-U, it all got started with Clark in 2003. His impressive career makes him easily the best first-round pick since 2000 for Iowa. All-time, likely only Alex Karras had a better career as a first-round Hawkeye in the NFL.

Up Next:

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