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College Football: Seven Iowa Hawkeyes find pro careers after 2024 NFL Draft

IOWA CITY - A total of seven Iowa Hawkeye football players have landed pro careers so far after the the 2024 NFL Draft.

Cooper DeJean
via Hawkeye sports
IOWA CITY – A total of seven Iowa Hawkeye football players have landed pro careers so far after the the 2024 NFL Draft.

University of Iowa defensive back and return specialist Cooper DeJean was selected by the Philadelphi Eagles in the second round of Friday’s NFL Draft. Cooper was the 40th player picked overall. He is the 19th defensive back selected in the Kirk Ferentz era and eighth in the last eight years.

The selection of DeJean gives the Iowa football program eight first or second round selections over the last five drafts. DeJean is the third defensive back to be chosen in the second round in the Ferentz era (Bob Sanders in 2004; Josh Jackson in 2018).

DeJean, a native of Odebolt, Iowa, was one of top defensive players in the nation in 2023 before being sidelined with a season-ending injury on Nov. 15. The consensus All-American finished his junior campaign with 41 tackles, two TFL, two interceptions and five pass break-ups in 10 games. He did not allow a touchdown pass in 388 snaps in coverage in 2023. As a punt returner, DeJean was one of the nation’s best. He had a 70-yard punt return for a game-winning score against Michigan State. DeJean (6-foot-1, 203-pounds) was second in the Big Ten and ranks 14th nationally, averaging 11.5 yards per return.

DeJean was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe and Bronko Nagurski awards and a semifinalist for the Lott IMPACT Trophy in 2023. He was also recognized as the Tatum-Woodson Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year and the Rodgers-Dwight Big Ten Return Specialist of the Year last season.

Philadelphia posted an 11-6 record and finished second in the NFC East in 2023. The Eagles most recently drafted a Hawkeye in 2012 when they selected wide receiver Marvin McNutt in the sixth round.

Also, University of Iowa defensive lineman Logan Lee stays in the black and gold after being selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the sixth round of Saturday’s NFL Draft. Lee was the 178th player picked overall.

Lee joins other Hawkeyes in the 2024 NFL Draft: TE Erick All (Cincinnati, fourth round); P Tory Taylor (Chicago, fourth round), Logan Lee, Joe Evans, Noah Shannon and Steven Stilianos. Iowa has had four or more NFL Draft selections five of the last six years, including 2023 and 2024.

Lee was a two-time honorable mention All-Big Ten and Academic All-Big Ten honoree (2022 & 2023). The native of Orion, Illinois, also served on the Player Council three times.

Lee started 41 of 43 games as a Hawkeye, totaling 158 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, nine sacks, and seven pass break-ups. Lee led all Hawkeye defensive linemen with 55 tackles last season. Starting all 14 games at defensive tackle in 2023, he totaled 5.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, three pass break-ups and blocked a field goal.

Pittsburgh won 10 games last season and competed in the first round of the NFL Playoffs last January. The Steelers’ most recently drafted an Iowa player in 2008 when they chose linebacker Mike Humpal in the second round.

Iowa has had at least one player drafted in every NFL Draft since 1978. DeJean is the 86th player coached by Kirk Ferentz at the University of Iowa to be selected in the NFL Draft.

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