Six players from Iowa, Iowa State Were Drafted by NFL Teams
Every NFL team got some form of help this weekend with the 2022 NFL Draft. 262 players were drafted in the seven rounds of the event, which lasted three days. That also doesn't take into account a plethora of undrafted free agents, who were not selected during the formal draft and instead signed by teams upon its conclusion.
I'm a die-hard Bears fan, so it's been a rough couple of years to see the team operate with fewer draft selections on top of just being underwhelming all around.
That said, it was a solid draft for Iowa players. Two Hawkeyes were selected, including one in the first round, and four Cyclones came off the board by the time the draft concluded.
The Hawkeyes' rock-solid center Tyler Linderbaum got a lot of attention during the season and in the off-season. Linderbaum wound up in a terrific situation being drafted by the Baltimore Ravens, who held the 25th pick in the draft. It looks like he'll be working closely with their star quarterback Lamar Jackson. However, Linderbaum wasn't the first Iowa player to be taken last Thursday night.
Offensive tackle Trevor Penning was picked up the by the New Orleans Saints with the 19th overall pick. Penning shined in his five-year career with the Panthers, and entered last season as one of the highest-rated offensive tackles. He's an Iowa native to boot; he was born in Clear Lake, Iowa and went to high school in Mason City before committing to play for Northern Iowa. Penning also grew up being a Minnesota Vikings fan.
The first running back off the board happened to be a Cyclone too. Breece Hall was drafted by the New York Jets at #36, where he'll be receiving handoffs from sophomore quarterback Zach Wilson. Hall got the starting nod his true freshman year when David Montgomery left for the NFL (to be the Bears' #1 running back, and a good one at that!) Running backs have gotten the short end of the stick in terms of draft position and contract extensions as of late, so it was cool to see Hall not only be the first one off the board but also have a legitimate shot at being the top running back on the Jets.
Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy wound up closing out the draft. He was taken with the final pick (#262) by the San Francisco 49ers, making him this year's "Mr. Irrelevant" (the name given to the final pick of the draft). While the Niners have Trey Lance looking to be the full-time starter this season, there's no harm in taking a flyer on a guy who could wind up starting in a pinch later. Purdy had a productive career at Iowa State, tossing 81 touchdowns and throwing for more than 12,000 yards.
Time will tell how these players fare in the NFL. But the state of Iowa got some more love on draft night with a handful of players looking to make waves in the league.