All The Former Hawkeyes Who Made NFL Teams This Season
Roster cutdown day in the NFL was on Tuesday. It is the day when teams have to trim their rosters down from nearly 90 players to the league maximum of 53 for the start of the regular season. It is a tough day for many players who if cut, may never play another down in the NFL. But for 29 former Iowa Hawkeye football players, the dream continues.
The Des Moines Register put together a list of all the former Iowa players who made NFL teams this fall. Some are names you've heard, while others you might not have even known were still in the league.
CJ Beathard - Jacksonville Jaguars QB - Beathard is entering his sixth season in the NFL, his third in Jacksonville. He was drafted in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers. He will be the backup to starter Trevor Lawrence.
Dane Belton - New York Giants S - Belton is entering his second season in the Big Apple after the Giants selected him in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft. Belton started five games last season and had 2 interceptions.
Jack Campbell - Detroit Lions LB - The former Hawkeye middle linebacker was selected by Detriot 18th overall in this spring's NFL Draft. He had a great preseason and figures to play a key role in an improving Lions defense.
James Daniels - Pittsburgh Steelers OL - The Chicago Bears drafted Daniels in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, but the guard is starting his second season with Pittsburgh. He started all 17 games for the Steelers last season.
A.J. Epenesa - Buffalo Bills DL - Epenesa is entering his fourth season with the Bills after being selected 54th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. With Von Miller on the PUP list, Epenesa will see plenty of action to start the season.
Noah Fant - Seattle Seahawks TE - Fant is in his fifth NFL season and his second with the Seahawks after coming over as part of the Russell Wilson trade. Fant caught 50 passes and 4 touchdowns last season.
Chancey Golston - Dallas Cowboys DL - Golston is entering his third NFL season after Dallas selected him in the third round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Golston played in 15 games last season and recorded 22 tackles.
T.J. Hockenson - Minnesota Vikings TE - Hockenson was drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions but was traded to the Vikings in the middle of last season. He figures to be a major contributor in the Viking offense.
Amani Hooker - Tennessee Titans S - Hooker is entering his fifth season in the NFL after being drafted by the Titans in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. Hooker has 179 tackles and six interceptions in his NFL career.
Micah Hyde - Buffalo Bills S - Hyde is entering his 11th season in the NFL. He spent his first four seasons in Green Bay and the past six seasons in Buffalo. Hyde hasn't missed a start in the past five NFL seasons.
Alaric Jackson - Los Angeles Rams OL - Jackson is entering his third season with the Rams after signing as an undrafted free agent prior to the 2021 NFL season. He appeared in 8 games last season with six starts.
Josey Jewell - Denver Broncos LB - Jewell is entering his sixth season with the Broncos after being selected in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Jewell had 128 tackles in 13 starts for the Broncos last season.
Desmond King - Pittsburgh Steelers CB - King was cut by the Houston Texans this week but was quickly signed by the Steelers. Now in his seventh NFL season, King has spent time with the Chargers, Titans, and Texans.
George Kittle - San Francisco 49ers TE - Kittle is the most productive former Iowa football player in the NFL. He was selected by the 49ers in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. Kittle has been a Pro Bowler for two straight seasons and four times overall in his NFL career.
Casey Kreiter - New York Giants LS - Kreiter is entering his eighth NFL season and his fourth as a long snapper for the Giants. He spent his first four years with the Denver Broncos.
Sam LaPorta - Detroit Lions TE - The Lions made LaPorta the 12th Iowa tight end drafted during the Kirk Ferentz era at Iowa. After a solid preseason, LaPorta is ready to star for an explosive Lions offense.
Tyler Linderbaum - Baltimore Ravens C - Linderbaum was selected with the 25th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and started all 17 games as a rookie. He'll be part of an improved Baltimore offense in 2023.
Riley Moss - Denver Broncos CB - The Denver Broncos made Moss a third-round pick in this spring's NFL Draft. The former Hawkeye will see plenty of time in the Denver secondary.
Anthony Nelson - Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB - Nelson is entering his fifth season after being selected by Tampa Bay in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft. He appeared in all 17 games last year and made 7 starts.
Matt Nelson - Detroit Lions OL - Nelson is entering his fourth year in Detroit after signing as an undrafted free agent ahead of the 2020 season. Nelson actually was an offensive lineman at Iowa but switched positions in the NFL.
Kaevon Merriweather - Tampa Bay Buccaneers S - The undrafted free agent had quite the preseason for the Bucs, with eight tackles, a fumble recovery, and a pass defended.
Nick Niemann - Los Angeles Chargers LB - Niemann was drafted by the Chargers in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft and will provide the Chargers with some depth at linebacker.
Riley Reiff - New England Patriots OL - The veteran offensive lineman is entering his 12th NFL season and first with the Patriots. Reiff has also played for the Lions, Vikings, Bengals, and the Bears.
Brandon Scherff - Jacksonville Jaguars OL - Scherff is entering his ninth NFL season and his second in Jacksonville. He spent his first seven years in the NFL in Washington.
Ihmir Smith-Marsette - Carolina Panthers WR - Smith-Marsette began the year with the Kansas City Chiefs. After a stellar preseason, he was traded to Carolina. The Panthers will be his fourth team since entering the league in 2021.
Geno Stone - Baltimore Ravens S - Stone is entering his fourth season in Baltimore after the Ravens selected him in the seventh round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He played in every game last year including seven starts.
Lukas Van Ness - Green Bay Packers LB - The Packers selected Van Ness 13th overall in this spring's NFL Draft. The man with the nickname 'Hercules' will help add to an already impressive Packer pass rush.
Zach VanValkenburg - Los Angeles Rams LB - VanValkenburg makes his first active roster in the NFL after a nice preseason, racking up 11 tackles for the Rams.
Tristin Wirfs - Tampa Bay Buccaneers OL - Wirfs was selected 13th overall in the 2020 NFL Draft and got to protect the blindside of Tom Brady. Now in his fourth NFL season, he'll have to protect a new quarterback.