Multiple Iowa Hawkeyes litter ESPN’s ‘best of’ ahead of 2024 NFL draft

The 2024 NFL draft is only a few weeks away, taking place in Detroit, Michigan. Over the next three days, the Iowa Hawkeyes’ NFL pipeline history is likely to grow as teams select a few of names.

Cooper DeJean, the Hawkeyes’ top future draft pick, is predicted to be a first-round pick and may have sealed that with a strong pro day performance that included impressive testing statistics. Logan Lee, a defensive lineman, and Tory Taylor, a punter, will also follow DeJean’s draft voyage.

Each of these three has a distinct set of qualities that have propelled them into the NFL draft debate in recent months. All three of them have skills that can immediately benefit an NFL team.

Check out ESPN’s “best of” rankings for the Iowa Hawkeyes as the NFL draft approaches.
DeJean made seven career interceptions at Iowa, returning three for pick sixes. He’s an instinctive playmaker who has the coverage awareness and ball skills to generate turnovers. – Matthew Bowe, ESPN

Cooper DeJean is an accomplished ball hawk. During his time at Iowa, teams began to just refuse to throw his direction since the danger outweighed the gain. DeJean had seven interceptions with Iowa, three of which he returned for touchdowns.
Lee, a 6-foot-5 and 281-pound defensive lineman, excels at identifying interior passing lanes and batting down throws with his 32¼-inch arms. Lee recorded four pass breakups for the Hawkeyes last season. – Bowen, ESPN

Logan Lee has risen up the NFL draft rankings following his NFL combine performance. His height makes him an ideal candidate for the NFL. Logan Lee’s height, combined with his long arms, has the potential to give opposing passers fits.
Taylor averaged 48.2 yards per punt for the Hawkeyes last season, ranking fifth in the country. He also had 30 kicks downed within the 20-yard line, which matched for the most. Taylor has a large build at 6-foot-4 and 223 pounds, and he demonstrates the leg strength to move field position. – Bowen, ESPN

Tory Taylor was America’s best punter last year. Everyone knows he can punt the ball a long distance, but his ability to drop punts deep in opponents’ territory should not be underestimated. A team will utilize a draft pick on an Australian and be richly rewarded with a special teams weapon.
DeJean has All-Pro potential as a returner. He’s fearless, with the ball skills, vision, contact balance, and straight-line speed to make major plays on special teams. At Iowa, DeJean had six punt returns of 20 yards or more, including one score. Given the current NFL rule revisions, he might also be considered for kickoff returns. – Bowen, ESPN

DeJean has the power to turn a game on its head in an instant. He is lethal on a punt return, much like he is when he returns interceptions for touchdowns. Cooper DeJean got one touchdown vs Iowa and another called back on what could have been the most electrifying punt return of 2023.
Date: Round 1: Thursday, April 25; Rounds 2-3: Friday, April 26; Rounds 4-7: Saturday, April 27.

Round 1 begins at 7 p.m. CT, followed by rounds 2-3 at 6 p.m. CT and rounds 4-7 at 11 a.m. CT.

Campus Martius Park and Hart Plaza are in Detroit, Michigan.

TV networks: ESPN, NFL Network, ABC.

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