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2020 NFL Draft Quick Recap

Five Hawkeyes were selected this year, the most since 2012.

NFL Draft
There were no handshakes this year, but the Hawkeyes sent another player in the first round of the NFL Draft.
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The 2020 NFL Draft is officially behind us and despite an historic event wherein the draft in its entirety was held remotely, this were a resounding success. That goes for the NFL as a whole, a slew of teams who made out well, and the Iowa Hawkeyes.

For the 42nd consecutive year, the Hawkeyes had at least one player drafted. And for the second straight season, Iowa had a player chosen in the first round. That puts the Hawkeyes in some elite company.

As was pointed out by our own Doug Saye on Friday, that list is even shorter after this year’s draft.

  • Alabama - 12
  • Ohio State - 5
  • Georgia and Oklahoma - 3
  • LSU, Clemson, Iowa, TCU, Michigan, and Arizona State - 2

The 42 consecutive years with a draft pick is also impressive. It’s just 6 years shy of Iowa State’s run of 48 consecutive years without a first round pick. That’s the leader in the clubhouse by a full 21 years.

This year’s crop of five Hawkeyes selected in the NFL is the highest for Iowa since they had six drafted in 2012. It was also tied for the 11th most by any program in this year’s draft.

Here’s a rundown of which Hawkeyes went where.

Tristan Wirfs, OT

1st Round, 13th Overall - Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Draft Piece

A.J. Epenesa, DE

2nd Round, 54th Overall - Buffalo Bills

Draft Piece

Michael Ojemudia, CB

3rd Round, 77th Overall - Denver Broncos

Draft Piece

Geno Stone, S

7th Round, 218th Overall - Baltimore Ravens

Draft Piece

Nate Stanley, QB

7th Round, 244th Overall - Minnesota Vikings

Draft Piece

Since the conclusion of the draft, teams have been active in searching for undrafted free agents. This is where we’ve seen a tremendous number of Hawkeyes over the years find a home. While the five new draftees this season make it 75 total under head coach Kirk Ferentz, 113 former Hawkeyes has been signed to undrafted free agent deals heading into this year.

Its still early going, but we’ve already seen some Hawks find homes.

That includes the likes of tight end Nate Wieting, who will be headed to Cleveland.

Former linebacker Kristian Welch has also found a home for the immediate future, landing with Stone in Baltimore.

It wasn’t just former Hawkeye football players who found new homes, however. Former Iowa basketball player Ahmad Wagner, who transferred to Kentucky to pursue a career in football found his way into the league on Saturday. He too went undrafted, but signed a deal with the Chicago Bears.

Congratulations to all the former Hawkeyes and best of luck in the NFL.