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Here’s what stands out for Iowa football following the 2022 NFL Draft

Baltimore Ravens first-round pick Tyler Linderbaum, second from right, is pictured with head coach John Harbaugh, second from left, director of player personnel Joe Hortiz, left, and executive vice president and general manager Eric DeCosta, right.

In the recently completed NFL Draft …

Penn State led the Big Ten Conference with eight draft picks, the most for the Nittany Lions since 1996.

Iowa State had four players selected for the first time since 1977, when there were 12 rounds instead of seven.

Led by Wisconsin’s five, the seven-team Big Ten West Division had 20 players selected — nearly matching the entire Atlantic Coast Conference’s 21 draft picks and not far behind the Pacific-12 and Big 12 (25 each). Purdue had a first-round pick in George Karlaftis and a third-rounder in David Bell; 3-9 Nebraska had two second-round picks; Minnesota had two guys taken in the first three rounds and four overall. Even Illinois had three players drafted.

As for Iowa? Just two players were drafted, the program’s lowest total in six years — center Tyler Linderbaum to the Baltimore Ravens (first round, 25th overall) and defensive back Dane Belton to the New York Giants (fourth round, No. 114 overall).

Undrafted free agent signee Jack Koerner (left) intercepts a pass intended for No. 16 overall pick Jahan Dotson in Iowa's 23-20 win vs. Penn State on Oct. 9.

Yet the Hawkeyes beat Iowa State in Ames, by 10. They took down Penn State in an electric top-five home matchup that ultimately swayed a five-star safety to sign. They won the West Division outright and posted a 10-2 regular-season record.

This might be a good opportunity to give an extra hat tip to Iowa’s coaching staff. Phil Parker’s defense and LeVar Woods’ special teams maximized their output to help the Hawkeyes go 7-0 in regular-season games decided by 10 points or less. And give credit to Brian Ferentz’s offense, too, for finding enough big plays to outscore Minnesota in a tense 27-22 win in November that ultimately tipped the West.

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