The All-Time Iowa NFL Team
Alex Karras, George Kittle and more
Tight ends from the University of Iowa are drafting gold.
In 2016, George Kittle, Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson were stacked at the possition. Kittle was a fifth-round draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers in 2017 and both Fant and Hockenson were first-rounders in 2019. Kittle has already been to three Pro Bowls and was voted first-team all-pro for the NFC champions in 2019. Hockensen went to the Pro Bowl in 2020.
Since 1958, there have been 13 tight ends drafted by the NFL out of Iowa. All made their drafting teams and all caught passes in the NFL except one, Austin Wheatley, a fifth-round pick by the New Orleans Saints in 2000. He was the only Iowa tight end to play fewer than three NFL seasons. His career lasted one year.
Jonathan Hayes (1985, second round, Kansas City) played 12 seasons and Dallas Clark (2003, first round, Indianapolis) and Jim Gibbons (1958, sixth round, Detroit) 11 seasons apiece. Scott Chandler (2007, fourth round, San Diego) played nine seasons, Brandon Myers (2009, sixth round, Oakland) eight seasons and Marv Cook (1989, third round, New England) seven. Tony Moeaki (2010, third round, Kansas City) played five seasons and Scott Sluztker (1996, third round, Indianapolis) and C.J. Fiedorwicz (2014, third round, Houston) four seasons apiece.
Clark and Hockenson both won the Mackey Award as the best tight end in college football and Clark joined Kittle as the only Iowa tight ends ever voted first-team all-pro. Like Kittle, Gibbons went to three Pro Bowls, Cook went to two and Clark one. Those 13 Iowa tight ends have combined to play 83 NFL seasons, catching 2,466 passes for 27,812 yards and 184 touchdowns.
Tight end is the clear strength of the all-time University of Iowa NFL team, but safety isn’t far behind. The two top interceptors of all-time, Paul Krause (81) and Emlen Tunnell (79), both played in the defensive backfield at Iowa. They are among five Hall of Famers produced by the Hawkeyes.
Here’s Iowa’s all-time NFL team:
QB—Chuck Long, 21 career starts, 19 TD passes.
RB—Ed Podolak, NFL record 350 playoff yards in 1971 game against Miami Dolphins.
RB—Ronnie Harmon, 12 seasons, 582 catches, 24 TDs.
WR—Quinn Early, 12 seasons, 460 career catches, 40 TDs.
WR—Jerry Reichow, 1 Pro Bowl, 8 seasons, 172 career catches, 24 TDs.
*-TE—George Kittle, 3 Pro Bowls, 335 catches, 20 TDs.
OT—Duke Slater, Hall of Fame.
OT—John Alt, 2 Pro Bowls, 149 career starts.
G—Marshal Yanda, 8 Pro Bowls, 166 career starts.
G—John Niland, 6 Pro Bowls, 126 career starts.
C—Jay Hilgenberg, 7 Pro Bowls, 152 career starts.
DE—Adrian Clayborn, 10 seasons, 40 sacks.
DE—Aaron Kampman, 2 Pro Bowls, 10 seasons, 58 career sacks.
DT—Alex Karras, Hall of Fame.
DT—Karl Klug, 7 seasons, 21 ½ sacks.
LB—Andre Tippett, Hall of Fame.
LB—Chad Greenway, 2 Pro Bowls, 10 seasons, 1,103 career tackles.
LB—Wally Hilgenberg, 15 seasons, started in 4 Super Bowls.
CB—Bob Smith, 1 Pro Bowl, 6 seasons, 33 interceptions 4 TDs.
CB—Bob Jeter, 2 Pro Bowls, 11 seasons, 3-time NFL champion.
S—Paul Krause, Hall of Fame.
S—Emlen Tunnell, Hall of Fame.
K—Nate Kaeding, 2 Pro Bowls, NFL scoring leader in 2009.
P—Reggie Roby, 3 Pro Bowls, 1980s NFL all-decade team.
KR—Tim Dwight, 10 seasons, 3 career KR and 2 PR for TDs.
ST—Jim Jensen, 12 seasons, 97 career ST tackles, long snapper.