Who would you say is the best NFL player among all the ex-Iowa Hawkeyes currently in the league?
When I thought about this, the answer that leaped to my mind was Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway. He hasn't missed a game in the last five seasons, and averaged 9.6 tackles per game last season. Greenway is a terrific pro player.
The NFL Network is counting down its top 100 NFL players, 10 per week. It has given us Nos. 61 through 100. So far, no ex-Hawkeyes.
Offensive linemen never get enough respect. I should have thought of Yanda immediately. The guy was a Pro Bowler last year. He's good.
Prisco wrote: This right guard has emerged as one of the league's best. He is a tough-guy mauler who can also block well in protection.
I'll cede to that.
So who are the top five former Hawkeyes in the NFL. My criteria would be like Prisco's and the NFL Network's. It isn't based on a body of work, but the here and now. So, tight end Dallas Clark would have been atop or near the top of this list the last several years, but not now. The same goes for defensive end Aaron Kampman.
I'll go with (in this order) Yanda, Greenway, New York Jets running back Shonn Greene (1,054 rushing yards last year), Indianapolis linebacker Pat Angerer (148 tackles last year), and ... and ... and then it gets difficult.
Defensive tackle Karl Klug had seven sacks in his rookie season for the Tennessee Titans. Defensive end Adrian Clayborn of Tampa Bay forced a pair of fumbles in December, and seems a safe bet to crack the top five soon and stay there a while. Nate Kaeding has been a Pro Bowl performer kicking for San Diego, but missed all but one game last season because of injury.
I'll go with Green Bay Packers offensive tackle Bryan Bulaga at fifth.
Do I have a glaring omission? Who would be in your top five?