The NFL Draft came to a close in the afternoon of Saturday, April 30, and seven players from the three state schools in Iowa had their dreams realized.

Eleven others soon joined, being offered undrafted free agent (UDFA) contracts, where they were able to choose which team they wanted to play for among the teams that offered them contracts (including UNI's Isaiah Weston, who signed with the Cleveland Browns).

While there are a few names from Iowa, Iowa State, and UNI that will soon have tryouts and hope to be signed to training camp contracts, here's the group from our state that have guaranteed the opportunity to show the league what they've got:

Iowa, Iowa State, and UNI Football Players Headed to the NFL

Young men from all three state schools are getting their opportunities to play at the next level, whether they were drafted or picked up as free agents. Here's where they landed!

One of the players that will soon have a chance to try out for two teams is the two-time Missouri Valley Football Conference (MVFC) defensive player of the year from UNI, Jared Brinkman. In the coming two weekends, Brinkman will try out with the New York Jets, and then the New England Patriots.

Andy Saigh
Andy Saigh

In the spring of 2021, the Iowa City native racked up 38 total tackles including nine for a loss over the Panthers' seven games. He also recorded three QB hits, forced two fumbles, recovered a fumble, and registered 3.5 sacks.

In the fall season of 2021, Brinkman totaled 73 tackles over 12 games including 15 tackles for a loss and seven sacks. He also forced and recovered a fumble, hit the opposing quarterback three times, and had a pass breakup as a six-foot defensive tackle.

Considering his relatively small size and the fact that he was doubled by opposing offensive linemen on every single snap he took, Brinkman's collegiate production is enough for him to have received the two tryouts he's gotten with the Jets and Patriots. The technical skill and football IQ he possesses may just be what gets him more than a tryout.

Don't be surprised if the All-American lands on a practice squad somewhere -- hell, he might even end up on a final 53-man roster.

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