Former Iowa Hawkeye George Kittle is widely regarded as one of the premier Tight Ends in the NFL today. A pair of recent first-round picks from Iowa, Noah Fant and T.J. Hockenson, now enter year four in the league and are seeking to fully establish themselves at the position as well.

We'll start in Detroit where T.J. Hockenson has had a nice but up-and-down start to his career. The Lions hold him in high regard, however, choosing to exercise his fifth-year option this offseason.

Over his first three seasons, Hockenson has missed 9 games but has been productive when on the field. In his tenure thus far in Detroit, he has amassed 1,673 yards and 12 touchdowns.

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Last season, despite missing 5 games, he recorded his highest yards per game in his career, following up on a Pro Bowl season in 2020.

As for Noah Fant, he'll have to prove himself in new surrounding this year. Part of the megadeal that sent Russell Wilson to Denver, Fant alongside others was shipped to Seattle as compensation.

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Like Hockenson, Fant has had his big moments thus far in his career and has missed just 3 games over his first 3 seasons. Despite inconsistent quarterback play, Fant has consistently produced nearly 600 receiving yards a season. In total, the former Hawkeye has 1,905 receiving yards and 10 scores in his time as a pro.

Last year, Fant caught a career-high 68 passes and also posted a career best 4 receiving touchdowns. After the trade, Seattle decided to pick up the fifth-year option on Fant as well.

Despite the inconsistency of the quarterback play in their respective careers, both Hockenson and Fant will look to firmly place themselves among the top-tier players at their position this season. The first-round expectation is real for these two former Hawkeyes, and we'll see how year number four goes with their respective teams.

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Source:, and Pro Football Reference


South Dakota Born NFL Players of this Century

While not a traditional powerhouse Nation Football League feeder, South Dakota has produces a fair number of football players that went on to the big time in the NFL.

Here are some that have played on various teams over the last couple of decades.

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