Former Iowa linebacker Ben Niemann on his 4.6 40 and a possible position switch at the next level. Mark Emmert/Hawk Central
Josh Jackson, eat your heart out.
The much-ballyhooed former Hawkeye and current Green Bay Packers cornerback may be expected to run back interceptions for touchdowns, but when former Iowa teammate Ben Niemann is rumbling picks to paydirt, that's a uniform of a different color.
The undrafted free agent linebacker has been turning heads this NFL preseason, and he may have sealed his spot with the Kansas City Chiefs after taking an interception back for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of Friday's 28-14 preseason victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
Niemann took a pass from Atlanta third-string quarterback Kurt Benkert (yes, who?) 26 yards for a score that put Kansas City ahead 26-14.
He almost bowled over veteran NFL referee Walt Coleman in the process. The white-hat made a savvy move to crumple to the ground and make way for the Niemann Express.
Niemann also led Kansas City with five tackles in the team's preseason opener.
At least one other former Hawkeye was taking notice.
The three-year starter at outside linebacker was timed in 4.6 seconds flat at his Iowa Pro Day, a noteworthy time for someone at 6-foot-3 and weighing 235 pounds.
“I think Ben’s got a lot to offer a team," Iowa teammate and current Denver Bronco Josey Jewell said of Niemann this past spring. "Maybe he hasn’t gotten the big hype and stuff like that — I think he’s fine without it — but I think he’ll do a great job on a team, whatever team he goes to and whatever he does. I think he’s a sneaky fast guy. He’s a football player, that’s for sure.”
And probably a full-time Chiefs football player, to be more exact.