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Iowa's Geno Stone, Nate Stanley are Day 3 picks in NFL Draft

Chad Leistikow
Hawk Central

Half of Iowa's secondary has been selected in this year's NFL Draft, 142 picks apart.

A day after cornerback Michael Ojemudia was made a third-round pick by the Denver Broncos, strong safety Geno Stone was scooped up in the seventh round by the Baltimore Ravens.

Geno Stone (9) became Iowa's fourth pick of the NFL Draft, going in the seventh round to Baltimore.

The native of New Castle, Pennsylvania, rolled the dice in declaring for the NFL after three seasons at Iowa. And he had a lackluster performance at the NFL Scouting Combine. But there was no denying his knack for playing defense in an undersized frame (5-foot-10, 207 pounds), both in tackling and ball skills (he tied for Iowa's lead with four interceptions as a sophomore in 2018).

Stone is also a ready-made special-teams player at the next level, and he lands with a franchise known for its defense. NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah was miffed that Stone didn't have more league-wide interest.

“I couldn’t get any support for him around the league," Jeremiah said after Stone's selection to Baltimore at No. 219 overall, which projects to net him a $107,000 signing bonus according to spotrac.com. "All the guy does is pick off balls. He plays faster than he times. He’s quick to read, key and diagnose. He delivers big hits. He plays with energy.

“I thought this guy was a darn good football player and didn’t imagine he’d be available at this point in time.”

Stone was Iowa's fourth pick of the draft, following first-rounder Tristan Wirfs (Tampa Bay Buccaneers), second-rounder A.J. Epenesa (Buffalo Bills) and Ojemudia. He is the 16th defensive back under Kirk Ferentz to be taken in the NFL Draft.

Later in the seventh round, quarterback Nate Stanley went off the board as a pick of the Minnesota Vikings with the No. 244 overall pick (out of 255 in the seven-round draft).

Stanley, the No. 2 passer in Iowa history, will back up Kirk Cousins in Minnesota. Stanley told the Register recently that 10 to 12 teams with established backups were pursuing his services. This seems like a great fit for the three-year Hawkeye starter; a place where he can be a positive locker-room force and learn the system with a chance to eventually land a No. 1 job.