NFL training camp is underway. Here's how Iowa football's rookies are doing

Current Iowa football players will begin fall camp this week in preparation for the 2022 college football season. Elsewhere, several recently departed players are a few weeks into their first NFL training camp, attempting to make an impression on their new teams. 

Iowa rookies reported between July 18 and 23, with veterans reporting a few days after. The Hawkeyes had two draft picks in 2022: Dane Belton (Giants) and Tyler Linderbaum (Ravens) but there are a few undrafted players vying for a spot on the active roster or practice squad this fall. 

Here's an update on several players in the early days of NFL training camp: 

Tyler Linderbaum, Baltimore Ravens 

Tyler Linderbaum was the fifth Iowa offensive lineman to become a first-round draft pick when the Baltimore Ravens selected him No. 25 overall in April.

The Ravens traded up in the first round in April to select Linderbaum with the No. 25 pick. He made an early impression on starting quarterback Lamar Jackson in June, showcasing his speed during June off-season workouts. Now as the projected starting center, Linderbaum is working both on mastering the offense and becoming a leader. 

"It's a day-by-day thing," Linderbaum said to local reporters. "Every practice, there's something I can improve on to make this offensive line better. Just continue to be more commanding, continue to slide into a leadership role, because I have to be the communicator out there. I have to be commanding, and just every day trying to get better at that."

Jackson was hit 16 times per game last season, the most of any quarterback in the league. Linderbaum will be counted on to immediately mitigate that, especially in pass protection where he allowed pressure on just 1.1% of pass blocks in his collegiate career at Iowa.

More:Baltimore Ravens' NFL Draft pick Tyler Linderbaum draws rave reviews: 'He's a 10-year All-Pro'

A foot injury suffered in Iowa's bowl game and subsequent questions about his arm length, size and scheme versatility lowered draft expectations on Linderbaum. So far, it doesn't appear to have hindered any progress. 

"First of all he's feisty," Baltimore defensive tackle Michael Pierce said. "You look around at the league at guys like (Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce), there's a lot of smaller centers that do well. We got some big boys to protect him. On those reach blocks he's been hard to deal with. He's going to be fine." 

Former Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum (65) is working his way up to being a leader on the Baltimore Ravens' offensive line.

Linderbaum is balancing the humility rookies need with the demand of his position to be vocal on the field. Coach John Harbaugh noted how focused Linderbaum has been early on and that he expects continued improvement as camp continues. 

"I would say Tyler is all ball," Harbaugh said. "He doesn't say a lot. I say, 'Hi' to him, and sometimes he says 'Hi' back. Sometimes he's in his center world thinking about blitzes.

"But I think he's handling it well. He doesn't make very many mistakes so far. That's a big challenge. That's going to be the rookie challenge all year, as far as the mental part of it. And then he's thinking about when the pads come on; he wants to make sure he holds his own in there because those big defensive tackles are going to test him. We'll see how he does."

Baltimore center Tyler Linderbaum, right, and Aron Johnson run a drill during a May 25 practice.

Dane Belton, New York Giants 

Defensive back Dane Belton emerged as an attractive mid-round draft option to teams because of his versatility. His 46 tackles, seven pass deflections and five interceptions last season served as evidence that he can make an impact in both pass and run defense. 

Former Iowa defensive back Dane Belton (4) was making strides with the New York Giants before a recent injury.

"Every team I've talked to really loves how I can play multiple positions," Belton said to Hawk Central in April. "Being able to play that nickel position, a lot of teams have talked about that's almost their base package, especially with the tight ends in the league now. Being able to do multiple things really intrigues teams and hopefully leads to success for me." 

The Giants selected Belton in the fourth round of the draft. He's listed as the second-string free safety, signifying that his role for now is to be a major special teams contributor. But Belton has had a few starter reps early in camp and took advantage, recording an interception on starting quarterback Daniel Jones during a team practice a few days ago. 

However, Belton has experienced a setback. According to multiple reports, Belton has suffered a broken collarbone injury. He held out of Giants practice on Monday and was seen with his arm in a sling. He'll miss an extended period of time but there's some optimism that he can still be ready for the start of the regular season. 

More:Why Dane Belton may become the next unsung Iowa football prospect to star in NFL

Tyler Goodson, Green Bay Packers 

Green Bay Packers running back Tyler Goodson (39) is competing for the third running back spot on the team.

Despite back-to-back All-Big Ten seasons at running back, Tyler Goodson went undrafted in spring. The Green Bay Packers quickly signed Goodson following the draft to compete for the third running back spot behind established duo Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon. 

Goodson is taking advantage of an opportunity created by injury. Packers 2021 seventh-round pick Kylin Hill suffered a torn ACL injury last season and entered training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. If he remains on the PUP list by the start of the regular season, he'll be sidelined for at least the first four games. 

The battle for the third running back spot for now is between Goodson and Patrick Taylor, who the Packers signed as an undrafted free agent in 2020. Taylor was just activated off of the PUP list himself on July 28. 

Subscriber special:The 2022 Brian Ferentz podcast with Hawk Central's Chad Leistikow

Goodson's speed and pass-catching ability has been on display early, recording a touchdown pass from backup quarterback Jordan Love a few days ago. It will remain a fluid situation throughout camp, but it appears he'll have an opportunity to make the team in some capacity. 

Caleb Shudak, Tennessee Titans 

Kicker Caleb Shudak entered Titans training camp on the PUP list a few weeks ago. On Monday, he was one of two players still on the list. Players on the PUP list are allowed to participate in meetings and use team facilities, but they can’t practice. 

There’s no initial penalty for a player going on the PUP list; they can be activated at any time during the preseason. However, once activated they cannot be returned to the PUP list. 

When healthy, Shudak impressed coach Mike Vrabel with his range, connecting on a 55-yard field goal during off-season workouts. Randy Bullock and Shudak are the only kickers on the Titans roster, and another kicker entering camp doesn't seem imminent. When healthy, Shudak is expected to provide competition to the veteran Bullock. 

More:Iowa football's Jestin Jacobs is receiving 2023 NFL Draft buzz. What's his 2022 season outlook?

Other Iowa football rookies on rosters

The other Iowa football rookies on NFL rosters are defensive back Matt Hankins (Atlanta Falcons) and defensive end Zach VanValkenburg (Las Vegas Raiders). 

More:Iowa picked second in West in Big Ten football media poll; Jack Campbell receives big honor

Kennington Lloyd Smith III covers Iowa Hawkeyes football and men's basketball for the Des Moines Register. You can connect with Kennington on Twitter @SkinnyKenny_ or email him at