Five former Iowa football players participated in the NFL Combine. Here's how they fared.

Kennington Lloyd Smith III
Des Moines Register

College football's best prospects descended upon Indianapolis last week for the 2023 NFL Combine, and the group included five former Iowa football players.

Four defensive players (defensive backs Riley Moss and Kaevon Merriweather, linebacker Jack Campbell and defensive lineman Lukas Van Ness) joined tight end Sam LaPorta at the Combine in hopes of impressing NFL teams.

Campbell and Van Ness highlight Iowa's 2023 draft class as likely first- or second-round picks while the other players will provide good value to NFL teams in the middle to late rounds. The Combine solidified certain players' draft positioning while others might have risen up draft boards with strong workouts.

Here's how each Iowa player performed. Players are listed in the order in which they worked out:

Lukas Van Ness, defensive end

Iowa defensive lineman Lukas Van Ness speaks to reporters at the NFL Combine.
  • Height: 6-feet-5 inches
  • Weight: 272 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.58 - T-9th at position
  • 10-yard split: 1.84 - T-7th
  • Vertical leap: 31 inches - 15th
  • Broad jump: 9-feet, 10 inches - T-10th
  • 3-cone drill: 7.02 seconds - 2nd
  • 20-yard shuttle: 4.32 - 2nd
  • Bench press: N/A

Van Ness solidified himself as a first-round pick, potentially as high as top 15. His athletic ability was on display as he finished with a Relative Athletic Score (a NFL Combine measuring tool) of 9.22 out of 10. Much has been made about him not being a starter at Iowa but it could be argued that he's just scratching the surface of his potential.

More:Why Lukas Van Ness, Iowa football's 'Hercules,' is a dream prospect at this week's NFL Combine

Jack Campbell, linebacker

Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell participates in drills during the NFL Combine.
  • Height: 6-feet-5 inches
  • Weight: 249 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.65 - 11th at position
  • 10-yard split: 1.59 - T-6th
  • Vertical leap: 37.5 inches - 3rd
  • Broad jump: 10-feet, 8 inches - 2nd
  • 3-cone drill: 6.74 seconds - 1st
  • 20-yard shuttle: 4.24 - 1st
  • Bench press: N/A

A case can be made for Campbell having one of the best Combine performances, regardless of position. Per ESPN Next Gen Stats, Campbell was the most athletic linebacker in the field. His Relative Athletic Score of 9.98 is the seventh-highest score since 1987. He answered any questions about his athleticism, looked good in on-field drills and coupled with his strong game film has a strong case for top linebacker in the draft along with Clemson's Trent Simpson.

Riley Moss, cornerback

Iowa defensive back Riley Moss participates in drills.
  • Height: 6-feet-1 inch
  • Weight: 193 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.45 - T-9th at position
  • 10-yard split: 1.48 - T-2nd
  • Vertical leap: 39 inches - T-4th
  • Broad jump: 10-feet, 7 inches - 9th
  • 3-cone drill: N/A
  • 20-yard shuttle: N/A
  • Bench press: N/A

As expected, Moss was athletically strong this weekend with a Relative Athletic Score of 9.89, third-highest among the defensive backs group. He impressed at the podium, answering to the stereotypes of a white man playing cornerback in the NFL (last full-time starter was in 2003) but his good marks and measuring in at 6-foot-1 and 193 pounds should solidify his draft position. Currently, projects him as "good backup with potential to develop into a starter."

Kaevon Merriweather, safety

  • Height: 6-feet
  • Weight: 200 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.62 - T-13th at position
  • 10-yard split: 1.58 - T-8th
  • Vertical leap: 35.5 inches - T-7th
  • Broad jump: 9-feet, 10 inches - T-10th
  • 3-cone drill: N/A
  • 20-yard shuttle: N/A
  • Bench press: N/A

It was a solid perfromance for Merriweather, who finished with a 63 athleticism score by Next Gen Stats, good enough for 13th among the safeties. His overall athleticism will likely be graded as "average" but he has good size (6-feet, 200 pounds), he flashed on tape throughout his senior season, and he will blow teams away in the interview process. Expect for Merriweather to be a Day 3 selection (rounds 4-7) in April.

Sam LaPorta, tight end

Sam LaPorta catches a pass at the NFL Combine.
  • Height: 6-foot-3 inches
  • Weight: 245 pounds
  • 40-yard dash: 4.59 - 3rd at position
  • 10-yard split: 1.59 - T-3rd
  • Vertical leap: 35 inches - 6th
  • Broad jump: 10-feet, 3 inches - 5th
  • 3-cone drill: N/A
  • 20-yard shuttle: N/A
  • Bench press: N/A

LaPorta was the last of the Hawkeyes to work out for NFL teams and he didn't disappoint. In a very deep tight end class, LaPorta was a standout performer. His 4.59 time in the 40-yard dash drew the most attention but overall his numbers were among the highest by a tight end in recent memory, with a Relative Athletic Score of 9.25, which is 77th among 1,020 tight ends since 1987. There's potential for a Day 2 (rounds 2-3) selection.