CBS Sports predicts three Hawkeyes taken in its latest seven-round 2021 NFL Mock Draft

Believe it or not, the NFL Draft is set to begin in a couple of weeks, and there are a handful of former Hawkeyes that are looking to hear their names called in the seven-round draft.

Earlier this week, CBS Sports released its seven-round NFL Mock Draft and had three former Iowa players getting selected in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Iowa defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon was the first former Hawkeye to go off the board. Nixon is projected to be selected 67th overall (3rd round) to Houston, Texas.

Nixon finished his junior season with 45 total tackles, 13.5 tackles for a loss, 5.5 sacks, and an interception return for a touchdown against Penn State that made people’s jaw drop. Nixon’s performance as a junior helped grow his stock.

Every guy has a story. Most of them involve some kind of adversity, hardship, whether it’s in their personal lives, families, might be academically, whatever. That’s kind of the nature of this thing,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said about Nixon during the season. “… (It) doesn’t always click for guys at the same time. That’s the interesting part. As long as they’re trying, as long as they’re giving the effort, making an effort, you stick with them because you never know what’s going to unfold. Doesn’t always. Sometimes you have stories like this. Daviyon ends up on an All-American list or two, legitimate first team. That wouldn’t shock me because this guy is playing really well. It’s a real tribute to him to stick with it. His family has been really supportive. We’re just thrilled he’s on our football team.”

Wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette is slotted to go next to the New York Jets with the 146th overall pick in the 5th round.

As a senior, Smith-Marsette had 25 receptions for 345 yards and four touchdowns while also rushing for one touchdown. Smith-Marsette’s NFL Draft stock was established in Iowa’s regular-season game against Wisconsin.

Smith-Marsette and Brandon Smith have a chance to be the first wide receivers drafted from Iowa since Marvin McNutt in 2012.

Following Smith-Marsette is defensive end Chauncey Golston at 159th overall to the Los Angeles Chargers. Golston’s stock rose throughout his senior season, but also at the 2021 Reese’s Senior Bowl, where he had reps at defensive tackle.

“He’s grown into a really good player, not just this year, but it’s been a process,” Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz said earlier this year. “The bigger picture for me is the really embodies to me what an Iowa football player is. He’s done his work here. He’s an absolute delight any time you’re in the room with him, the guy just has a really positive energy.”

The NFL Draft will start on April 29 and go through May 1.

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