Cooper DeJean has enjoyed a terrific season for Iowa football.

The junior defensive back, who was named to multiple preseason watchlists and All-American teams after making 75 tackles and 5 interceptions as a sophomore in 2022, has picked up where he left off. He currently has 38 tackles (1.5 for a loss) and 2 interceptions, along with 3 passes defensed for the Buckeyes. That’s on top of a punt return for a touchdown.

DeJean’s work in the Hawkeyes backfield and special teams has caught the eye of Mel Kiper Jr., who rated him No. 1 among draft-eligible cornerbacks in 2024.


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“I really think his tape is the best in this class, and he has elite physical tools that NFL coaches will love to work with,” Kiper said.

The longtime ESPN draft expert pointed to a stat that highlights the effectiveness of DeJean: 1 touchdown allowed in 88 targets.

“No other cornerback in the 2024 class has played as well as DeJean the past two seasons,” Kiper said.

As much criticism as Iowa’s offense has received in recent years, DeJean has been one of the key parts of a passing defense that’s held its own more often than not.